Skip to main content

Working with your Chamber

Tips from the Trenches

Leaders from three active chapters share tips and strategies for getting the most out of a Chamber membership.

With over 150 Chambers of Commerce across the state, your park and chapter almost definitely have the chance to be part of a local chamber. Chapters are strongly encouraged to become members and/or to sponsor a membership for their park

Dawn and Mike Hanson from Friends of Laura Walker listed a few of the benefits their park and chapter have gotten from their Chamber of Commerce membership. Click here to learn more.

All our experts shared a very similar idea about the importance of being involved with your chamber. It isn't enough to just be a paying dues member. Chapters and parks should consider investing some time as well to get real returns from the membership.

Dori Brink and Tyler Carpenter, both with Friends of Crooked River, have some great advice on how to stay connected with your chapter. Click here to read their advice.

Sharon McCollough with Friends of Hard Labor Creek also has seen some of the benefits of working with the local convention and visitors bureau (CVB). In communities where you have both, we recommend you utilize them both. The parks we support attract guests to your community and are, therefore, naturally interesting to the CVB. Sharon says Friends of Hard Labor Creek started with their CVB a few years ago by sitting down with the organization's leaders and just having a chat about what they could do together.

Now, the relationship is bearing fruit:

They send us emails when they put out information and we keep them informed of what's happening at the park. They connect us with the movie industry, media influencers and others. They also help us with promoting park events like our golf tournament. Our park manager also has a close relationship with the CVB which adds even more.

Sharon McColough, Friends of Hard Labor Creek

All of these volunteers have had great success reaching out to their communities and staying involved through their chambers of commerce or CVB. A few tips to get started:

  • Talk with your park manager to find out if they are interested in reaching out to the chamber. Most are encouraged to do so and they may already know a contact for you.
  • Find out if your chapter or park is already a member or has been.
  • Different chambers have different membership policies for non-profits and government organizations. Visit your chamber office and talk with the staff about getting involved. Let them know you'd like to involve your park manager as well and find out the best way to do that.
  • Most importantly: join the chamber and get involved. Every one of our pros agreed that a membership is worth what you put into it.