Partnership for a sustainable


Nothing in our world exists in isolation. Our successes and challenges are interconnected. As humans, we thrive in community, and we know that a rising tide lifts all ships. 

Welcome to the DeKalb Chamber Partnership Foundation: Cultivating DeKalb County as a Thriving Community!

Students who participated in the Youth Business Fair in May 2023

Expanding on the Chamber's Purpose

While the Chamber's purpose is to support the success of its member businesses, the foundation goes further. The broad and diverse membership of the DeKalb Chamber Partnership brings a variety of perspectives to the table, enabling us to tackle the challenges our community faces together.

The Foundation addresses the broader indirect aspects that create collective success for our businesses and all community members as a whole. When our community is supported as a whole, businesses are not only more capable of surviving but statistically more likely to thrive on every level. That's why we established the foundation.

Our Mission: Cultivating DeKalb County as a Thriving Community

The mission of the DeKalb Chamber Foundation is to cultivate DeKalb County as a community where people are empowered to thrive and engage in meaningful ways. Our work closely reflects the strategic initiatives of the Chamber.

Our Strategic Initiatives

LEARN: Closing the Skills Gap

We will strive to make DeKalb County a premiere location for skilled talent that is work ready. Whether your business needs trades, certifications, or specialized talent we want to be the community that provides a talent pool that meets your needs.

Purpose: 78% of survey respondents had difficulty finding qualified applicants in the past 12 months. To accommodate, 64% hired less qualified workers. 72% of respondents say their employees and/or potential employees lack the necessary work ethic. The Chamber can support our businesses not only by growing their existing workforce into leadership-ready candidates, but also bringing up to speed those employees which were brought in at less than ideal skill levels.

LIVE: Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare plans have become increasingly unaffordable for employers and employees alike. This impacts businesses' bottom line and poses a real issue for employees, particularly those with lower wages. The foundation will work to increase access to healthcare by providing employer health benefits where solutions currently do not exist. Additionally, we aim to lower health benefit-related costs for businesses through solutions focused on preventative care, direct access, informed diagnosing, and intentional referrals.

GROW:  Accessible Childcare

Many children aged 5 and under in DeKalb County lack access to affordable childcare. This crisis not only limits the worker pool but also affects productivity and safety when parents are unable to find suitable care for their children. The foundation's projects in this area include:

- Ensuring all families have access to the childcare they choose, addressing both availability and affordability
- Making early learning a viable lifelong career option by increasing wages for childcare workers


We will cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem which makes owning a businesses accessible to all by providing resources, coaching, connections to funding, and other support. With more and more young people interested in pursuing career entrepreneurship, the Chamber will work with schools, students, parent, and community partners to assist students in fulfilling their dream of busienss ownership.

Purpose: Seventeen percent of this year's graduating students say, post-graduation, they intend to continue running the business they started during or prior to college. Sixteen percent say they're 'definitely' going to start their own business after graduation, while 27% are 'considering' starting their own business. Local schools are seeing a growing interest in business ownership and have built in entrepreneurship cirriculum to support this growing need. However, few of these businesses make it past graduation. Our goal is to provide the needed support to create sustainability for these young entrepreneurs.

Join us in Making a Lasting Impact

These initiatives are just the beginning. If you are interested in creating an impact in these areas, click below to get started!

You can get engaged in a few simple ways: Give. Serve. Share.


Your tax deductible gift to the DeKalb Chamber Partnership Foundation will provide the resources we need to help our community LEARN, LIVE & GROW. By supporting this 501(c)3 organization you are helping us make DeKalb County a place where people are empowered to thrive and engage in the community in meaningful ways.

To give, make checks payable to the DeKalb Chamber Partnership Foundation, 208 S Jackson Street, Auburn, IN, 46706.


It takes many hearts and hands to achieve such ambitious goals and change. By serving on a task force or committee you have a direct impact in the work we are doing effecting real change for our community. Whether it's becoming a partner of the Early Learning Coalition, joining the LIVE or LEARN task force, or contributing your talents in marketing, grant writing, or mixed media - you will be investing in your community by contributing your time, talents, and perspective.

Contact Shannon Carpenter at shannon@dekalbchamberpartnership.com to start serving.


Stay up to date with the Chamber Foundation by following us on social media and signing up to receive our emails. Be sure to share our mission with co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members and invite them to engage with the Chamber Foundation in a way that makes sense for them. Imagine the community we can create when we come together to invest in the people of DeKalb County through focusing on talent, healthcare, and early learning.