U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2023 Impact Report

Carolyn Cawley Carolyn Cawley
President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Yagmur Cosar Yagmur Cosar
Senior Director, Communications

Published

January 23, 2024

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Dear Friends,

2023 was a year of tremendous change, impact, and growth at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The world is moving fast, and as challenges mount in scale and complexity, we are meeting the moment with a bold new vision called Going Farther, Together.

We refreshed our purpose and values ...

We harness the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world.

And we modernized how we work to be the most agile, innovative, and impactful partner we can be ...

We anticipate, develop, and deploy solutions to challenges facing communities—today and tomorrow.

What you'll see in this report is how we are translating the vision into action by organizing around proven capabilities. You can count on us to ...

Move rapidly to convene and coordinate business and public leaders in moments of unanticipated crisis and humanitarian need.

Scout frontier issues, test new ideas, and suggest novel approaches to address big-picture challenges that will impact the future.

Work with business and philanthropy to create practical solutions to long-term challenges.

Together with you, we are making an even greater impact in areas that matter most to communities, such as civics and democracy, disaster resilience, education, and workforce. We also modernized our brand, signature events, and website to strengthen this work to inspire collaboration and double our impact over the next 10 years.

On behalf of the entire Foundation, thank you for your partnership. We can't wait to write the next chapter with you.

Going farther, together,

Carolyn Cawley

President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Deep Dive

You can download a fully designed pdf version or keep scrolling for an accessible, digital version of this year's impact report. Either way, you will see the same exciting content.


Disaster Response and Resiliency

Advancing America’s Resilience

  • 15K+
    small business owners downloaded our disaster preparedness guide, Resilience in a Box, to prepare for disasters and recover more quickly
  • 3K
    small businesses participated in our Readiness for Resiliency program to improve their disaster resilience and receive $5,000 grants if a disaster strikes their region
  • 1K+
    leaders across business, government and nonprofit sectors joined our disaster coordination calls delivering real-time, on-the-ground updates
  • 373
    companies featured in our Corporate Aid Tracker for actions taken to provide critical humanitarian support in times of crisis

Imagine being a small business owner and a Category 4 hurricane, capable of leveling entire cities strikes, unraveling not just the physical infrastructure but also your dreams, finances, and everything you’ve poured into your business.

On September 18, 2022, Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico causing catastrophic flooding and widespread power outages. Small business owners like Marina Martinez suffered staffing losses, closures, and a reduction in revenue. In the face of adversity, it was the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) grant that gave her the glimmer of hope she needed to keep pushing.

Martinez used the R4R grant to build her customer base through marketing and advertising, and cover basic expenses like rent, water, and electricity.

Marina Martinez, R4R grant recipient
a woman smiling at camera
In 2023, Marina Martinez used our Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) grant to help restore her restaurant in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Fiona struck the island. Photo credit: Marina Martinez

From the Hawaii wildfires to the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Gaza, 2023 was a year that highlighted the importance of community resilience. As the world navigated a growing number of uncertainties, the U.S. Chamber Foundation team helped businesses and communities prepare for and recover from disasters.

We launched the Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) program, with founding sponsor FedEx and additional support from Allstate and American Express, to build small business resilience in regions most vulnerable to disasters. The program guides small businesses in preparing for a disaster and offers $5,000 grants when a federally declared disaster strikes their area. The program has supported 3,000 business owners, like Martinez, with grants and resources to help them recover and get back to the important work of serving their communities.

Preparing Businesses for the Next Disaster

Small businesses are the backbone of local economies, yet an estimated 25% do not reopen after a disaster hits. We deliver education, training, tools, and on-demand resources such as Resilience in a Box and the Disaster Help Desk to help small business owners prepare for disasters and return to the important business of serving communities.

Convening Leaders at the Forefront of Global Resilience

For 12 years, our Building Resilience Conference—the largest convening of its kind—connected leaders from the highest levels of business, government, and nonprofits to spread good ideas, plan for the unexpected, and solve problems together.

Helping Small Businesses Rebuild Faster

Our Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) program, which was launched to build small business resilience in regions most vulnerable to disasters, has helped 3,000 businesses better prepare for a disaster. We distributed grants to 51 businesses to help them recover following Hurricane Idalia, wildfires in California, tornadoes in Mississippi, and more. These grants helped cover critical expenses, such as employee salaries and repairing damaged inventory.

Fostering Stronger Communities

This year we launched BizConnect—a development and mentorship program for small businesses in economically distressed areas. This pilot program provided 25 business owners in San Antonio, Texas, with coaching, networking, and financial assistance to help them grow their businesses and support their communities. We are expanding the program nationwide in 2024.

Tracking the Corporate Response to Disasters

Our Corporate Aid Tracker shines a light on how the private sector is helping communities recover from disasters. Over the last year, we featured 373 companies that contributed more than $237 million to help those affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye, Syria, and Morocco; the Maui wildfires; and the humanitarian crisis in Israel and Gaza.

Mobilizing Business Solutions

As an essential connector across sectors, we helped guide the business community’s humanitarian response to natural disasters and war conflict. Our coordination calls with business, government, and nonprofit leaders attracted more than 1,000 participants.


Education and Workforce

Building a Diverse, Qualified Pipeline of Workers

  • 900
    business leaders across 33 industries graduated from our TPM Academy® to meet industry demand for skilled workers
  • 329
    state and local executives from 49 states joined our yearlong Business Leads Fellows program and trained to become education and workforce champions in their community
  • 22
    state and local chambers partnered with us to fix the childcare crisis in their communities

As the leader of talent initiatives at San Diego’s top economic development organization, Taylor Dunne wrestled with one question: how to ensure the city’s growing tech industry has a workforce that reflects its diverse population.

“By using the [U.S. Chamber Foundation’s] TPM model, we can assess training programs solely on the quality of their training and their accessibility,” she explained. “We can then expose employers to those programs that are doing both things well, often making employers aware of unconventional programs they may not have been hiring from before. This provides better on-ramps to highpaying, high-demand careers for populations that have not had access to the more exclusive programs employers typically recruit from.”

a woman smiling at camera
Talent Initiatives Director Taylor Dunne used the Talent Pipeline Management® framework to diversify the talent pool needed for hard-to-fill positions in San Diego’s growing tech industry. Photo credit: Taylor Dunne

Dunne is not alone in her quest. As demand for high-skilled jobs rises, many of America’s employers struggle to find the needed workers. The U.S. Chamber Foundation’s workforce and education programs—including its award winning Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) framework— offer innovative ways to find and grow skilled workers, and support greater economic mobility for all Americans.

Using TPM as the organizing framework, Dunne helped launch an employer-led collaborative focused on software-related jobs. The 17-company collaborative, which included high tech, life sciences, health care, and defense industries, created pipelines with community colleges supporting diverse student bodies more representative of the region.

For Dunne, aligning education and training with business needs and establishing long-term relationships will help San Diego thrive.

Taylor Dunne, TPM practitioner

Closing America’s Skills Gap

More than 3,000 employers across 33 industries use our award-winning Talent Pipeline Management® (TPM) curriculum to transform how they recruit, hire, and train their employees. To meet high demand, we launched TPM Co/Lab—an online version of our in-person training academies to reach even more business leaders. We catalyzed over $115 million in state and federal investments in communities using TPM to help them solve their toughest workforce challenges.

  • 3,000+
    employers use our Talent Pipeline Management

Designing the Future of Education

In the wake of the pandemic, national assessments revealed an alarming decline in reading and math for America’s students. Our Future of Data initiative works to change that by examining the last 20 years of education reform to develop recommendations for a more equitable and effective education system. In 2023, we announced the winners of our nationwide Design Challenge, unearthing the best thinking on K-12 education to prepare our students for the economy and society of tomorrow.

Making the Business Case for Childcare

There are 2.5 million more open jobs than available workers, with childcare being a major obstacle for nearly one in three unemployed people looking to return to the workforce. Building on our previous reports from nine states, our Untapped Potential reports in Florida, Michigan, and Utah show that the economic implications are massive—reaching $3.2 billion on average. Our Early Childhood & Business Advisory Council drives innovative, business-led solutions to the childcare crisis, working with the Bipartisan Policy Center and local stakeholders in 13 states.

Fueling the Skills-Based Hiring Movement

To boost the economy and create more opportunity, U.S. businesses are thinking more broadly about finding and hiring people based on their skills—not just their degrees. The U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Business Roundtable to scale up skills-based employment practices for America’s employers. Our Experience You initiative uses AI to help create digital records that capture all the skills people possess, wherever they were acquired, to make skills-based hiring a reality. We also developed resources for employers to understand better how to match job requirements with a candidate’s skills.

  • 1.5K+
    experts joined our T3 Innovation Network to co-create data and tech-powered solutions to advance skills-based hiring
  • 79%
    of high school students would be interested in a work-based learning experience

Preparing America’s Students for the Jobs of Tomorrow

While 79% of high school students would be interested in a work-based learning experience, only 2% had completed one. We launched Employer Provided Innovation Challenges (EPIC) to close the gap. This online platform will provide project-based learning opportunities beyond traditional internships, connecting learners to careers while building hard and soft skills aligned with employer needs.


Veteran Employment

Translate Military Skills to Civilian Employers

Hiring Our Heroes Set Me Up for Success

  • 17K
    military-connected job seekers participated in our Hiring Our Heroes job fairs to transition to the civilian workforce

After 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Master Gunnery Sergeant LaGarian Smith was ready to retire from the military and launch his IT career. He just wasn’t sure how to do it.

“The hardest thing about looking for a civilian job was relating my military experience from the Marine Corps to the job requirements of a civilian company,” Smith said.

Former U.S. Marine LaGarian Smith was hired after participating in a 12-week corporate fellowship program led by HOH. Photo credit: LaGarian Smith
Former U.S. Marine LaGarian Smith was hired after participating in a 12-week corporate fellowship program led by HOH. Photo credit: LaGarian Smith

Armed with IT project management and cybersecurity degrees, Smith knew he needed a guide to navigate his transition to corporate America.

“Hiring Our Heroes helped me through the corporate fellowship by translating my skill sets to those of a civilian job requirement,” Smith said.

Through corporate fellowships, Hiring Our Heroes places transitioning service members in DoD SkillBridge-authorized fellowships with employers committed to hiring veterans. The 12-week fellowship provides veterans with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce while they are still on active duty.

LaGarian Smith, HOH fellow

In November 2023, after his fellowship, Smith accepted a job with Clear Ridge Defense as a senior cyber hunt specialist.

Reaching More Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes (HOH), which connects the military community to jobs, experienced its seventh year of consecutive growth, serving more than 70,000 veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses in 2023. Our hiring events—both in person and virtual— continue to be a key driver of opportunity. We hosted 84 hiring events for more than 17,000 job seekers and nearly 2,500 employers.

Training the Workforce of the Future

Working closely with Grow with Google, HOH manages the most extensive military-focused upskilling program for Google.org, Career Forward. The program provides free online training in six fields: data analytics, IT support, project management, user experience (UX) design, digital marketing and e-commerce, and cybersecurity. To date, Career Forward has trained more than 8,200 participants. The program has issued more than 4,000 credentials and nearly 1,800 positive job outcomes.

Leading the Way With Internships

HOH’s internship program, known as the Fellows Program, gives military-connected job seekers an opportunity to showcase their soft skills and learn new technical skills during a 12-week internship. Service members, military spouses, military caregivers, and veterans may pivot to a new industry or be guided on the experiential bridge needed to thrive in corporate America through various fellowship options. In 2023, more than 600 employers hosted more than 3,000 participants to prepare them for careers after the military.

Advancing Military Spouse Success

The statistics are staggering—current unemployment among military spouses is 21%, five times the national average. Our new 4+1 Commitment, in partnership with Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense, is the first initiative to ask companies to adopt one of four military-spouse friendly employment policies, such as facilitating job transferability or offering flexible hours. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden joined our launch event, along with first-signer companies such as Starbucks, T-Mobile, PenFed Credit Union, Telemynd, USAA, and Nextdoor. We are making the call for 1,000 signatories by the end of 2024.

Tackling 21% Military Spouse Unemployment

The Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot (MSCAP), launched in partnership with Deloitte Consulting and the Department of Defense, connects military spouses with paid 12-week fellowships at host companies in various industries throughout the U.S. MSCAP applicants participate in Amplify, a twoday workshop providing military spouses with tools and resources to help them succeed. In 2023 alone, Amplify served 2,283 military spouses, with 79% of attendees reporting favorable job outcomes within 90 days.


The Civic Trust and National Civics Bee

Elevating Civics as a National Priority

  • 2K+
    students competed in the 2023 National Civics Bee®
  • 9.5M
    in funding committed to The Civic Trust®
  • 54
    chambers in nine states hosted National Civics Bee® competitions
  • 96
    people from 46 countries became American citizens at The Civic Trust®’s annual naturalization ceremony

Colorado middle schooler Sriram (Ram) Y. has always shown a keen awareness of the world around him. He likes to stay informed on current events, watching the news with his parents from a young age. When his social studies teacher introduced him to the National Civics Bee®, Ram seized an opportunity.

To enter the competition, students must write a 500-word essay identifying a solution to a problem in their community. Ram wrote about the urgent need for active civic participation in this country.

And he’s right—the state of civics education in the U.S. is alarming. According to data from the 2023 Annenberg Civics Knowledge Survey, one-third of Americans cannot name all three branches of government.

To address the concerning state of civics knowledge, we founded The Civic Trust®: a nonpartisan educational initiative committed to enhancing civic literacy, skills, and participation through focused efforts across schools, workplaces, and communities. Our first major program, the National Civics Bee®, is an annual competition encouraging young Americans like Ram to engage in civics and contribute to their communities.

Ram and the 20 other qualifying students who advanced to the Colorado state finals were tasked with presenting their ideas to a panel of judges. This aspect encourages young voices to be heard.

Sriram (Ram) Y., 2023 Colorado National Civics Bee® winner

Ram’s capacity to recognize this problem and speak from his generation’s perspective was crucial to his success. He was crowned the 2023 Colorado state winner, collecting $1,000 in cash prizes.

Since competing in the National Civics Bee®, Ram has a continued interest in how our country works and says he is more inclined to take on a leadership role. But the impact goes beyond the individual participants. The Civic Trust® and the National Civics Bee® help reignite civic learning among parents, businesses, and communities at every stop along the way.

a woman and boy holding a check
Sriram (Ram) Y. accepts the first-place winner prize from Daniels Fund CEO Hanna Skandera at the 2023 National Civics Bee® Colorado state finals. Photo credit: Colorado Chamber of Commerce

Sounding the Alarm on the State of Civics Knowledge

This year, the Nation’s Report Card signaled a deepening civics education crisis, marked by the first decline in U.S. history and civics scores in decades. The U.S. Chamber Foundation led a national call to action to prioritize civics education, encouraging s of all sizes to take on a greater role.

Fueling Civic Engagement in America’s Youth

We’re working to build enthusiasm for civics—and for America—among the next generation of Americans. More than 2,000 middle school students participated in our signature program, the National Civics Bee®—a 100% increase from the year before. Participating states were Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. We worked hard to reach students from underserved communities. Forty percent of participants were from low-income ZIP codes.

Investing in a Healthy Democracy

A significant expansion of the National Civics Bee® is underway for 2024, driven by a growing interest from business leaders to strengthen civics education. Thanks to substantial multiyear grants from supporters like the Daniels Fund, the competition will now span 28 states, making it one of our fastest-growing programs.

  • 2,000
    students participated in our National Civics Bee®

Celebrating the American Dream

Hakki Akdeniz is a new U.S. citizen and the proud owner of Champion Pizza, with six shops across New York City, and stores opening in Tampa and Miami. Not long ago, however, Akdeniz was homeless and desperate on the streets of NYC. “I am living the American Dream,” he said to the families who filled the U.S. Chamber headquarters in Washington, D.C., for Constitution Week as 96 individuals representing 46 countries took the oath of allegiance at The Civic Trust’s annual naturalization ceremony.

Fostering Active Citizenship

Recognizing the essential role of poll workers in the successful functioning of our democracy, we created a toolkit for employers to support employees who want to serve as nonpartisan poll workers.


Spreading Ideas, Co-Creating Solutions

Celebrating 24 Years of Business for Good

As the daughter of two public school teachers, Nikki Jolly’s desire to give back and serve her community was instilled in her from a young age. Now as senior manager of corporate citizenship and social impact at PepsiCo Foods North America, she is channeling those passions to support and uplift communities. Through this role, she partners with nonprofits and local governments to provide one of the most beneficial ingredients to a child’s academic performance—access to nutritious meals.

In Arizona, 84% of students qualify for free or reduced cost meals. Leading up to Super Bowl 57, Frito-Lay, Quaker, and the PepsiCo Foundation worked with national nonprofit GENYOUth to support Mission 57: End Student Hunger—an initiative to help tackle food insecurity and increase physical activity in high-need Arizona schools. The project collaborated with 10 school districts to serve over 8.5 million meals to more than 31,000 students.

“This initiative is not just a professional milestone; it echoes the values instilled in me from childhood,” said Jolly.

Nikki Jolly, Citizens Awards Winner

PepsiCo was named a 2023 Citizens Awards winner for its partnership with GENYOUth’s Mission 57: End Student Hunger initiative.

Since its inception 24 years ago, our Citizens Awards program has recognized more than 200 businesses for their leadership in solving the world’s biggest challenges. This year, nine winners were selected from a highly competitive field of applications—highlighting how businesses serve as a force for good, expanding opportunity, and driving progress in every aspect of society.

two women holding a glass award
GENYOUth CEO Ann Marie Krautheim and PepsiCo’s Senior Manager of Corporate Citizenship Nikki Jolly received the 2023 Citizens Awards for their efforts to end food insecurity in Arizona. Photo credit: David Bohrer

Learning from Leaders

From our Talent Forward workforce summit to our corporate citizenship conference Business Solves, 351 thought leaders and visionaries delivered keynotes, joined panels, and presented at our marquee conferences. Guests included First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Marriott International Chairman David Marriott, Accenture North America CEO Manish Sharma, Goodwill CEO Steven Pearson, and USAA President and CEO Wayne Peacock.

Convening for Impact

Nearly 4,000 leaders and innovators from across business, government, and nonprofits joined our events this year to creatively address the world’s most pressing challenges. Our post-event content generated over 33K views, spreading impactful ideas worldwide.

Insights Going Farther

Our new and improved website reflects our commitment to going farther together with our partners. Reimagined as a modern digital hub for business-led solutions, the site is designed to inspire action and collaboration to strengthen communities.

  • 33K+
    views of our events
  • 351
    speakers at signature events
  • 684
    news media mentions

Driving News

The nation’s leading publications, from Forbes to The Washington Post, featured our views on critical issues that affect America and the world. In 2023, we earned 684 news media mentions, elevating the national conversation on workforce, childcare, civics and more.


Thank You to Our Supporters

Because of our supporters, friends, foundations, and corporate partners, we are able to solve the toughest challenges facing communities in America and around the world. We are grateful to the following organizations that gave $100,000 or more to support our vision.

  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Allstate
  • Altice (CSC Holdings)
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • American Express Company
  • American Student Assistance
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
  • CareSource Management Group
  • Caterpillar Foundation
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • CBRE Group, Inc.
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Charles Koch Foundation
  • Charter Communications, Inc.
  • City of San Antonio
  • Comcast Corporation
  • Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund
  • CSX Corporation
  • Cummins Foundation
  • CVS Health Corporation
  • Daniels Fund
  • Deloitte LLP
  • Dutch Bros Foundation
  • Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.
  • FedEx Corporation
  • First Command Financial Services, Inc.
  • Fiserv, Inc.
  • General Motors Company
  • Google.org Charitable Giving Fund
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • Indeed, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • LinkedIn
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Lowe's Companies, Inc.
  • Lumina Foundation
  • MetLife, Inc.
  • Mr. Donald J. Shepard
  • Mr. Lee R. Anderson, Sr.
  • Prudential Financial, Inc.
  • PwC Charitable Foundation
  • Ryder System Inc
  • Salesforce.com
  • Shopify
  • Simplilearn Americas Inc.
  • Strada Education Foundation
  • T-Mobile US, Inc.
  • The Anschutz Foundation
  • The Aspen Institute
  • The Boeing Company
  • The CDL School
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
  • TransForce
  • UPS Foundation
  • USAA
  • Verizon Communications Inc.
  • W. K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
  • Walmart Inc.
  • Walter Scott Family Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation

In the business of stronger communities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation harnesses the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world. We invite you to learn more about our values and to continue exploring our website.

About the authors

Carolyn Cawley

Carolyn Cawley

Cawley leads multiple teams united in the belief that business is an essential problem solver.

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Yagmur Cosar

Yagmur Cosar

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