The Chaîne Foundation
What is the Chaîne Foundation?
The Chaîne Foundation is a tax-exempt organization that was established in 1993 (and reincorporated in New Jersey in 2008) with a goal and a purpose of providing scholarships to deserving culinary and oenological students, which is in keeping with the goals of the Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Bailliage des Etats-Unis.
The Foundation’s grants to culinary and oenological students provide welcome financial aid to our young confrères and consoeurs who will someday be staffing the restaurants and hotels we enjoy during our Chaîne and Mondiale events. At this early stage of their careers, even a few dollars can ease financial strain allowing them the peace of mind to passionately pursue their studies.
How is the Foundation funded?
The sources of revenue for the Foundation are limited. Currently, the Trustees depend primarily on suggested donations on the annual Chaîne dues notices. During the past decade approximately 90% of Chaîne members each year choose this method of support, making these funds the mainstay of the Chaîne’s fundraising efforts.
These voluntary contributions from our members, our annual auctions, and the occasional grant or bequest have historically been the principal funding sources. All donations are tax deductible. Yet, member contributions cannot provide enough to fulfill the needs, and the Foundation cannot give away more than it has. As a result, some innovative approaches for obtaining additional contributions and participation have been adopted in recent years.
A recent program is the Foundation Friends, which honors donors of $1,000 or more per year, by prominently displaying their names in the U.S. Chaîne publication, Gastronome magazine, at major events, and in the U.S. Chaîne national office. Special members-only events are another benefit of becoming a Foundation Friend. For a list of current members, click here.
Foundation Live Auction
The Foundation Live Auction, held each year at the time of the Grand Chapitre or National Council Meeting, makes use of the internet to offer the auction items to all members of the Chaîne, not just those fortunate enough to attend the Chapitre. Members are encouraged to contribute as well as bid on trips, hotel stays, dining experiences, rare bottles of wine, or high quality products associated with dining and travel related activities. Items are listed in an auction catalog placed online as well as in the welcome packets at the time of check-in at the Chapitre office, thus providing important benefits to the corporate donor, whose logos are used as part of the descriptive material.
The 2021 online auction is scheduled for Nov.13 through Nov. 24th. Inquires should be directed to Oxana Niser at the National Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Foundation relies upon the support of every Chaîne member to carry out its work, which not only maintains the Chaîne as a leader in the culinary arts but also reflects the wishes of the vast majority of Chaîne members. Together, we are joined in the mutual belief that we, who are the fortunate beneficiaries of the artistry of great chefs and the exquisite palates of outstanding winemakers, have a responsibility to ensure that there will be great chefs and winemakers in the future.
How Are Foundation Monies Spent?
Each year the Foundation’s board of directors meets to decide how funds will be spent. Chaîne scholarships have been made to The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, the Court of the Master Sommeliers and the American Academy of Chefs. The Chaîne Scholar program was designed to underwrite educational expenses of especially promising professionals, our next generation of leaders in the food, wine, and hospitality industries.
The term Chaîne Scholar is the designation given to a scholarship recipient, each of whom must meet high scholastic standards and possess the attributes and attitudes that reflect the very best in professional standards, dedication, and commitment.
The Trustees of the Foundation have reaffirmed their commitment to providing scholarship disbursements through the Bailliage matching program and scholarship support for the Chaîne-based Young Chef and Sommelier competitions before allocating monies to culinary institutions.
Since 1996, the Foundation has made scholarship grants of well over $4,000,000 to more than 100 qualifying schools.
Historically the Foundation annually contributes $75,000 designated for student scholarships to schools hosting national and regional Young Chefs competitions.
A history of some of the Chaîne’s Philanthropy is available at this link:
Matching Fund Program
What is the Foundation's Matching Fund Program?
On January 17, 1997, the Board of Directors voted to provide matching funds up to $1,000 for those Bailliages that raise funds for the support of educational institutions of their choosing that function as 501(c)(3) entities. Subsequently, the Foundation provided a second program matching up to $2,500 raised during a regional Assemblage.
A Bailliage may give funds, earmarked for scholarships, directly to a school and ask the school to select one or more recipients or a Bailliage may designate a student in financial need to receive the scholarship. Up to $1,000 will be matched by the Chaîne Foundation. An Assemblage is eligible for $2,500 in matching funds.
In other words, the Foundation makes grants to educational institutions selected by local Bailliages or regional Assemblages by participating in the Foundation’s Matching Fund program. This allows locally raised money to stay local.
What program qualifies for the Matching Fund Program?
Funds must be given to a qualified educational institution that functions as a 501(c)(3) entity or has a 501(c)(3) Foundation. Once that status has been verified, the Board of Trustees will determine the eligibility and whether a grant is to be made. Delivery of a photocopy of the organization’s articles of incorporation, tax exemption letter from the Internal Revenue Service (and all modifications and/or amendments subsequently communicated), and the taxpayer identification number for the entity are considered essential for making the determination. Donation checks are written to the 501(c)(3) entity.
In order for Chaîne members’ contributions to be tax deductible for income tax purposes, it is imperative that your members’ checks should either be made out to the institution’s 501(c)(3) or the Chaîne Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3). The Foundation can only send checks to a 501(c)(3) entity. Neither the Chaîne itself or a local Bailliage is a qualified 501(c)(3) (they are typically tp1(c)(7). If a Bailliage gives money to a non 501(c)(3) entity, the Chaine Foundation cannot, by law, send a matching check to that institution. Donations made through either the Chaîne (not the Foundation) or the local Bailliage will generally not be deductible for personal income tax purposes.
What is the Matching Fund Program Application Process?
So that your members’ contributions are deductible for income tax purposes:
All their checks should be made payable to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Foundation and should be sent to the National Administrative Office, 285 Madison Ave. Madison, NJ, 07940-1099. The Office will return to you a check in the amount of the sum of your contribution plus the match. You can then make the presentation to the educational institution.
If their checks are written to the local Bailliage or to the non 501(c)(3) part of an institution, such funds do not qualify for matching and individual donors cannot expect their contributions to be tax deductible.
What are the benefits to Bailliages that participate in the Matching Fund Program?
If the school is local, the Bailliage has an opportunity to establish close ties with the administration and teachers.
Such programs visibly demonstrate our commitment, at all levels, to the education of those in the culinary arts, viticulture, and the hospitality industry.
The existence of a formal program creates a strong bond between a Bailliage and its professional members, providing professional members a strong incentive to support the Chaîne and the local chapter.
Scholarship recipients are often willing to demonstrate what they have learned to members of the Bailliage.
Bailliage members have the opportunity to get to know the scholarship recipients and are in a good position to identify and encourage qualified individuals to compete in the Chaîne’sYoung Chef Competition.