*View the Summer Fund's 2022 Application Process*
HISTORY AND MISSION
Founded in 1971, the Summer Fund (SF) is a donor collaborative comprised of over 15 funders, which supports summer camps and programs. The Summer Fund was established by Associated Grant Makers (now Philanthropy Massachusetts) to address issues of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities by recognizing the need for summer opportunities for underserved youth from low-income families, and to steward the fair and equitable distribution of resources to ensure access to those opportunities. The Summer Fund serves as a broker between the philanthropic community and nonprofit organizations providing summer programming to underserved youth. The Summer Fund provides direct operational support to selected summer camps and programs. Governed by an Advisory Committee, The Summer Fund is operated/staffed by Philanthropy Massachusetts.
Recognizing that summer enrichment programming intersects with a number of other areas of youth experience, the Summer Fund tailors its grantmaking to include and accommodate the needs identified by nonprofits. The Fund has supported mental health and well-being, homelessness, youth employment, food security, cultural access, social emotional learning, transportation, and summer learning loss. The Summer Fund is committed to responding to these key intersections through its grantmaking moving forward.
The Summer Fund’s current purpose is to:
• Provide a pooled funding mechanism to leverage donor resources
• Ensure access to summer programming for underserved youth
• Steward the equitable and strategic distribution of resources to underserved communities
• Foster the development of a diverse network of quality camps
• Increase collaboration among funders and community partners
Today, our mission and goals remain fundamentally unchanged, as reflected by our funding criteria. Racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities are still evident in the quality and availability of summer programming, and we continue to seek collaborative approaches to address the inequities and ensure that summer opportunities are accessible to every child.
Since its inception, the SF has provided over $35,000,000 in resources to build, sustain and strengthen a quality summer program network. In 2021, the Summer Fund positively impacted over 10,000 youth by providing approximately over $1 Million in grants to serve youth from Greater Boston. This included $600,000 in direct operational support to 52 nonprofit organizations operating throughout the Greater Boston Area. Additionally, the Summer Fund granted out over $335,000 through its Homeless Campership Fund, which subsidized nearly 900 weeks of camp for youth experiencing homelessness. Lastly, through its Mental Health Fund, the Summer Fund granted out over $105,000 to support the staffing, training, and program design efforts of 16 partner organizations.
The Summer Fund’s target population is underserved youth from communities of color and/or low-income communities, the majority of whom come from Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Chelsea. The Summer Fund provides access to affordable high-quality summer enrichment opportunities regardless of race, ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds. The Summer Fund partners with a diverse mix of organizations (size, scope, program focus) to ensure that its grant portfolio is continually aligning itself with the changing demographics and needs of the communities it serves. In defining these needs, the Summer Fund conducted a needs assessment in 2019, which has since guided its grantmaking strategies and strategic vision.
To learn more about how to apply to the Summer Fund, click here.