Our History

Founded in 1971, the Summer Fund donor collaborative was established by Associated Grant Makers for the purpose of making summer camps and programs accessible to underserved low-income youth. The Summer Fund was created to address issues of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities by recognizing the need for summer enrichment opportunities for underserved youth, and to steward the fair and equitable distribution of resources to ensure access to those opportunities.

Over its 40-year history, the Summer Fund has provided more than $34,000,000 in resources to build, sustain and strengthen a quality summer program network serving Greater Boston youth.

The Summer Fund was established to:

  • Create a pooled funding mechanism to leverage donor resources
  • Steward the equitable and strategic distribution of resources to underserved communities
  • Ensure access to summer programming for underserved youth
  • 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. Racial, ethnic, and socio-economic disparities are still evident in the quality and availability of summer programming, and we continue to provide collaborative approaches to address and dispel the inequities and ensure that summer opportunities are accessible to every child.

Summer Fund Fact

Summer Fund resources support jobs for 1,560 teenagers working in summer camps.

Our Impact

The Summer Fund provides 60% of the total number of groups we serve for our summer programs, which yields 35% of our total participants and 40% of our participant fees. The impact of the Summer Fund on YES’s Outdoor Adventure Program is substantial. It provides the opportunity for more than 250 participants to receive introductory, one-day outdoor experiential education excursions, which we hope will leave them yearning to come back for more. — Youth Enrichment Services (YES)