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

Each year, between 10,000-12,000 campers enjoy as many as 300 free field trips, on-site cultural activities, and other arts and historical experiences.

Our Impact

Cultural Day enables us to reach many camp groups who would have difficulty participating in our arts programming without the Summer Fund’s financial assistance. It also allows us to offer additional weekday show programming over the summer, keeping our staffing and artist roster consistent, active, and productive in the summer months. With the Summer Fund’s help, our outreach is more extensive, and our organization is able to operate at full capacity through summer, when otherwise it would not. — Puppet Showplace Theatre