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

As part of the Summer Fund, in 2017 the Homeless Campership Fund supported 25 camp and shelter partners enabling families in homeless shelters and those facing housing insecurities free access for over 1300 summer camp slots for this at-risk youth population.

Our Impact

Partnering with the Summer Fund allowed the Boston Harbor Island Alliance to expand its reach and support community visits that might not have been possible without the partnership. In addition to bringing children and youth to visit the islands, we were also able to raise awareness about the islands among the more than 390 camp counselors, campers, and parents who may not have known about us otherwise.

— Boston Harbor Island Alliance

Random Quote

In partnership with Bank of America, Boston Private Industry Council and Hale Reservation, the Summer Fund’s 2017 Teen Leadership Institute provided 150 Boston Public High School teens job training, workplace skills, leadership development and CPR training to better prepare them for success in a summer employment opportunity.