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

In 2017, the Summer Fund allocated $980,000 to support over 20,000 disadvantaged and at-risk youth, youth in homeless shelters, and those facing housing insecurities to take part in summer camping, access to cultural and arts activities, and job opportunities for the summer.

Our Impact

The Summer Fund Cultural Day program allows Boston Children’s Museum to fulfill its mission of reaching out to underserved populations of children in the greater Boston area. Without this program, many of these children would never have the opportunity to attend the Museum and to learn and grow from the educational opportunities we offer.

— Boston Children’s Museum

Random Quote

Shelter life is difficult for children, especially during the summer when school is out. At camp, this 9-year-old boy played tennis, swam, and made friends with other children his own age. We are grateful we could offer him a fun and stimulating opportunity to spend time outside of the shelter this summer.

— Casa Myrna, Boston