PLATINUM2024

John Austin Cheley Foundation

WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF CAMP

aka A Thousand Summers   |   DENVER, CO   |  http://www.athousandsummers.org

Mission

Changing kids' lives through transformative summer camp experiences.

Notes from the nonprofit

Wilderness summer camp programs provide a unique opportunity in youth development. Historically, these types of highly impactful enrichment experiences have been reserved for families with significant financial means. ATS's primary mission is to bridge that financial gap and make camp accessible to youth who otherwise would not be able to attend. At the same time, we are committed to serving youth who represent the full breadth of diverse backgrounds. This means partnering with camp programs that invite people not simply to “fit in” with the spoken and unspoken cultural norms of those who have historically been represented at summer camp, but to feel a deep sense of belonging. We strive to ensure that each participant is valued for who they are and what they bring to the summer program they join.

Ruling year info

1990

Executive Director

Tim Lucas

Main address

1420 N. Ogden Street Suite 102

DENVER, CO 80218 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

48-1077337

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (O12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The development of personal social and emotional skills and attributes that are seen as increasingly critical in the 21st century. In an increasingly fast-paced world, where human interaction is decreasing, we are convinced that kids need camp. Like never before, teens and pre-teens are under tremendous pressure. Self-doubt, peer pressure, and a host of other harmful influences nag at kids every day. Even kids who enjoy a strong support structure face hurdles. Camp provides opportunities for children and young adults to pull away and catch their breath – catch a vision for the bigger picture of their lives and cultivate critical skills. Friends and adult role models who exert positive peer pressure can make all the difference in a child's life, helping them think through decisions and experiences in a way that will prepare them for their future, a future that is often reimagined because of the challenges and successes the camp experience brings.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Campership Program

The John Austin Cheley Foundation (DBA A Thousand Summers) provides "camperships" (scholarships to attend summer camps) to under-represented youth to attend one of nine high-quality accredited residential summer camps across the United States. For the summer of 2021, our campers came from 21 different states.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Campership Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Camps were canceled in 2020 so all awards were rolled to 2021. During the summer of 2020, we adjusted our program to support virtual activities for the young people we served.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Campership Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Camps were canceled in 2020 so all awards were rolled to 2021. During the summer of 2020, we adjusted our program to support virtual activities for the young people we served.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We aim to make high-impact residential summer camp experiences accessible to those who otherwise could not afford them. As a result of these experiences, we aim to empower the youth we serve through personal growth and development of critical 21st-century skills necessary to become thriving, contributing members of society. Measured outcomes of attending high-quality residential summer camps are proven to increase a child's access to formalized education, and to develop critical emotional intelligence, thereby opening the path which will allow them to reach their full potential and thrive as members of the community.

Low-income students typically have limited access to summer enrichment opportunities which is known to result in them falling behind academically in the early part of the school year. JACF provides these motivated and deserving young people with the opportunity to reduce the impact of this phenomenon known as “summer slide" by sending them to a multi-week summer camp experience where they continue to learn and grow. This enables them to return to school in the fall with the ability to perform to their true potential. By removing the financial barriers to high-quality summer enrichment, we are able to immediately influence their academic success, as well as foster highly relevant personal skills that have the potential to alter their life's trajectory.

Research indicates that summer camps play an important role in the development of young people. Results show that the positive supportive environments that camps create provide young people with the opportunity to grow socially, develop important life skills (including critical workforce-relates skills), and experience nature, all in a fun, hands-on setting.

Our strategic approach is to develop meaningful partnerships with committed organizations to come together and support underserved youth across the United States. We leverage the power of high-quality residential summer camps and mission-aligned youth mentoring organizations to promote the success of the kids we serve.

We work to remove the barriers to a high impact, long-term summer camp experience, proven to advance low-income youth toward a thriving future. We do this by fully funding campers for the full lifespan of their summer camp experience, thus ensuring that the greatest youth development outcomes can be achieved, and access to this life-changing experience can be achieved.

By bringing together this active network of partners we can pool our resources to provide the kinds of life-changing experiences that we know our camps can provide, and do so year after year, where we know the greatest growth is achieved. And we can do so in a way that allows us to significantly broaden our reach.

We have steadily grown our organizational capabilities since 1989 to the point where we are currently awarding approximately 100 camperships each year. This has been achieved in large part by a dedicated core of individual supporters who help us achieve our annual funding goals. In addition, growing our endowment allows us to supplement our annual funding capabilities. An adjustment of our funding model will provide a strong platform for significant growth in the future. This will see us bring the collective power of our partnerships to bear much more effectively in the future, thereby allowing us to spread our financial resources much further, broadening the overall impact we can achieve. At the same time, we will reposition our brand to attract much greater funding from a broader support base.

To this point, we have issued thousands of Campership Awards to economically disadvantaged young people all across the U.S. The value of these Campership Awards is in excess of $4.5million. We have established partnerships with 9 accredited high-quality residential summer camps from across the country, and numerous youth mentoring organizations committed to providing the support and programming to the young people we serve that is complementary to the growth and development they achieve during their consecutive summers at camp.

Over the next few years, we aim to broaden our reach to support in excess of 250 campers each year by expanding our partnerships and positioning our organization to attract increased support, more than tripling our historical reach.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome

Financials

John Austin Cheley Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

John Austin Cheley Foundation

Board of directors
as of 04/08/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Greg Euston

McGraw Euston Associates

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

David Brown

IDOC

Term: 2021 - 2022

Sally Kubly

Steve Yale

Mike Brower

Ann McCollum

Terry Taylor

Sara Gilbertson

Kathy Scheu

Hillary Shaw

Kim Kittle

Sara Eckleston

Sarah Littlefield

Lindsay Nyquist

John Ceraolo

Francesca Sally

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/8/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/08/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.