FAQ About Donating to Mathcamp

We're really excited about all the amazing alumni and their families and friends who come together each year to support Mathcamp. You can be a part of camp, too! Learn more about why.

  • What does my $10 do? Do small donations actually help?

    They really do help.

    First of all, the small donations add up. In our last fiscal year, donations of $100 or less added up to $7,105. That's a lot of money! In fact, it's several full scholarships.

    Second, participation matters to grant funders. If we can say "50% of our alumni later give back to the program," (A true statement about the alums from several camp years now!), that's a marker indicating that the program is successful and worth supporting. It also puts us on par with the participation of successful colleges. By giving any amount, you're contributing to the statistic.

    And finally, donating is about passing on the Mathcamp experience to new generations of students, and we love that it's the alumni who make this possible. We're not the Big Corporation Mathcamp: it's truly a community-supported program. You can be involved!

  • What does my $10,000 do? Will my money be used wisely?

    When someone makes a big gift to Mathcamp, it is a huge vote of confidence in the work that we do at the program, and we take our responsibility to our students and our donors very seriously. We put your gift directly to work, and use it to support low-income students who would not otherwise be able to attend the program.

    As a small non-profit, we don't have a dedicated Development Office or fancy fundraising tools – it's just us, talking with you. But by keeping our overhead costs low, we're able to use our budget efficiently and focus on what's important: making Mathcamp accessible to every great kid, no matter what their financial circumstances.

  • What happens when someone makes a donation to Mathcamp?

    First: Marisa and Kevin, who are the year-round Mathcamp staff, celebrate on video chat. Then they add that donation to the running tally of support for the upcoming summer's program, and we all get a little bit closer to our goal!

    If it's the first time that person has made a donation to Mathcamp, then we learn a new name. (Marisa and Kevin know everybody who has ever donated to Mathcamp by name. We are really excited about you.) If it's a gift from a returning donor, we'll recognize the person and add a new entry to their giving history.

    Then in the spring, we assign each donation to its destination. If it's an unrestricted gift, we'll put it where it's most needed: that could be teacher salaries, for example. If it's a gift specifically designated for the Scholarship Fund, we'll assign it to a student who needs financial aid to come to camp, and that student becomes a Mathcamper!

    At the end of the year, we share some updates with each donor about exactly how we used their gift. If you supported the Scholarship Fund, for example, you'll learn about the Mathcamper whose summer you made possible. You also can see an ongoing chart of your donations to Mathcamp. It looks really neat if you collect a row every year!

  • How does the Scholarship Fund work?

    In order to keep our promise to applicants that money won't prevent them from coming to camp, we raise $150,000+ every year to fund the participation of students from low-income and middle-income families from all over the world. Typically, about $25,000 of those scholarships come from the National Science Foundation and the American Mathematical Society, and the rest comes from Mathcamp's alumni, families, and friends.

    When you make a gift to the Scholarship Fund, it really does get designated to support an individual student! And at the end of the summer, you'll be able to read about the student you helped bring to camp. Some scholarships are funded by a large gift from a single donor, and others are built up from a collection of many small- and medium-sized gifts (see more about small gifts). If you make a donation every year, you can collect a new student every summer!

  • Are other people from my summers at camp donating?

    Yes! Lots. Check out the numbers:


    (Last updated with donations through 12/22/2023.)

    Help us get to 50% (and beyond) in your years!

  • Is Mathcamp a financially stable organization?

    Yes. We are grateful to say that our the alumni, families and friends of Mathcamp have shaped our trajectory towards long-term financial stability, and our supporters are making sure that Mathcamp will be thriving for years to come. About half of our revenue is from tuition, but like every non-profit, we fundraise the balance our operating budget every year. As our revenue grows, it allows us to raise the salaries of our camp staff, adapt to changes in our expenses (like the ever-increasing cost of college room and board), and set aside a rainy-day fund — while keeping the financial aid budget our top priority.

    We are committed to transparency: you can read a summary of our revenue and expenses in our latest Annual Report [PDF], and we post our annual tax returns on GuideStar.

  • Want to learn more?

    We're always happy to talk about Mathcamp. Contact us.

  • No more questions, and ready to donate?

    Awesome. Click here to donate easily and securely online, or write a check to "Mathcamp" and mail it to: 129 Hancock St, Cambridge, MA 02139.