Our support touches every program throughout Massachusetts 4-H.
The Foundation funds the Massachusetts 4-H program through a variety of initiatives and special programs. In 2022, the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation gave more than $200,000 to support 4-H programs across the state. Over the last five years, the Foundation has donated over $1.5 million to 4-H programming. Yearly funding is provided to the University of Massachusetts Extension to fund the statewide programming, while other aid is given to specific 4-H endeavors. Individual clubs and local 4-H organizations may also apply for the programs we fund.
The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation Supports the Following Programs and Activities:
Club and Volunteer Support
- Club Support
- Club Kits: New clubs receive a kit with everything they need to get started.
- 4-H Club Grants: Direct support is provided to enrolled 4-H clubs in Massachusetts in the form of club/council grants of up to $500. Proposals from clubs/councils are reviewed and awarded four times per year.
- Matching Grants: If a club organizes a fundraising activity or event to raise money to benefit their club or community, the Foundation matches the amount of money raised.
- Publicity Grants: This is an incentive program available to any 4-H club that publicizes its activities in local newspapers. Clubs receive $100 for each newspaper entry.
- Legislative Awareness Awards: Clubs receive grants for visiting with their legislators and submitting a photo of the visit to their local newspaper. Visit our grants section for forms.
- Volunteer Support: 4-H relies heavily on volunteers to deliver programs and activities to the 4-H members that are served. Volunteer development and recognition is ongoing. Training sessions are held for specific areas of development and volunteers also attend classes offered by outside organizations.
- Approximately 70% of 4-H members work on animal science projects. Financial support is provided by the Foundation for these projects.
- Competitive horse events include: Horse Judging, Hippology, Horse Bowl, and Communications. The top four 4-H members in each category compete at the National 4-H Horse Round Up in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Youth can attend the National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, WI, where leading dairy youth from across North America can meet one another and build industry bridges that will last well into the future.
- Educational events sponsored for 4-H members and volunteers include: a dog camp, equine workshops and fitting and showmanship clinics.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math: STEM
- Explore UMass, Summer of Science – This academy is available on the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus. Fifty 12-15 year olds meet throughout the week with professionals in a variety of applied fields as well as UMass faculty members and get a taste of what college life is like.
Urban STEM Programs
The Foundation has set aside funds for the development and ongoing support of 4-H programs and activities in urban areas.
- There is currently a vibrant 4-H STEAM program in Holyoke and Springfield, serving approximately 400 underserved youth with stimulating, hands-on science activities. A similar program is being planned for Worcester.
- STEM Ambassadors offers 3-4 day, themed STEM sessions to underserved youth in several locations throughout Massachusetts during the summer. College students deliver the programs to the youth.
Conferences and Teen Programs
- The National 4-H Conference and the National 4-H Congress are offered in alternating years. These events provide teen 4-H members with opportunities to interact with other 4-Hers from across the country. The Foundation covers about 80% of the cost of these events for six to ten 4-H members each year.
- 4-H Ambassadors are trained to promote 4-H in their communities:
- A group of Ambassadors also spends the day at the State House each year, visiting legislators.
- Ambassadors are also hired to visit the five 4-H camps during the summer to share their experiences and promote 4-H to the campuses.
- Visual Presentations: Over 1,000 4-H members develop their public speaking skills by creating and presenting a visual presentation as part of the 4-H communications program. The Foundation sponsors the annual state Visual Presentation Day held each spring.