The Summit Foundation envisions a world where people can thrive and nature can flourish – a world in which one is not sacrificed for the other.
We seek to promote the health and well–being of the planet – its people and its natural environment – by focusing on three program areas:
Empowering Girls, which seeks to empower marginalized girls by transforming their social, reproductive and economic lives. We are motivated to focus on girls both because the data in our priority countries and globally demonstrate huge gaps in giving them a fair shake in this rapidly changing world, and because targeted interventions that utilize communications and technology have proven effective in transforming their lives. Evidence shows that as girl indicators improve, economies will grow, poverty rates will decline, health indicators of women and children will improve and the environment will benefit. In addition to constrained economic opportunities, violence and lack of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) services that face both boys and girls in Central America, girls confront additional cultural, structural and policy barriers that impede education and livelihoods, lead to child marriage/early unions and adolescent pregnancies, and trigger gender-based and sexual violence.
Our grantmaking focuses on achieving girls’ equality in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico by promoting and enabling girls’ secondary education and economic opportunity; ending child marriage/early unions; engaging communities, including men and boys, to transform gender norms; expanding access to ASRH services and information; and expanding youth leadership. We also support a small number of organizations focused on expanding international, Latin American, and U.S. commitments to empowering girls and ASRH, including an emphasis on youth participation in global processes.
Conserving the Mesoamerican Reef, which has the long term goal of ensuring that the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) thrives as a healthy, productive ecosystem capable of supporting vibrant economies and providing abundant marine resources for generations to come. The Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion features the largest barrier reef system in the Atlantic Ocean, spanning several hundred miles from the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to Belize, the eastern coast of Guatemala and the northern coast of Honduras. Close to two million people directly depend on the integrity and health of the MAR for their livelihoods; and the national economies of Belize, Mexico, and Honduras substantially benefit from the Reef’s appeal as an international tourist destination. Widespread overfishing threatens ecological processes that make a complex reef ecosystem thrive and provide a livelihood for local fishers.
Summit directs the bulk of the MAR Program’s funding to ending the race to catch the last fish, and to set up well-enforced networks of no-take marine zones. Other threats affecting the Reef begin on land - such as soil sediments, pesticide runoff from agriculture, sewage, and mass tourism development. Because landscapes and seascapes are inextricably connected, Summit takes a Ridge-to-Reef conservation approach, focusing also on grant interventions that address environmental hazards that start upstream and flow downriver to harm the Reef’s health and marine life. To this end, we support local partner organizations that work on a host of solutions that involve different sectors and stakeholders, such as government agencies, businesses, and grassroots communities.
Sustainable Cities, which seeks to radically increase the pace and impact of current efforts to improve the sustainability of cities to achieve a world where people can thrive and nature can flourish. As humanity faces global environmental and social challenges of unprecedented proportions, the city, as a system of built, natural and social environments, offers a unique opportunity to influence the sustainability and livability of the planet. Cities and city leaders can effect physical and social changes that yield profound impacts to the environment and quality of life both locally and globally. As the United States constitutes roughly five percent of the world's population and uses nearly a third of its resources, U.S. cities offer a prime opportunity to achieve and demonstrate sustainability.
Our grantmaking includes support for work that: arms urban leaders with frameworks and metrics that can drive city sustainability efforts; supports and promotes inspirational city models and policies; supports and promotes visionary leaders; and supports the work of city climate mitigation and adaptation within the previous priorities.
Trustees and Staff
Board of Trustees
- Roger W. Sant
- Victoria P. Sant
- Lex Sant
- Vice President and Treasurer — President,
- Shari Sant Plummer
- Secretary — President, Code Blue Foundation
- Kathryn S. Fuller
- Vice Chair, National Museum of Natural History,
- Dan Plummer
- Chair, Friends of the Upper Delaware River
- Ali Sant-Johnson
- Principal, Studio for Urban Projects
- Chrissie Sant
- Trustee, The Washington Waldorf School
- Michael Sant
- President, Sant Architects, Inc.
- Shira Saperstein
- Principal, Shira Consults
- John Sant
- Carlos Saavedra
- Senior Director, Biodiversity
- Kathy Hall
- Director, Empowering Girls
- Darryl Young
- Director, Sustainable Cities
- Diane Crockett
- Chief Financial Officer
- Jamie Amagai
- Director, Grants Management
- Lauren Worth
- Program Assistant
- Mila Whiteley
- Program Assistant
- Wendy Li
- Program Assistant
In seeking the greatest impact possible with our available resources, The Summit Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, requests, or letters of inquiry. Grant application guidelines are available only for invited organizations.