New Camp Swift logo

The nonprofit organization formerly known as Camp Swift has recently gone through a rebranding process in order to reflect its growth over the years.

After participating in the first CreateAthon Phoenix – a “24-hour creative marathon where volunteers come together to provide design, marketing and strategic services for nonprofits,” hosted by AIGA Arizona and the CO+HOOTS Foundation – the mentoring program that pairs inner-city youth with college-bound high school students has emerged as The Swift Youth Foundation, complete with its new logo.

What started 30 years ago as a summer camp experience for children from economically disadvantaged homes staffed primarily by Jewish teens now includes after-school and weekend programs.

“We’ve grown a lot in the last 10 years and our name and our logo [wasn’t] reflecting that,” said Kaylie Marsh, Swift executive director. “So the idea was, we need something that’s going to reflect the growth that the organization has gone through over the years and that is going to help us continue to grow.”

Coincidentally, one of the marketing professionals assigned to Swift for the CreateAthon was Josh Gordon, a copywriter at Santy who served as a Camp Swift counselor when he was in high school in the early 2000s. “He was our secret weapon” because of his insight about the program, Marsh said.

“It was totally random” that he was assigned to assist the Camp Swift team, Gordon said. “But it was just dumb luck, and I’m so glad that it happened.”

Marsh invited him to be part of the marketing committee, and he created a video about the organization’s logo change. “I wanted to make sure that rebranding went well and all the effort my CreateAthon team put in would be worthwhile,” he said. “I saw an opportunity with the rebrand to turn it into a little fundraiser and I thought the idea for the video would be cool, so I just made it.  ... I hope to continue to do some other cool campaigns to help Camp Swift.” (See video at bit.ly/swiftlogo.)

In addition to the summer overnight camp, held at Camp Daisy & Harry Stein in Prescott, Swift offers after-school programs for children in grades 3-6 at Palomino Intermediate in the Paradise Valley Unified School District and Swift Saturdays, a monthly program held at the Foothills Community Center for children in grades 3-6 at all of the Title 1 schools in the Paradise Valley school district.

The teens also put on an annual carnival for the children and recently developed Team Swift, a mini-board of directors for the organization made up of Jewish high school students who have been counselors at the summer camp, according to Marsh. Some of the teens also started clubs at their high schools – Chaparral and Desert Mountain high schools in Scottsdale – to recruit other teens to help plan programs and volunteer with the organization.

The majority of funding for Swift comes from private donors, although it has received grants through the Nina Pulliam Summer Youth Program Fund and the B’nai Tzedek Youth Philanthropy Fund. It is also eligible to accept donations from the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit (previously known as the Working Poor Tax Credit).

One change in the tax credit program this year is that taxpayers do not have to itemize their taxes to qualify, Marsh said, and anybody with an Arizona tax liability qualifies. These donations – up to $400 for married joint filers and $200 for all other filers – can be given in addition to those tax credits for public schools or STOs such as the Jewish Tuition Organization. To learn more, visit campswift.org/taxcredit.

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