EXPANSION POLICIES & INFORMATION
"Hi Mr. Evans, this is (fill in the blank) from the (fill in the blank) community…
and we’d really like a Boys & Girls Club here…”
We probably receive 1-3 calls a month inquiring about opening a new Club, usually from folks from outlying areas such as Pomeroy, Grangeville, Orofino, Genesee, Kamiah and Colfax. So, what does it take to get a new Boys & Girls Club in your community?
To begin with, it takes 6 basic components:
1. Kids…the demonstration of need in the community. We serve kids in grades K-12. We do not offer pre-school or adult programs. A minimum annual membership is about 100 kids. Our current Clubs range in membership from 500 kids ( Lapwai) to over 1,200 each in Lewiston and Clarkston. These numbers include kids from our daily Clubhouse program, athletics (basketball, flag football, and soccer) and outreach.
2. Location…we must have an acceptable place to operate. We are a facility-based program. The location must be "kid friendly’ and meet all safety and code requirements. It must meet all BGCA (Boys & Girls Clubs of America) programmatic requirements, and graphic standards requirements including signage.
3. Money…there must be a solid, consistent ,long-term identified revenue stream; all funds are controlled by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley. We are one organization, but with unit accounting—so, each Club’s budget is monitored and accounted separately, however our Administrative Office works to raised the additional funds needed to operate our Clubs and our Club programming.
4. Staff….Boys & Girls Clubs are staff operated. For full time Clubs, there must be a Unit Director and other paid staff (as supported by the Unit budget), hired and supervised by the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley. Our staff is supplemented by volunteers.
5. Board Participation….our Board of Directors must be reflective of the communities we serve, and have representatives from the business and leadership elements of the communities that we serve. Our Board works to raise the necessary funds to support the operating budget each year.
6. Theapproval of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and our Regional Service Director, Steve Ratto; and the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley.
Ø The Boys & Girls Clubs do not simply place a Club in a community. The community comes to the Boys & Girls Clubs and requests services, with a long term support plan in mind.
Ø The community must understand what a Boys & Girls Club is, and is not; and must buy into our governance, philosophy, program, structure, mission, goals, procedures and branding. We are a program center, open certain hours per week, offering varied programs in five core areas designed to build character and life skills. We are a safe place, supervised by a paid staff of trained and caring adults (about 2/3 of the operating budget is staff related costs of wages, benefits, taxes and training). We have an open door policy- kids may arrive and leave on their own during our open hours. How, when and with whom a child arrives and leaves is a matter between parent/guardian and child. We are not day care or babysitting, and we are not a community center. We are a private non-profit membership organization ($25.00 a school year per child, and $50 for the summer per child), available to all kids, with a special emphasis on those who need us most.
Ø A small part time Club operation costs about $40,000-$85,000 annually (such as our Summer Challengers program at Fenton Gym). A small, basic full time operation costs about $180,000-$250,000 annually. A full service, full time Club’s annual budget is in the $400,000 to $800,000 range (such as our Clarkston and Lewiston Units). This is annual operating only—it does not include capital expenditures. We recommend generating at least two years of operating revenues in advance prior to opening any site. We are ONLY interested in a long term commitment; we do not want to get into the scenario of opening a new Unit or Extension only to close it later due to lack of funding or a suitable/available location.
Ø The cost of constructing a new modern facility is about $225 psf, not including the land. A small Club (no gym) is about 2,500-6,000 sf. A medium Club (mini-gym or single gym) is about 12,000-16,000 sf. A full sized Club is about 16,000-35,000 sf. Renovated or remodeled existing facilities may be less costly up front but usually not as utilitarian. However, BGCA has hundreds of Clubs in schools, housing authority buildings, community centers, on Native Lands, churches, and former store fronts.
Ø The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley are currently NOT in an expansion mode. We have NO FUNDS for start-up, or subsidization. All Clubs must be self-sustaining. However, we do consider new locations, if there is a collaborative partner in place such as a governmental entity (city/county), school district, Tribe, or Housing Authority that will provide a suitable location and ongoing funding. One other scenario would be a significant benefactor, such as an individual or foundation that would provide both start-up and ongoing funding. (Note: Starting a Club is relatively easy. It’s the $250,000 it costs to operate year after year after year that’s the hard part!)
If you feel the above criteria are "doable,” give me a call and I will attend an informational meeting, and if needed, a community meeting that you organize. Thanks for your interest in Boys & Girls Clubs. For more information, visit our website at www.bgclcv.net and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America website at www.bgca.org. You can also check out our local Club Impact website to find out about the array of reach a Club can have, at www.poweroftheclub.org.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley