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Club Impact

Formula for Impact

For over a century, Clubs have delivered quality, life-changing services to the youth we serve. We know that it is the overall Club experience that connects youth to the Club, assures that members participate frequently and stay engaged through high school.


Today, many youth who are at risk and in need are taking advantage of the programs, activities, and services provided by Boys & Girls Clubs. These youth benefit from trained, caring professional staff and volunteers who help young people take control of their lives, envision productive futures, and reach their goals. Without your commitment to your day-to-day work with young people, we cannot be successful in helping our youth achieve the key outcomes they need to realize their full potential.


To make sure this happens, the Boys & Girls Club Movement has adopted the Formula for Impact, a theory of change that describes how individual Clubs and the Movement as a whole can increase our impact. A theory of change is a planning and evaluation process that defines all the building blocks required to bring about a long-term goal; it creates a commonly understood vision of the goals, how they will be reached, and what will be used to measure progress along the way.


Each element of our Formula for Impact is also informed by research into the ways in which young people grow and thrive, as well as by analysis of the best practices and traditions of highly effective Clubs.

National Youth Outcomes Initiative

Based on youth development research and more than a century of Clubs’ own experience, Boys & Girls Club leaders articulated a new theory of change in 2010. The Formula for Impact guides Clubs in helping youth achieve outcomes in three priority areas: Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles.

In 2011, BGCA launched the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI), a system grounded in the Formula for Impact and built to measure the impact of Clubs using a common set of research-informed indicators of our priority outcomes. NYOI’s key tool for gathering outcomes data is a survey administered to Club members each spring. BGCA continues to provide resources, training, and technical assistance to enable local Club organizations to use NYOI effectively. 

In NYOI, individual Boys & Girls Clubs collect data about their registered members’ demographics, attendance, and participation. Local data management systems feed data into BGCA’s national system, allowing BGCA to compile data on the national population served by Clubs.

NYOI’s other primary source of data is the Club member survey, designed to measure indicators of youth achievement in our priority outcome areas. Some survey questions replicate language used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, allowing BGCA to compare Club youth outcomes to national averages. Some survey questions are asked of members of all ages, while others are only asked of teens ages 13 to 18; this is noted as applicable throughout this report.

The NYOI survey also asks members about their perceptions of the Club. Their responses allow us to assess how well Clubs deliver a high- quality experience that supports positive youth development. BGCA processes the responses from surveys completed in Clubs each spring, furnishes each participating Club organization with its members’ survey data, then aggregates and analyzes the data to render national results. 

Formula For Impact



“I like coming to the Club because it's fun.  I like going to the gym.  If I wasn't here, I would be at Grandma's house, but I like coming here because it's fun.” 


—  Jada R, Club Member

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