Program Spotlight Nov 15

Strong Foundations  Program Spotlight: Formula for Impact

When you go on a trip, you map your journey. The Formula for Impact is the roadmap to success for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It is the model for all the programs we deliver and the evaluation tool that determines what is working and what needs to be improved. Simply stated, it is the way we change lives at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor.

It begins with our mission: “We strive every day to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.” To fulfill our mission, the Clubs provide an outcome-driven experience that keeps members coming often, engaging in fun learning activities, and achieving our three outcomes of academic success, character development and citizenship, and encouraging healthy lifestyles. 
Our mission is combined with five key elements for positive youth development:
1. A safe, positive environment
2. Clubhouse is fun!
3. Supportive relationships with adults and peers
4. Opportunities and high expectations 
5. Recognition

With the implementation of these key elements, members coming to the Clubs are confident they can be themselves around people who care and will hold them to a higher standard. Youth and teens thrive in this environment and we are the first to congratulate and recognize them when they meet and, frequently, exceed expectations. 
Add high-yield activities. These are simple, fun, learning experiences with an intentional purpose that take place all around the Clubs, all of the time. They are hands-on activities engaging members and teaching valuable lessons, all aimed to achieve our three priority outcomes. 

Regular and frequent member attendance is the final ingredient. Meaningful programs that are well-planned and well-delivered attract more kids, more often, to the Clubs. Attendance is not only an indicator that the Clubs are meeting member needs, it is also a critical factor in programming impact. Research confirms members attending frequently are most likely to attain the Clubs’ three priority outcomes, compared to other youth and teens. The five key elements for positive youth development are principles we use every day to create Great Futures for our members. 

Club programming provides our members knowledge, skills, and self-confidence. Those qualities change behavior and performance at the Clubs, as well as in school and at home. An outcome-driven Club experience is changing members in every way. The Formula for Impact is our model and constant guidance about how we do things at the Clubs. 

Using the Formula for Impact together with the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI), an annual survey completed by Club members, enables us to use data and metrics to assess our progress, make continuous improvements, and most importantly, broaden our capacity to serve more kids, more often, with greater impact. NYOI survey data for 2015 showed a 10-point increase in overall member satisfaction compared to last year. 

Data drives decisions and change. At the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, we are making a real impact on our members. With more than 300 members coming to the Clubs every day, and over 2,000 youth and teens served by the Clubs this year, we are confident our members are on their journeys to create Great Futures.
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