Boys & Girls Clubs target outcomes

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In Wake County, 402 teenage girls got pregnant in 2010.
That same year, none of the teen girls who are members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County became pregnant.

To support its efforts to help youngsters improve their academic performance and health, the Boys & Girls Clubs have launched their annual fundraising drive.

Co-chaired by Jeff Linder, a lawyer at Young, Moore and Henderson, and by Dhamian Blue, a lawyer at Blue, Stephens and Fellers, the drive this year aims to raise $1.4 million, the organization’s biggest goal ever and up from $1.24 million it raised last year.

The Boys & Girls Clubs also are in the quiet phase of a capital campaign to raise $12 million, an effort that already has raised over $6 million, says Alan Taylor, who joined the organization in November after serving as director of university campaigns for United Way of North Carolina.

Operating with an annual budget of $3 million and staff of 23 people working full-time and 37 working part-time, the Boys & Girls Clubs served over 4,200 members in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, at seven clubs and a summer day camp in Nash County.

Funds from the capital campaign are being used to build a new facility in Zebulon, a new teen center on Raleigh Boulevard in Raleigh, and renovations to the camp and other facilities.

Aiming to help the Boys & Girls Clubs serve another 2,000 children a year within 10 years, the campaign is co-chaired by Prentiss Baker III, chairman of Baker Roofing; Michael Dickinson, vice president for wealth management at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; and community volunteer Noel Lichtin.

A local foundation that wishes to remain anonymous has agreed to match up to $100,000 that the campaign raises in new and increased dollars, including $75,000 from any source and $25,000 online.

Last year’s campaign raised $120,000 online alone, up from $50,000 the previous year.

Boosting last year’s effort was a new software program that individual volunteers could use to set up fundraising pages, then send to their contacts targeted email messages they developed.

This year’s effort aims to enlist at least 70 volunteers to develop and use those fundraising web pages, Taylor says.

The new Zebulon Boys & Girls Club, which opened in January and cost $2.5 million, will serve 1,000 kids, replacing a trailer that served 400 kids.

The new teen center, with construction not expected to begin this year, will serve 500 kids and house the organization’s administrative offices that now are located at the Girls Club next door.

Funds from the campaign also will be used to renovate buildings, buy new vehicles, provide startup funds to support programs in low-income areas the Clubs do not yet serve, and increase the Clubs’ endowment to $5.5 million from $2.5 million.

The Wake Clubs also are piloting a new initiative launched in 2011 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America that aims to do a better job tracking the outcomes of programs it offers.

By targeting programs to young people “who need us the most,” Taylor says, and helping them attend those programs on a regular basis, the Clubs will deliver better outcomes to members in the areas of academic success, character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

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