A Bold Change for Kids in Philadelphia

Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia have served youth for over 133 years. As Philadelphia faced an economic decline in the late 20th century, with jobs, resources, and social institutions abandoning the city, the communities surrounding our clubs became entrenched in long-term poverty.

Today, in many neighborhoods, our clubs are the only resource left for youth. Unfortunately, as the communities surrounding our clubs declined, so did the quality of our facilities, leaving warped flooring, failing boilers, and broken windows. Despite the poor physical conditions of our clubs, thousands of youth continued to walk through our doors each year. In 2015, BGCP launched the Bold Change for Kids campaign to transform seven dilapidated clubs into state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to provide youth with access to 21st-century programming that promotes academic success, fosters healthy lifestyles, and builds good character and citizenship.

Thanks to our Bold Change for Kids campaign, Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia has raised nearly $120 million to support Philadelphia’s kids and communities over the last 10 years!

Where We Are Today

Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia launched our Bold Change for Kids campaign in 2015 to transform our dilapidated facilities, invest in quality programs, and ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. Over the last eight years, we have created hope and opportunity for youth in Philadelphia’s most impoverished communities through investment in capital improvements, introduction of high-quality programming, and a focus on financial stewardship.


Capital Investment

In 2015, our Clubs stood in a state of neglect and disrepair as a result of long-term community divestment. Over the last 8 years, we have raised over $25 million to transform our Clubs into state-of-the-art facilities for Philadelphia’s youth including:


  • Over $2.5 million to completely renovate the Northeast Frankford Boys & Girls Club, converting a building with 64 broken windows, warped flooring, and sewage issues into a state-of-the art facility featuring a brand-new Literacy Center, STEM Learning Lab, Art Studio, Teen Center, Kids Café, and Social Recreation Room and renovated gymnasium.
  • Over $16.5 million to create the Ralph J Roberts Germantown Boys & Girls Club. This 27,000 square-foot facility includes two gyms, a creative and performing arts space, game room, Literacy Center, Music Studio, e-Sports Center, STEM Learning Lab, and full-service Kids Café. Additionally, it boasts over 85,000 square-feet of outdoor recreation space including two playgrounds, a splash park, a reflection garden, a soccer field and a baseball field. Funding for this project included a $1.5 million RACP grant from Pennsylvania’s office of the budget.
  • Nearly $1 million to renovate the historic Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club, the first Club in the country to serve African American youth resulting in a full-service Kids Café, a new Literacy Center and STEM Lab and extensive improvements to the gymnasium.
  • Over $500,000 to renovate the Bridesburg Club creating a new Literacy Center, STEM Lab, Art Studio, and social-recreation room while completing significant improvements to the gym and kitchen.
  • Nearly $5 million to complete renovations at our Wayne Avenue, Lauretha Vaird and Shane Victorino Clubs, addressing infrastructure needs, creating new Literacy Centers and STEM Labs, and investing in technology.

Financial Stewardship

From FY2013 to FY2022 BGCP increased its net assets by over $14 million. Additionally, BGCP moved from a $2 million operating deficit in FY13 to an average operating surplus of $1.7 million from FY15 to FY22 and quintupled the size of our endowment.  During this same time BGCP increased membership by 40%, grew from 12 to 22 locations, added 13 full-time Literacy Supervisors, and raised over $25 Million in Capital funding.

Programmatic Accomplishments

In addition to substantial capital investment, our Bold Change for Kids campaign introduced new, innovative programming to ensure that our Clubs meet the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of our youth:

  • Our Literacy Initiative, introduced in 2013, now reaches over 1,400 youth across 13 Club locations. By utilizing a multi-sensory instructional approach, we help build participants phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and comprehension skills enabling them to develop into confident, competent readers and life-long learners.
  • Our STEM Learning Labs programs engage youth in hands-on science, technology, and engineering programs, ensuring that they are equipped for the economy of the 21st century. Through participation in our STEM programs, youth develop curiosity while building basic math and science skills.
  • Our Kids Café program ensures that youth have access to nutritious, home-cooked meals. In communities where more than 20% of youth are food-insecure and 45% of youth live in poverty, meals served through our Kids Café are often the last meal a child eats in a day. At each of our Kids Café locations, chefs prepare healthy food from scratch, nourishing our kids' bodies and souls.
Bold-Change-Comcast B&GCP RJR- 1004
Boldchange-JAWS Ribbon Cutting

Long-Term Goal: A National Model

A photo of a girl and blue text

“It is hard for me to break down the sound of each letter in a word, but I keep trying. I am a much better reader in 4th grade thanks to MY Boys & Girls Club. I wish every kid could have after-school help like me.”


“I saw a building with broken windows, no heat, and wasted space be rejuvenated into a true masterpiece. The new Frankford Boys and Girls Club is truly a safe haven to its members.”

-Nashid E, Community Leader, Northeast Frankford