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Start a Club

Boys and Girls Clubs are non-profit organizations developed in communities by people who want to help children and youth be their best.

We encourage the development of Clubs in areas where children and youth are most in need of opportunities to grow in a healthy and supportive environment.

All local Boys and Girls Clubs are private, non-profit community-based agencies and are members of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Clubs are governed by an autonomous, voluntary Board of Directors comprised of local residents. Each Boys and Girls Club secures funding on its own from within the community, government and private sources.

Visit About Us or FAQ's for more information on Boys and Girls Clubs.

Take action and start a Club in your community today.

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Membership Requirements

A Boys and Girls Club may be created from the ground up or through an existing youth organization. An existing organization must demonstrate that it meets the REQUIREMENTS OF MEMBERSHIP.pdfREQUIREMENTS OF MEMBERSHIP.pdf of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. For some, this will not require many changes to their existing operation, but for others, several steps may be needed in order to meet the requirements.

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Benefits of Membership

All Boys and Girls Clubs are members of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) and pay annual dues to be members in good standing. Member Clubs receive a variety of benefits including:

  • The credibility of a provincially and nationally recognized charitable organization with over a century of history and experience in helping children and youth
  • Use of the established, reputable registered trademark of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, which can only be used by a member agency.
  • National standards and quality assurance of a reputable, national organization.
  • Support materials and services to assist with Club operation and policy development
  • Funding through national partnerships
  • National programs and training opportunities
  • Professional development and resources through a national network of over 99 Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Ability to address child and youth issues through public policy initiatives at the provincial and national level


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Phases of New Club Development

For a new organization starting from the ground up, there are three Phases of Development:

Phase One: Community Review

(timeline: 3 - 6 months)

This phase is about deepening your understanding of the needs of your community and how they fit with the Boys and Girls Clubs model. 

  • Become aware of the services for children and youth in your community and to be sure that a Boys and Girls Club is the correct fit.
  • Develop a list of ideas about what a Club in your community would look like and what kinds of services it would deliver in response to community needs.
  • Research different options for your community, talking with community leaders, families and youth, and talking with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada about your community needs and whether a Boys and Girls Club is the model for your community.

A representative of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is available to visit your community to speak with interested citizens and community leaders.

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Phase Two: Organization Development

(timeline: 6 - 8 months)

Once your community has decided that you want a Boys and Girls Club, the focus becomes creating a plan and getting ready to deliver services. In the business world, this phase would be called developing a business plan.

Some tasks your community will need to complete during this Phase are:

  • Establish a volunteer Board of Directors
  • Begin the process of applying for Incorporation as a Not-for-Profit/Society Registration (different terms are used province by province) including, writing bylaws
  • Determine the types of programs and services your Club will offer based on local needs
  • Create a two-year business plan, with budget and funding plan
  • Begin seeking funding

New Club Development Workbooks provided by Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada will provide sample documents and links to relevant websites.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada can provide telephone consultation and may be able to arrange a mentor from an existing Club to help with the process.

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Phase Three: Program Development

The goal of this phase is to begin to develop your Club’s programs, establish essential policies prior to start-up and to complete any outstanding Requirements for Membership.

The 10 Application  for Provisional Membership05.pdfApplication for Provisional Membership details the Requirements of Provisional Membership that must be met. In order to begin providing services to children and youth, you will need to have the following in place:

  • Be incorporated/registered as a Society
  • Have by-laws and policies and procedures consistent with BGCC mission and values (including staff and volunteer screening and training process)
  • Be prepared to operate one or more services for children and youth
  • Use Boys and Girls Club name and logo on all club signage and promotional materials
  • Have funding in place for two years of operation
  • Have adequate insurance coverage
  • Have applied provincially to become a registered charity

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New Club Development Toolkit

Once you have reviewed the three phases of Club development and are ready to commit to the process of starting a Club, please contact us at the national office of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to obtain our New Club Development Toolkit.

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Application and Approval Process

When you have completed the three phases and met the Requirements for Provisional Membership (link to pdf), complete the Application form and submit it to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, who will make the final decision. A Provisional Club operates for two years and then can apply for full member status.

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Working Together

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada are Working Together to help enhance programs and resources for children and youth in local communities and ensure the sustainability of local organizations. Visit the Working Together website to learn how you can establish Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers and Big Sisters agencies in your community.

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Making a Difference
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Learn how Boys and Girls Clubs are changing young lives for the better.

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