Mega Pixel / Stas Malyarevsky / Shutterstock / Paul Spella / The Atlantic
For more than a century, the Boys & Girls Club of America has had a pretty simple mission: providing somewhere for kids to go after school so they stay out of trouble. A 1982 PSA put it simply: â€œItâ€™s a place to go besides the streets,â€� a man sings, as a video plays of (mostly black) boys running into a club.
But in 2018, that message isnâ€™t enough to attract local money to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, which serves Silicon Valley, where the biggest donors tend to favor causes that use novel solutions to â€œdisruptâ€� poverty, or that can employ data to show just how many problems their money solves. Many are fans of effective altruism, a philanthropy philosophy that espouses â€œevidence and careful analysis to find the very best causes to work onâ€� rather than â€œjust doing what feels right.â€�
So Peter Fortenbaugh, the executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP), started thinking about what his organization could do to win local support. â€œTraditionally, we were a safe place to hang out,