This week, the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven announced the hiring of an interim CEO. The decision comes just two weeks after the Boys and Girls Club of New Haven were nearly forced to shut down due to financial struggles.
The new chief, Chad Sclove, has a background with the organization. He also serves as the director of organizational development for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Sclove says his first step is restructuring the non-profit and it starts with the support of families.
“We understand this has been a difficult time and an abrupt change in management,” said Sclove. “We want parents to know that we understand that this has been a tumultuous time for you and we are here to work with you every step of the way moving forward.”
The hiring comes after parents were left scrambling to find after-school care for their kids in October. Parents and guardians told NBC Connecticut that they found out the Boys and Girls Club would be shutting down with only three days’ notice.
In a letter sent home to parents, the non-profit stated that the reasons for the shutdown were due to “an on-going lack of financial resources and a very challenging fundraising environment have resulted in the ability for us to continue to offer the Club programs and services your children deserve.”
City leaders stepped in to save the program through December 18 through community grants.
The interim CEO attempted to set the record straight on how the organization landed on hard times.
“It’s been over a year since this club has been without a fundraising director,” said Sclove. “Structurally, we’ve been raising about $150,000 a year and we need to be raising three to four times that much.”
The club is known to serve as a safe haven for more than 4 million children and teens, providing them with after-school activities like recreational time and leadership enrichment programs.
Sclove says community funding and partnerships have to be key priorities.
“We have not been raising a lot of money and I think in the short term, we need to raise enough to stay liquid,” said Sclove. “The only way to do that is with community support in order to keep the doors open for the kids we serve every day.”
Dr. Dakibu Muley is the community service administrator for the city of New Haven. Dr. Muley say the hiring of a new CEO is a great first step but says stability is needed for families.
“We’re going to be providing technical assistance in the form of meeting with them on a regular basis trying to see where there’s opportunities to make real gains,” said Dr. Muley. “It’s important that those benchmark agencies such as a boy’s and girls club are consistent and that they are still here to provide services that are needed for that community.”
Sclove says the next goal is to create benchmarks to ensure funding through the next few years.
“If we can even raise $500,000 in the community via community effort that would be a huge gain for the youth of this city,” said Sclove. “I really think the product is amazing and the programs that we offer are safe, and provide a very nurturing environment for students to succeed.”
Sclove plans to meet with parents next Wednesday to discuss the best way for the program to move forward in the future.