How Do We Measure the Club Experience? NYOI Primer

NYOI has officially started! 

National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI) season is a very exciting time for us at Boys & Girls Clubs. As we kick off this year’s survey administration, we will have a series of posts in the Let’s Talk Data Series to give some background information as well as some ideas from Clubs to help you run the survey as smooth as possible. 

Today’s guest post is from Omar Guessous, National Director of Evaluation & Insights at BGCA, and is a great primer for how the NYOI survey works and why it is so important. 

Why Do We Do the NYOI?

Data collection and outcome measurement can feel like a burden, especially when it’s time consuming or when it feels like the kids don’t want to do it. But here’s the thing- this is an opportunity for us to find out how our members are really doing, and how they feel about the Club. We do that already by checking in with them through day-to-day interaction, but the NYOI survey gives us another way, one where members can take their time and provide their answers thoughtfully and confidentially.

We should remember that NYOI is not a test or an evaluation tool. It’s not designed to find out if Club members are “good” or know the right answers to some questions. It’s also not about evaluating staff and Clubs. It’s truly about finding out what’s going well in our Clubs and where we can improve.

The Club Experience Indicator

NYOI is made up of different sections. One of them is the Club Experience indicator, while the rest are devoted to the different priority areas like healthy lifestyles and academic success.

The Club Experience indicator was developed with researchers and Clubs to measure members’ experiences of the Club, and how those experiences mirror our Five Key Elements.

The indicator is made up of seven measures, each of which consists of three to seven questions. The measures are Emotional Safety, Physical Safety, Fun, Sense of Belonging, Adult Connections, Staff Expectations and Recognition. Each measure aligns with one of the Five Key Elements for Positive Youth Development.

indicatorOfQualityThe questions that are asked are pretty straightforward and basic—and they’re always focused on members’ experiences in the Club specifically. Here are some examples:

  • I feel safe when I am at the Boys & Girls Club.
  • I feel respected by staff at the Boys & Girls Club.
  • I enjoy coming to the Boys & Girls Club.
  • I feel like my ideas count here.
  • About how many staff could you talk to if you are mad or upset about something?
  • There is an adult who always wants me to do my best.
  • Staff notice when I try hard.

To learn more about the Club Experience indicator as a whole, including its history and its purpose, check out this new video!



What Happens to the Data?

Members’ responses are categorized, so that Clubs can figure out what types of experiences members are having. They are categorized as optimal, fair, or needs improvement. This is done based on the pattern of responses, and for each of the measures of Club Experience such as Emotional Safety and Adult Connections.


  • Optimal means that, according to a young person’s responses, the Club environment is consistently providing the Club member with very positive experiences. These are consistent with positive youth development and what young people need.
  • Fair means that a member’s responses fall somewhere in the middle. A child might describe his or her experiences as “fine” or “just okay.” It’s not consistently great but it is also not clearly negative. But because every Club member deserves to have consistently strong Club experiences, a “fair” experience still has room for improvement.
  • Needs Improvement means that the member’s responses reflect an experience that is negative or strongly lacking. There is clearly room for growth.

If you want to dig in more to what happens with members’ responses, check out this video:


As you start the NYOI this year, how can you make sure that your team sees the value in this process? How do you make sure your members also see the value, so that this doesn’t feel like another school test or chore that doesn’t matter? Next week, we will share tips from Clubs about how to administer the NYOI survey in a way that is fun and positive for your members.

Be sure to read the other posts in the Let’s Talk Data Series by clicking here.


Omar Guessous has been in the Movement for 5 years, and came to BGCA from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. In his spare time he likes to hike and play video games with his son Isaac.

Do you have any questions about NYOI? What are your best tips for giving the survey? Comment below or email to reach the Planning & Measurement team.


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