Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County is part of a national network of similar organizations affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America adhering to material requirements and standards. The first Boys Club was established in 1860; Boys Club of America was established in 1906. Today, more than 4 million youth are served by over 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and military bases.

Boys Clubs of Manatee County, under the guidance of the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton, interested individuals, and other civic groups, began operation in February 1946 as an affiliated member of Boys Clubs of America, in a wood frame building, which had been used as field house for major league baseball teams training in Bradenton. The old Boston Braves continued to use the building as a dressing room during spring training for several years after the Boys Club obtained the property. The Boys Club became a member of the Manatee County Community Chest in 1946. In 1951 the Kiwanis Club of Bradenton constructed a gymnasium at a cost of $80,000.

In 1957, the people of Palmetto cooperated with the Boys Club of Manatee County in extending the program north of the Manatee River. A baseball program was launched in the summer, and in November 1960, the Palmetto Branch began its full-time operation in a small frame building, which was acquired from the First Methodist Church of Bradenton.

In April of 1963, the area of operation more than tripled when the Board of Directors acquired a building from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. In April of 1970, a capital fund campaign for the construction of a new Boys Club building was conducted. The new Palmetto Boys Club building was completed in March of 1971. In 2010 a new facility was opened to replace the original Club.

The Bayshore Branch opened its door on July 19, 1965 in a loaned stored located in the Bayshore Gardens Shopping Center in south Manatee County. Following a capital fund drive, the new facilities for this branch were dedicated in May 1968 with the name changed to the DeSoto Boys Club. The Building Expansion Program was completed in September of 1978.

In 1992 the organization made a major change by opening membership to girls and changing the name to Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. In April of 1998 a fourth Boys & Girls Clubs opened in East Bradenton at the Page Housing Project for the children in that area. The East Bradenton Club was consolidated with the Bradenton Club in June of 2008.

In May of 2002, the Boys & Girls Club of Manatee County received a grant from the Knight Foundation to offer a summer program to the children of Harllee Middle School.  In 2003 the Boys & Girls Clubs of America chartered the Harllee program making it our fifth official Boys & Girls Club.

In October of 2007 the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County received a grant from Manatee County Children’s Services Board to begin operating an after school program at South East High School. On December 19, 2007 South East High School became our 6th club.

The East Bradenton Club consolidated with the Bradenton Club as of June 1, 2008.

In 2011 the Daughtrey Elementary Club was opened and became the school-based Boys & Girls Club  launching point for children starting at Daughtrey Elementary, progressing to Harllee Middle and then moving on to South East High.

In August of 2012 Johnson Middle School joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, with an after school program.

In September of 2013, with the age of the Bradenton Club and a shifting population, the Bradenton Club closed and programming moved to the DeSoto Club and a new school-based Club, Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary. Shortly after, with a change in school administration, the Club at Johnson Middle School was closed. This prompted the addition of a Boys & Girls Club at Lincoln Memorial Middle School.