Thanks to an inspiring story of community involvement and commitment, the North Suburban YMCA in Northbrook was chosen for a profile in a recent issue of Advancing Philanthropy magazine. The feature article, entitled “Rally the Community Around a Cause”, highlighted the leadership efforts that turned a failing institution into a thriving facility that earned the Chamber of Commerce’s award for Small Business of the Year in 2012.
As recounted in the article, in 2006 the NSYMCA was $2.3 million in debt and on the brink of termination by the national Y-USA organization. Its facility, which had served its 12-city region for over 40 years, desperately needed significant infrastructure repairs and updates. Howard Schultz, the Y’s newly-hired Executive Director/CEO, rallied the Y’s volunteer Board of Directors to launch a Capital Campaign that would discharge the outstanding debt and create an updated, welcoming facility to attract new members and keep existing ones. At the heart of the campaign was an appeal to local leaders and corporations to support the Y’s values of service to all, pointing to the Y’s long history in the community as the foundation of what it could become.
Within six years, the Y had been transformed financially, physically, and emotionally. The Capital Campaign successfully paid off the Y’s mortgage and funded multimillion dollar renovations, including a sunlit lobby, upgraded locker rooms, new classrooms, and a host of other improvements. The building has been made ADA accessible, including its new playground, and enjoys improved security and energy efficiency. At the same time, the community has been positively engaged in year-round special events that drive membership, raise funds that make Y programs affordable to families in need, and support partnerships with other organizations. When the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce awarded the Y with its Small Business of the Year Award, it reflected the success of the entire community in re-establishing this vital institution.
Local business community leaders played a great role in the Y’s resurgence, and they reflect with pride on the success it has achieved. Don Roth, CEO of Northbrook-based AmpliVox Sound Systems, served on the Y Board and as Capital Campaign Co-Chair. “We are thrilled to see a vital community partner like the Y thriving,” noted Roth. “Seeing its story shared in a national publication like Advancing Philanthropy is a credit to the Y’s leadership, which has transformed and reinvigorated the entire organization in just a few short years.”
“We have been very fortunate to have community leaders who stepped up when times were dark to turn our situation around,” noted Schultz. “Board members and donors like Don Roth, Dan Jorndt, Phil Ruben, Jim Otis, and Bob Dahlke Jr. rallied the entire community to our cause. It’s a testament to what can be accomplished when people come together with clear goals, dedicated energy, and a willingness to invest in a vision.”
The NSYMCA’s story appears in the Summer 2013 issue ofAdvancing Philanthropy, published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. For more information on the Y’s strategy for success, contact Howard Schultz, email@example.com.
About the North Suburban YMCA
The North Suburban YMCA is a not-for-profit entity and relies on donations to fund capital improvements and transform the facility. All board members are community volunteers, who donate their time, talents and financial resources. Located at 2705 Techny Road in Northbrook, the YMCA has served area families in its twelve-city region for over 40 years. The Y is about youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, providing programs and services that meet the needs of our community and are accessible to all. For more information or to make a donation, call Barb Flanagin at 847-272-7250, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.nsymca.org