Archived Story

Personal approach works for YMCA [UPDATED]

Published 9:46am Wednesday, April 24, 2013 Updated 11:47am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Fergus Falls YMCA decided to change things up for its annual giving campaign by using a more personal approach.

It worked.

The YMCA reached its $65,000 goal for the 2013 annual giving campaign. The five-week campaign started March 12, and by the end of the campaign around April 15, donations had surpassed the goal.

“As of today, we’ve raised $74,437,” said Tim Olson, CEO and executive director of the Fergus Falls YMCA. “And there’s still some potential gifts that may come in.”

They’re hoping to finish with about $80,000 by the time it’s all said and done, Olson said. There’s still time to contribute to this year’s campaign, since it’s a year-round process, he said.

It’s the first time in at least a couple of years that the YMCA has met the annual goal. The $65,000 goal has remained the same, but last year the campaign only brought in $56,000.

But Olson said he didn’t have any concerns about meeting the goal this year. They added more volunteers this year to create awareness. Last year there were about 20 volunteers (mostly just the board of directors), compared to 45 this year.

“It made a huge difference,” Olson said. “Our goal is … to keep increasing the number of campaigners.

“We really implemented the best practices for fundraising for the YMCA.”

Part of those practices included more face-to-face and telephone contact, rather than the approach of sending out letters to members and donors, which had been done in the past.

The money raised from the campaign helps to make sure all children, adults and seniors in the community can benefit from the YMCA, regardless of financial situations. It also helps to deliver the commitment with the youth through after-school programs and camps, Olson said.

He hopes the new approach in campaigning will help the YMCA have continued success.

“I think we have a good format in place and structure which will allow us to build upon in future years,” Olson said.

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