At the CEO Retreat, former Charlotte CEO and current large Y Resource Director with YMCA of the USA Andy Calhoun facilitated a conversation with our state’s leaders about capacity building. The conversations revolved around how we build each Y’s strength to better serve our communities, and, in so doing, realize even greater impact statewide.

Coming out of that meeting we will continue conversations about sharing staff among YMCAs; collective funding models that financially support statewide work; collaborative marketing and communications efforts as we move toward Nationwide Membership, and collectively growing into the community integrated health space.

There really is so much more we can do if we put our resources together – human and capital – to strengthen all Ys and the communities we serve.   It will require a shift in our thinking, however. We must recognize that overcoming habits associated with our federated model will make it challenging to stop and consider how what we do impacts our opportunity for collective work – as we do fundraising, as we build facilities, as we hire and train staff. 

As we work collectively toward realizing the goals in our strategic plan, we will be building teams and establishing more formal reporting and accountability structures to ensure we are all moving in the same direction, speaking with one voice, which has been our aspirational goal ever since our Alliance was first formed.  If we can all move in the same general direction, there’s no telling what we will be able to achieve.