2016 YMCA Membership Summit

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Mobile | No Comments

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the YMCA Membership Summit in Dallas. With over 600 executives in attendance and the energy at the event, it is clear that the future of membership is a critical and compelling topic for Ys. After attending sessions, listening to speakers, and engaging in conversation with many YMCA executives, I noticed a recurring theme: change is inevitable; and with change, comes opportunity.

So how will Daxko support our customers through these changes?

  1. MOBILE The newest generation of members and program participants are digital natives. Mobile solutions are simply an expectation. That’s why we’ve been working closely with our customers build out the latest version of Daxko Mobile from the ground up, using the latest in Mobile development tools. Our pilot Ys love the usability and the member experience of the new solution. This project is just the beginning of Daxko’s new member experience priorities that will poise our customers as progressive, member-minded organizations in their communities.
  2. NON-TRADITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS (You may think of this as a virtual membership.) Creating a virtual health and wellness community represents an opportunity to reach the 82% of the US population who don’t belong to any gym. This is particularly true with the millennial demographic who want to work out where they want, when they want, and are accustomed to having a social network integrated into everything they do. With that in mind, we’ve excited by the launch of Daxko Well, which is being piloted by the First Coast YMCA in Jacksonville  and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. 
  3. DATA As a result of having 600+ YMCA customers, Daxko has more data, over a longer period of time, than any other provider. And we want that to mean something. We are actively working with Y-USA to make that data available and meaningful across the Y Movement.
  4. DAXKO ENGAGE Engaging your members is more than just sending out well-designed emails and short text messages. You can’t impact your members and consistently build relationships without a systematic and intentional approach. That’s why we developed Daxko Engage, the only engagement solution that is powered by data that accurately shows which members are engaged and who’s at risk of terminating their membership. 

I’d like to hear your your thoughts and comments. We can have a much greater impact when we all work together. 

-Dave

Daxko CEO Dave Gray Will Serve on the Board of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham

By | Board, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery | No Comments

Daxko CEO David Gray recently joined the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham. Gray has long been a supporter of the Y movement and Daxko software runs behind the scenes at many YMCAs across the country. He joins YMCA of Greater Birmingham CEO Stan Law on the board and Gray already serves on the board of the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in North Carolina.

“I am honored to serve on the board of directors of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham,” states Gray. “I am passionate about the work of the YMCA in our community, and I look forward to collaborating with Stan and his team, as well as other board members, to promote the Y values of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility across the Birmingham area.”

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is the Daxko “Hometown Y” and serves Jefferson and Shelby Counties in Alabama. Currently made up of 14 local branches that engage more than 60,000 men, women, and children in the Birmingham area.

The YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is a 1,200 acre retreat and conference center located in the Black Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. Blue Ridge Assembly has a long history of impacting lives through meetings, groups, and school programs.

3 Vital Steps as You Initiate a Strategic Planning Process

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Strategic planning doesn’t have to be a painful process. It’s necessary to maintain and revise a strategic plan frequently in order to ensure your nonprofit is meeting goals and achieving it’s mission. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, “Ideally, as staff and board engage in the process, they become committed to measurable goals, approve priorities for implementation, and also commit to revisiting the organization’s strategies on an ongoing basis as the organization’s internal and external environments change.”

As you begin your strategic planning with your board, here are three steps to get started:

  1.  Ask yourself this question:  What significant measurable community impact do we want the YMCA to produce over the next 5 years? Your answers to this question will be the framework for all your discussions moving forward.  If you are having trouble answering the question, start with the things you are already doing. How do you take those efforts to the next level? Is there a logical next step that stems from something you’re already doing and doing well? This may lead you to new programs and services you can offer your community!  Thinking big here is not a problem, but once you have some ideas down you need to whittle your thoughts down to be clear, concise, compelling, and challenging. According to Wes Bender of Triangle2 Solutions, “With a clear, concise, compelling and courageous plan, each action of the organization becomes self-reinforcing and creates more options that are beneficial. Each victory during the strategic planning process is a step to clear the path for your organization’s future.”
  2. Review the data:  Triangle2 Solutions advises YMCA, JCC, and other community nonprofits to base their plans on concrete facts. This includes operations or engagement data, community research, board and staff insights, and societal trends. Sifting through vast amounts of data can be challenging but it’s important to know where trends are emerging and where you can have a meaningful impact in your community. Need help getting started? Consultants can offer resources to help you mine and sift through your organization’s data stores. They may also offer help accessing and deciphering societal and community trends.
  3. Set priorities and expectations: Once you have a solid answer to how you want to impact your community and you have the research to best channel your efforts, it’s time to prioritize. You can’t do everything and be everything to your community, so you’re going to have to pick and choose based on your strengths. “All current operations and new development should be placed into categories,” says Triangle2 Solutions Consultant, Tom Massey. Those categories are: Top Priority, Future Priority, Ongoing Work, and Reduced Emphasis. By placing all your efforts into buckets, you get a really clear idea of everything you’re organization is doing including where you might be spread thin, and where you might be able to scale back.

By following these initial steps you save time and stress later down the line. The next step in the process often involves assigning a team for the planning process and if you have already begun working on these three things you can more easily commit to the measurable, important goals that make your organization and your community a better place.

3 Key Motivators for the Millennial Workforce

By | Engagement, Facilities, Industry, Leadership, Organizational Health, Uncategorized, Volunteers | One Comment

Last year Millennials became the majority generation in the workforce.  According to Pew Research, there are now more Millennials than Gen X or Baby Boomers in the American workforce. You may think of Millennials as social media obsessed, selfie-taking young adults, but don’t overlook their desire for a sense of community, to make a difference, and to take advantage of opportunities for advancement. 

COMMUNITY

Millennials want to belong to a group or community. This seems like a no-brainer considering the success of social media, but don’t think that it stops with virtual communities. Millennials are brand loyal, compassionateand want to be a part of something bigger. According to Adam Poswolsky in Fast Company, millennials aren’t really motivated by financial gain, instead, “they aim to make the world more compassionate, innovative, and sustainable.” Because this fits with the mission of most community nonprofits, try to appeal to millennials on those grounds by stressing the importance of your organization to make your shared community a better place. 

IMPACT 

You’re likely to find Millennials volunteering their time and money to causes they believe in. Don’t miss an opportunity to get your Millennial staff involved in your cause—don’t assume that just because they work for you that they’re allocating their limited resources to you.

OPPORTUNITY

You may have heard that Millennials are a job-hopping group, but data shows otherwise. Millennials are looking for opportunities to grow in their career and advance in their company.  Poswolsky explains, “millennials will work hard when you get serious about investing in their skills development. Young talent wants the opportunity to learn from someone with expertise; they want that on-the-ground experience to happen today, not tomorrow – and certainly not in five years.”

I’ll leave you with this: Understanding the Millennial Mindset goes further than understanding your staff. Millennials are also the future of your membership. So don’t overlook this pivotal group of game-changers.