Trend Reports & Surveys: Technology

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45% of organizations rate their overall technology as adequate, and 16% say less than adequate.

With many new technology opportunities on the horizon—emphasizing mobile and implementing online tools, for example—it’s a good time for organizations to assess how they will modernize current technology.


Improving software appears to be top of mind for respondents, particularly solutions for constituent relationship management (CRM) as identified by 10% of organizations.

A CRM can help segment and target groups of members and prospects based on interest, past activity, or age in order to send them the right message at the right time.

Tying technology to the member experience and scaling relationship-building efforts will ensure every interaction results in stronger engagement.

Trend Reports & Surveys: Facilities

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The number of organizations reporting confidence in their facilities’ ability to meet community needs dropped from 56% to 49% in one year, and the amount claiming ineffectiveness went up from 44% to 51%.

When asked the primary factor for ineffectiveness, 44% of respondents pinpointed out-of-date facilities, while 40% said inadequate design and space constraints hinders them in serving program participants. The inconsistencies between centers and the unique challenges of different locations make improving facility effectiveness all the more difficult, some respondents say.


21% of organizations believe that if facilities are improved, member retention improvement will follow. And that 21% is right on track: the YMCA of Greater New York saw an 11.2% increase in member retention as the result of a facility redesign.

In addition, the Invensys YMCA, Fond du Lac YMCA, and Penn Hills YMCA saw more than 100% growth in membership after redesigns; the Invensys YMCA saw as much as a 144% increase. (Source: Daxko T2 Consulting Facility Development and Design)

Creating member and community connections in facilities will be key this year. Three ways to drive connectivity in your space: the facility layout should be open and transparent; venues in the space should be organized around a central spine or hub; and the space should be designed with connections between venues.

Trend Reports & Surveys: Strategic Vision

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Strategic vision planning is on the minds of 93% of respondents. In fact, of strategic plans still in formative phases, one-third will launch by the end of the year.

The ability of the strategic plan to resonate with all of an organization’s stakeholders is critical to achieving mission-oriented results. Still, the majority of respondents report that overall activities are not aligning with their organization’s vision, and that the vision is not communicated properly across the association.


According to Tom Massey, Director of Daxko T2 Consulting, there are three ways to leverage the strategic vision in the work of your organization:

• Narrow down your goals and objectives to a “Big Five” or a “Big Three” to focus efforts and provide clear direction.
• Ensure the strategic plan is a living and breathing document that is revisited and refined regularly.
• Provide staff a level of ownership in the vision by making them responsible for individual initiatives relevant to their roles.

Trend Reports & Surveys: Programs Participation & Administration

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In 2012, more programs were profitable and less programs lost money than in 2011.

Organizations say implementing online registration would be most effective in minimizing administration for programs. At the same time, just 6% have full confidence in online registration as a way to increase participation.


Using targeted marketing materials, such as emails or flyers, is identified as the number-one way to increase participation. Keep in mind, however, that updated website information provides the best place for the “more information” referenced in an email message or flyer, and reaches those outside of the facility who don’t receive a flyer.

As is the case with membership, organizations are not placing confidence in their websites as a vehicle for enhancing the program experience—but they should. Registering for programs online can provide immediate gratification for someone wanting to interact with your organization. The ability to register on cue means participants have less time to talk themselves out of participation. Plus, it takes pressure off someone who is new and simply wanting to explore his options.