Stronger Ys, Improving Lives | Volume 2 Issue 1

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STRONGER Ys IMPROVING LIVES ALLIANCE OF NYS YMCAs QUARTERLY MAGAZINE


2019 EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ANNE BRIGIS President YMCA of Long Island

SHARON LEVY Secretary YMCA of Greater New York

JAMEY MULLEN Vice President Norwich Family YMCA

HANK LEO Treasurer YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley

ALLIANCE STAFF Kyle Stewart Executive Director kstewart@ymcanys.org Drew Caldwell Director of Youth Development dcaldwell@ymcanys.org Paige Hughes Director of Healthy Living phughes@ymcanys.org

MARK WILLIAMS Vice President YMCA of the Twin Tiers

Mary Kay Polston Director of Member Advancement mpolston@ymcanys.org

2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS BRIAN BEAROR Glens Falls YMCA

GREGG HOWELLS YMCA of Rye

VANESSA BOULOUS YMCA Retirement Fund

JERRY HUNCOSKY Frost Valley YMCA

DONNA BOYLE YMCA of Long Island

CHUCK MAZE Rockland County YMCA

DAVID BROWN Capital District YMCA

GEORGE ROMELL YMCA of Greater Rochester

MICHAEL BROWN YMCA of Central New York PAUL CALLAHAN Capital District YMCA MARK ECKENDORF Jamestown Area YMCA MIKE GRAMMATICO GLOW YMCA

GARETH SANSOM YMCA of Broome County JAMES VAUGHAN Frost Valley YMCA

Rob Totaro Associate Director of Member Advancement rtotaro@ymcanys.org

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE The Alliance of New York State YMCAs is a nonprofit association that represents the interests and needs of YMCAs throughout New York State. The Alliance supports its member YMCAs through a holistic approach of four core areas of work:public policy and external relations; public funding and financial resources; member advancement and capacity-building; and Statewide initiatives and programming.

Alliance of New York State YMCAs, Inc.

DENISE YOUNG Watertown Family YMCA

IN THIS ISSUE: EDITOR: Olivia Rickenbacher, Alliance of NYS YMCAs CONTRIBUTORS: Drew Caldwell, Alliance of NYS YMCAs Erin Johnson, Frost Valley YMCA Bridgette Gates, Watertown Family YMCA Kaysie Gregory, YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley Misha Marvel, Hunger Solutions NY John Pecora, Saratoga Regional YMCA Mary Kay Polston, Alliance of NYS YMCAs Rob Totaro, Alliance of NYS YMCAs COVER IMAGE SOURCE: YMCA of Greater Rochester

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ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs

465 New Karner Road, First Floor Albany, NY 12205 518.462.8241 | www.ymcanys,org


TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 MEET JOHN AND KRISTOPH, NEW CEOs ON THE BLOCK 6 WE ARE FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBLITY 8 HOW TO ENGAGE CORPORATE WELLNESS USERS

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9 COMMUNITY, CONVERSATION, AND CULTIVATION OF BRIGHTER FUTURES

10 READY, SET, GROW WITH WIC 12 MAKING THE CASE FOR LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATION 13 ADDRESSING SUMMER FOOD INSECURITY THROUGH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

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14 FROST VALLEY YMCA’s SOLAR ARRAY LIGHTS THE WAY FOR OTHER Ys’ SUSTAINIBILTY INITIATIVES

16 GETTING READY FOR YEAR-END GIVING: YOUR QUESTIONS ASKED AND ANSWERED

18 STRENGTHENING BONDS AND COMMUNITIES

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A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S DESK Can you believe we’re facing the tail end of 2019? With what seemed like a flash, YMCAs across the state of New York have changed the lives of so many individuals and inherently strengthened our communities in the pursuit for a better us. With that, we felt it was only right to unofficially dub this issue of Stronger Ys, Improving Lives as our Social Responsibility Edition. In this magazine you’ll discover a collection of stories and articles relating to all of the diverse ways you, our YMCAs, have sought to embed and promote social responsibility. We hope that you not only enjoy the information residing in this issue, but see the value in bringing similar initiatives to your own Y. The beauty of this wish is two-fold, as a community-based organization you hopefully set out to improve the futures of this generation and the next, and in doing so, connect with each other to garner insight and support. Relying on our peers to further strengthen our mission in New York is critical to our success. Social responsibility takes many forms. Whether it be through eco-conscious practices within the four walls of the Y, solar-powered sustainability initiatives, impacting society through service-learning on a regional scale, or supporting the most vulnerable members of our communities - Ys are paving the way for a better tomorrow. As we set forth in identifying our intentions for the future of the Alliance through our strategic plan, one thing is for sure - we are here to strengthen, support, and protect you. Never hesitate to reach out with a question, concern, or just to say hello. All of my best, Kyle Stewart

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JOHN ERHBAR

THE

NEW

ON

THE

CEOs

BLOCK KRISTOPH KOCAN

By Rob Totaro

Meet John and Kristoph, The Alliance of New York State YMCAs is proud to welcome John Ehrbar and Kristoph Kocan to our New York State family. John and Kristoph have recently taken over Ys in the state, and we are excited to share a little bit of their background with you.

HEAD WEST YOUNG MAN… For Ehrbar, opportunities continued to present themselves during his 16 years at Lake County where he rose to be the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Operations in 2011.

AN I-90 GUY In May 2019, John Ehrbar succeeded Buddy Campbell as the CEO of the YMCA Buffalo Niagara. For John, this represented the next logical step in a Y story that started at a High School Leaders Club at the Lake County YMCA (Oh.) on the I-90 corridor between Cleveland, OH and Buffalo, NY

In 2013, Ehrbar traveled west, to the end of I-90, as COO for the YMCA of the Inland Northwest. While in Spokane, WA, Ehrbar was able to transfer his skills and gain confidence in a new community. “I was given many opportunities to be ‘CEO-like’ in Washington,” said Ehrbar who recognized that he wanted to eventually pursue a career as a Y CEO.

After high school, John worked at the Lake County Y and attended Xavier University. “I went to college to be a teacher,” Ehrbar said. But when saw the stress the teaching profession put on his father, he decided he needed a new path.

Ehrbar’s desire for new challenges and his unquenchable thirst for knowledge has not only led him to the CEO’s seat in Buffalo, but has also helped him pursue a Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree in Sports Management.

During college, Ehrbar worked as a Day Camp Activity Director and Camp Coordinator, and in January of his senior year, the Y offered to hold the position of Sports and Teen Director for him until he graduated. Excited to have a job, Ehrbar accepted. Now I wouldn’t say the rest is history, but those first Y experiences did launch what is now a 22-year YMCA career.

COMING BACK EAST For Ehrbar, coming to New York was the perfect job. He’s now just two hours from his family in Ohio, he finds an operation that is big enough to brings programs to scale, and also fit with his style and beliefs.

“I didn’t think of it as a career until my first year as a full-time employee. I’m ambitious by nature and tried to keep learning new skills. This prepared me to be the best candidate at the right time when opportunities came up.”

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“Buddy and John (Murray) did great things here,” says Ehrbar. “Because of the work they did to build this Y up and develop a quality staff, I’m able to bring a different perspective and work to strengthen our community.”

ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs


Ehrbar is excited to be in Buffalo and loves how open the community is to new ways of thinking. He’s also hoping, despite being a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder, that he could bring some good luck to the long-suffering Buffalo Bills franchise. “I moved to Washington the year before the Seahawks won the Super Bowl. I’m hoping I can be good luck for the Bills now.”

MATCH THE FUN FACT TO THE CEO! 1

Has over 700 jumps as a skydiver

JOHN

A BUILDING CAREER All of us know a kid or two (or three hundred) who grew up in the Y. They were always hanging around, helping out, and sometimes it seems like they might sleep there. For Kristoph Kocan, the new CEO of the Hornell YMCA, he was that kid. “My brother and I literally grew up in the Y,” said Kocan, reflecting on his fond memories of his childhood. When Kristoph says ‘literally’, he means it.

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Growing up in Titusville, PA in the 1970s, Kocan’s father was the Executive Director of the Y. So it wasn’t unusual to see the Kocan brothers hanging around, helping out, and even a few times “spending the night there.” Initially though, Kocan wasn’t planning on following in his father’s footsteps, and spent most of his career leading a commercial construction company.

?

In 2006, Kocan came back to the Y as a board member for the Meadville Family YMCA in Pennsylvania, where he led the Y’s facility committee. In 2009, Kocan left the construction industry to analyze leases in the oil and gas industry.

Has appeared on an episode of reality tv and a game show

JOHN

KRISTOPH

***Fun Fact*** Kocan’s hometown of Titusville is – according to Wikipedia – the birthplace of the oil industry and for a number of years, was the leading oil producing area in the world.*** COMING BACK TO THE Y In 2012, Kocan was persuaded to join the Y as its Facility Director, a role which, as he explains “opened my eyes to a Y career.” And by 2013, Kocan had laid out a plan to be a YMCA CEO by 2020 saying, “this is how I want to finish up my career.” In total, Kocan spent seven years at the Meadville Y, serving as its Facility Director, VP of Operations, and branch director.

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By 2021, he will have visited 25 countries on 7 continents

In June, he began his new career at the Hornell YMCA. In just a few short months, Kocan has already seen how important this Y is to its community. “I’ve been floored by the community’s support of the Y here. It is truly a vital part of the community. It’s like a huge team working together.”

KRISTOPH

Has his private pilots license

ANSWER KEY: 1. KRISTOPH 2. JOHN 3. JOHN 4. KRISTOPH

CLOSING OUT 2019 While Ehrbar and Kocan may be the new CEOs on the block, they won’t be the new guys for long. With CEO searches coming to a close in Fulton County and Yonkers, we’ll have plenty more Y Leaders to introduce you to in our next issue.

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WE ARE FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY By John Pecora At the Y, we are for social responsibility. It’s one of our three main pillars, but what does it mean? For many of us, or at least for me, it is the most difficult to identify. It’s easy to step into a preschool classroom and see youth development and equally as easy to drop into a cycle class and experience healthy living. Ok, so how are we achieving our goal of being for social responsibility? This is a much more challenging question. Being better caretakers of our planet is one way we can do that. Whether you believe the scientists who are predicting catastrophic impact from global warming or not, wouldn’t we all prefer to drink cleaner water and breathe cleaner air? The situation doesn’t need to be dire to command change. Sure, sometimes as individuals it can be hard to see how we can make an impact, but through the Y we can think bigger. At my Y alone we are a conglomerate of 27,000 people and it’s easier to envision impact at that level. So we are challenged to be more socially responsible and we have the volume to make a significant impact. One way to tie those together is to realize that environmental responsibility IS social responsibility. Running our YMCA’s we make “paper or plastic” type decisions all the time. At their core, these are not just financial decisions, nor are they preferences. This can be mission work. Sometimes these opportunities to be more environmentally

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friendly come at a cost, but other times they can be subsidized by third parties or even save your Y some money. The point is that we should be at least considering green alternatives without making the assumption that it’s too much trouble or too expensive. Earlier this year, the Saratoga Regional YMCA installed 10 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Sounds expensive, right? Well it was, actually $78,000 expensive, BUT not for our Y. This cost us nothing and was entirely paid for with grants from NYSERDA and National Grid. Just a few years ago this might have sounded impractical. EV sightings were few and far between and the models that were being made were really expensive. Today however, most car manufacturers are making a model that is affordable, and consumers can even be subsidized (by their power supply company) on certain EV purchases. Walk your Y’s parking lot and you will see a bunch of EVs. Projections are that 1 in 4 new cars sold globally by 2030 will be electric. People are converting for the savings (an estimated $13k over the life of an EV), and others are converting for the environment (Driving electric cuts greenhouse gas emissions in half of what they are with an internal combustion engine vehicle). Your members are coming to your Y’s in EVs in increasing numbers, telling you that the environment is important to them, and you can provide them an additional service while they are there. The kicker is that you can set these chargers up in multiple

ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs


ways. They can work only during your business hours, they can be set to be only used by members or open to the general public, and they can even generate revenue for you if you choose to pass along electricity fees to the vehicle owner. Michael Scott would call this a win/win/win. Want another way to hop on the social responsibility bandwagon? How about converting old fluorescent fixtures in your buildings to LED? There are many companies around that specialize in these conversions and are experts in maximizing the amount of subsidy monies you can recapture through the project. This is a bit more of a commitment on our part, but it still has a great payoff. First, LED light is just plain better. Your facilities will be brighter and lighting will remain more consistent over the life of the bulbs. We all know that better looking facilities help member retention. The real payoff here though is in reduced energy burn. Incandescent lighting requires 5x the amount of power that an LED light requires. Run the numbers on the investment and you will generally find that after the subsidy, you will have an ROI of 5 years or less and the 5 year IRR can be around 15%. The subsidies for these projects are diminishing as more businesses take advantage of these projects. Five years ago you could have a project subsidized at over 50%. Current project subsidies are closer to 20% so you probably want to look into this sooner rather than later. These projects can also be sized to fit a budget – work on one branch at a time, or even one part of a branch. Our YMCA has tackled the LED changeover in this staged approach ourselves to make it more affordable. Another way to be more environmentally conscious at

your Y without spending a dime is by participating in a solar farm. Large solar farms are being built all around us. The businesses that are building these need power offtakers and generally you can contract with these businesses to grab a section of their farm without any long term commitments and without any subscription fees. In exchange for participating, your Y will get a discount (commonly 10%) on the electricity generated by its portion of the farm. If you are willing to be a larger offtaker and commit to a longer period of time, the solar farm business may even propose a sign on bonus to your Y. That’s the financial win, but you can quantify the social responsibility piece here as well – a reasonably small offtaker of 250kw will offset 192 metric tons of CO2 over the next twenty years, which is the equivalent 508,661 miles driven by the average car. How about some smaller environmental initiatives at your Y? Make recycling easy for your members by putting receptacles throughout your facilities. Initiate a program to recycle used ink cartridges used in your printers. Consider replacing paper towel dispensers with new low energy hand dryers in your restrooms. Use an electronic board meeting platform to eliminate handouts of large paper meeting books. Only print things when needed, start printing double-sided,and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Start small, dream big, and be for social responsibility. John Pecora is the Chief Financial Officer at the Saratoga Regional YMCA. John can be contacted at John.Pecora@srymca.org.

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How to Engage Corporate Wellness Users This article was previously published on communityrec.com By Chris Patton, Peerfit The corporate wellness industry has been going through a major shift in the last few years, with employers no longer just providing on-site gyms or giving employees access to one localized facility. This means increased value for your facility, from programs that can bring in community members you otherwise would not have access to. With the corporate wellness industry currently valued at $8 billion, and expected to reach $90.7 billion by 2026, there are no signs of this trend slowing down. What does this mean for your facility? You will likely start to see more community members coming in, looking to have their membership dues paid for by a corporate wellnesssponsored program. While your first thought may be to just write them off as one-time guests, these corporate wellness-sponsored members can still become regulars in your facility. Here are a few ways to ensure they keep coming back for more: PARTNER WITH THE RIGHT PROGRAMS. There are many corporate wellness programs your facility can partner with. It’s important to work with a partner that

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provides value. One of the ways they can do this is by working with you to offer memberships to corporate wellness users. That means while they may have the ability to bounce around to different facilities, the possibility of them becoming a regular member is more likely. TREAT THEM LIKE YOUR OTHER MEMBERS. Have your staff well-trained on the program to ensure a seamless experience. If the process is cumbersome, or your team isn’t sure what to do, the likelihood of members coming back drastically decreases. Treating them like a member will lead them to want to become a part of your community. ENGAGE THEM BEYOND THE WORKOUT. Engage these community members in your programming. Make sure they know your full class schedule. Invite them to upcoming events. Add them to your email lists so you can keep them in the know about facility closures for special events. The more the user feels like a true member, the more often you will see them. It’s an exciting time in the world of corporate wellness and fitness, and the more the two sides can work together, the more value is provided to all stakeholders. Chris Patton is vice president of wellness solutions for Peerfit, a digital health company connecting employers and fitness facilities through corporate wellness. To learn more, visit peerfit.com/fitness-partners.

ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs


COMMUNITY, CONVERSATION AND CULTIVATION OF BRIGHTER FUTURES By Kaysie Gregory The Tri-Valley Teen Leaders offers the young adults within our community of Rome, New York a unique selection of opportunities for engagement with fellow peers and member of the community. Long-term, the goal for our Teen Leaders program is to reach the teens within the surrounding area in addition to those in our community to foster connections and extend this network throughout the region. Our Teen Leaders program will operate twice a week and promote volunteerism inside and outside the Y. With meetings set for twice a week, we have allowed ample time for group discussion and activities; as well as include lectures from community resources, state agencies, or influential speakers. Historically, the Community Lecture Series has been a staple in teen programing for the Rome YMCA. We’ve found that our teens have an increased interest for opportunities to hear from community leaders.

This dynamic helps teens understand the topic of discussion at a deeper level. Presentations can be held as single sessions or can be held over several days to cover a multi-session curriculum. The intention of our Lecture Series is to enrich the development of life skills that are not necessarily taught within a typical academic environment. This helps teens become strong leaders in their communities by continuing intention of the learning process with what can be gained outside the traditional classroom.

“The our Lecture Series is to enrich the development of life skills that are not necessarily taught within the typical academic environment.”

After a full day of school, the last thing most teens want to do to go back to class, but the Rome Y offers teens a different approach to learning with open discussion and thoughtprovoking activities. With the four core YMCA values in mind, teens are allowed to ask questions or present hypotheticals during the lecture without fear of judgement and repercussion.

We believe that providing teens with the knowledge from their community and state resources will ultimately help them to understand that their voice and actions have an impact. Within these free-thought discussions, we hope to inspire and motivate positive and impactful future life choices, ultimately strengthening their lives. Lastly, with this gained awareness and knowledge of their surroundings, and support from a tight-knit teen group, our leaders of tomorrow will have an increased sense of belonging and value the focus of social responsibility. Kaysie Gregory is the Director of Youth & Family Services at the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley. Kaysie can be reached out kgregory@ymcatrivalley.org

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IMAGE SOURCE: HUNGER SOLUTIONS NY

By Misha Marvel, MSW

Nutrition assistance programs help to alleviate hunger but are underutilized for a number of reasons, including misconceptions of how the programs work, unfamiliarity with program eligibility, lack of access, and difficulty filling out program applications. This is where YMCAs may be able to fill in the gaps. Hunger Solutions New York has partnered with the Alliance Children) continue to decline, from 15.9 percent in 2010 to of NYS YMCAs for years to raise Ys’ awareness of and 13.9 percent in 2016. In 2009, the USDA updated WIC food participation in both the Summer Food Service Program packages to more closely meet recommended national dietary (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). guidelines including the addition of more fruits, vegetables Both programs meet Ys Healthy Eating and whole grains and reduced fat levels in and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards “Research has found milk and infant formula. A Los Angeles County and provide healthy reimbursable study published this year found that 4 yearwomen who use meals to kids and teens in their care. olds who had received the revised WIC food We want to ensure Ys know about WIC while pregnant package since birth had reduced risk for the entire suite of child nutrition obesity. have healthier programs available to connect the youngest children and families with Most of us have heard of WIC, but births, reduced the nutrition assistance they need to can you share how the WIC program infant mortality and thrive. For example, Hunger Solutions supports families? New York recently launched the WIC better infant feeding Help NY program to help increase WIC Good nutrition during pregnancy and in the practices.” enrollment among eligible people in first years of a child’s life is very important. New York State. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy food, Obesity rates for children enrolled in WIC (Special breastfeeding support, nutrition counseling, and referrals Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and to other services that can help women and young children

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ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAs


in need. WIC is for pregnant women, postpartum moms, breastfeeding moms and children up to their 5th birthday. Dads, grandparents, and caregivers, including foster parents, can also apply for children in their care. Research has found women who use WIC while pregnant have healthier births, reduced infant mortality and better infant feeding practices. It has also shown that children on WIC have diets that are more nutritious, which helps them do better in school. WIC can improve lifetime health for women, their infants, and young children, and many moms don’t even know they are eligible! We hear there’s a new way to shop with WIC now. Can you help us understand? It’s true; shopping just got easier with eWIC! WIC benefits are now given electronically on an eWIC card instead of paper checks. Parents and caregivers can use their eWIC card just like a debit card at the WIC-approved store’s register to buy their WIC-approved foods. These foods can also be purchased in more than one shopping trip, and when it works best for them. Participants just need to be sure to use all of their benefits before they expire on the last day of their 30-day benefit cycle.

WIC participants can also download and use the free WIC2Go app on their smartphone. WIC2Go helps participants find WICapproved stores and WIC Clinics, scan foods at the market to see if they are WIC-approved, check their WIC benefit balance, and view their next appointment. What would be the next step for Ys who think their members would benefit from WIC services? In 20 counties across the state, the WIC Help New York program can help. WIC Help Specialists provide oneon-one services to connect potential applicants to the WIC program. Specialists can tell someone if they may be eligible, and help them set up and prepare for their first appointment at a WIC clinic near them. It is free and confidential. Outside of the 20 counties where WIC Help Specialists are located, anyone can call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 1-800-522-5006 and ask for help with WIC. Misha Marvel, MSW is a Child Nutrition Program Specialist at Hunger Solutions New York. For more information you can contact Misha at Misha.Marvel@hungersolutionsny.org.

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Making the case for leadership certification By Rob Totaro We know that some of the biggest challenges YMCAs encounter are hiring and retaining high-quality, committed employees. In New York, that challenge is increasing as minimum wage creeps towards $15 an hour, making recruiting and retaining staff more difficult. But what is the cost of losing and replacing an employee? THE ROI OF EMPLOYEE RETENTION According to the Center for American Progress, the cost of replacing an employee making less than $50,000 is between 16 and 20 percent of their salary. So, if you lose a staff person making $40,000 annually, you could potentially cost yourself $8,000 in costs associated with productivity, hiring, and training. That loss could divert resources away from programs and services that your community needs.

that, from 2013-2018, 75% of those who achieved a Y-USA Leadership Certification were still employed at the Y. On the other hand, the review showed that 75% of those who did not receive a Leadership Certification had left the Y. Y-USA’s Leadership Certification expanded in May to include four certifications, the three original certifications designed for exempt staff (Team Leader, Multi-Team Leader, and Organizational Leader), and a new Leader certification designed for all part-time and full-time employees. The new Leader Certification is a flexible introduction to the Y and includes five, free, short, online courses, and a single inperson course ($20). And while the average cost for the higherlevel certifications varies, the potential benefits are clear.

One potential solution to address employee retention is to pay everyone $50 an hour. What lifeguard wouldn’t want to make $104,000 per year? OK, that doesn’t sound realistic. But what about investing in the training and development needs of your staff through Y-USA’s Leadership Certification?

Investing in the Leadership Certification clearly benefits both the Y and the employee. After all, every employee can impact the Y regardless of whether they are trained well or not. Wouldn’t it be better to have well-trained employees servicing your community?

INVESTING FOR RETENTION A five-year review of 2,128 full-time, exempt, new hires showed

To learn more about leadership certification visit LINK or contact the Alliance’s Member Advancement Team.

MAKING THE CASE FOR LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATION

Leadership Certification delivers multifaceted benefits for both Y staff and YMCAs working to build their capacity and meet the changing needs of their communities. Encouraging your staff to pursue a certification can increase staff retention, develop knowledgeable, passionate staff who will be equipped to deliver a greater member experience and strengthen the reputation of your Y in the community.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

YMCA STAFF DATA

annual cost of $8,000 Average individual staff turnover cost of a Team $835 Average Leader Certification* average amount a Y $7,165 The saves when engaging staff in Leadership Certification

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2,128 full-time, exempt

staff were hired in 2013

IN 2018

71%

of the emerging generations who are likely to leave an organization in two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being developed3

$12 MILLION 1

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2012/11/16/44464/there-are-significant-business-costs-toreplacing-employees/ Survey of Certification Earners Since 2013 3 “Next Generation Recruiting Prove Strategies to Connect & Engage Generation Z,” Ryan Jenkins 2 2018 Y-USA

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who earn a leadership certification within their first five years of employment have an improved ability to effectively perform their job on a day-to-day basis 2

of the emerging generations expect their first employer to provide formal training3

Using the rate of $8,000 as the average cost of staff turnover (per leader), the estimated potential savings through the retention of 1,503 more staff would have been

to earn a Team Leader Certification of 7/1/2020 * Average cost IMAGE SOURCE: YMCA OF THEas USA

78% ofstaff

84%

If the Y had retained staff without a Leadership Certification at the same rate as staff with a Leadership Certification from 2013-2017, an estimated 1,503 additional cause-driven leaders would have remained in their roles

$

ATTRACT AND DEVELOP LEADERS

VISIT LINK TO EXPLORE LEADERSHIP CERTIFICATION TODAY!

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Addressing summer food insecurity through community partnerships By Bridgette Gates The Watertown Family YMCA has been operating food programs throughout the school year and the summer months for many years. For over 35 years, we’ve offered a snack option in our programming. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO INCREASE IMPACT About 13 years ago we started a partnership with our local school districtto provide breakfast and lunches as a closed program to our summer School-aged childcare (SACC) campers. This quickly changed into an Open Feeding Site at our school sites during the summer months to offer lunches at one of our facilities, as well for sports camps, child watch children, and anyone 18 and under as an Open Feeding Site. The school district would bring meals into our facility for lunch deliver to our off-site Soccer Camp. Over the summer we help feed about 450 children a day. ADDRESSING FOOD INSECURITY In addition to the summer site, we continued to operate our regular program at the and branch out into the Watertown Community hosting Recreation Programs in income-based housing areas. Normally, the children in these housing areas don’t have access to an Open Feeding Site, recreation program or summer camp, leading to greater food insecurity. Summer is particularly hard for families as there are not a lot of food options. Where kids would normally get two meals at school during the day, some children would not even get one complete meal during the summer months. To compound the issue, food banks tend to be depleted of their resources during the summer months due to an increased need. To fill those gaps in food access, we opened five recreation and feeding sites throughout Watertown to combat summer hunger in collaboration with the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC). CAPC delivers the meals to the recreation sites, and Y staff provides activities and serve the meals. This is something we’ve continued to do for the past seven summers. PROGRAM INNOVATION FOR MORE FULL BELLIES Recently, with the support of the Watertown City School District we piloted a program offering dinners at one of our afterschool sites. The program had the school district leave the dinners for our SACC staff to

heat up and serve to the kids when they come down after school. It has been a huge success and we hope to continue to run the program over the 2019-2020 school year. Ideally, we’d like to expand the program to all our Watertown CSD sites and eventually to all of the SACC sites that we serve. Other programs we’ve piloted include a Backpack Program at three afterschool sites in collaboration with a local grocery store. The grocer would provide vouchers each month for the store, supply families with menus, and a shopping list. This gave our families the opportunity to go shop at the store to make the meals at home. Even with its success, funding ran out and we’re currently unable to continue the program. Fortunately, the school district now has a large backpack program helping to provide families with food each weekend. STARTING YOUR OWN PROGRAM For a YMCA that is new to food programs, start by contacting the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and to begin the process of becoming a vendor or a sponsor for their food programs. CACFP will help identify sponsors in their area or help the interested Y through the process of becoming their own. If there are programs located in local schools or within other community organizations/buildings, they may find that there is already a sponsor that they can work with in order to serve meals and/or snacks to children in their programs. For instance, a Y could provide activities to engage participants during mealtimes of other programs that offer feeding programs throughout the year. Our biggest takeaway is the necessity of collaboration and community partnerships to make food programs successful. Start by identifying an area of work that your Y does well and then drawing the lines for collaboration with other organizations to best suit the needs of your community. Partnerships are key! None of this work would be possible without our community-organization partners and their willingness to help us meet our “outside the box” goals! Bridgette Gates is the Senior Director of Youth Development at the Watertown Family YMCA. For more information on the Watertown Y’s food programs contact Bridgette at 315.755.2005

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IMAGE SOURCE: FROST VALLEY YMCA

Frost Valley YMCA lights the way for other Ys’ sustainability initiatives By Erin Johnson As a 5,500-acre year-round overnight camp and retreat center located in the Catskills, Frost Valley has a reputation in the Tri-State Area for being a leader in environmental education. As such, Frost Valley YMCA is honored to set the standard for environmental stewardship and recently unveiled its 672-panel solar array in May of 2019.

TO INVEST OR NOT TO INVEST When determining whether this project was strategically appropriate for Frost Valley, CEO Jerry Huncosky along with the Board of Trustees considered three very important questions, which they use for determining all major initiatives: Is this the right thing to do? Is there a positive return on

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our investment? Can we teach others how to do this? The answer to all three was a resounding “Yes!” This project would not have been possible without the support of Frost Valley’s Board of Trustees, its Sustainability Advisor Evadne Giannini, the Town of Denning Planning Board, utility provider Central Hudson, and a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Frost Valley committed to keeping this project as local as possible and contracted Solar Liberty of Buffalo, NY to install the solar array and Prism an Ulster County panel manufacturer.

GENERATING A BRIGHT FUTURE Providing 280,000 kWh of energy, Frost Valley expects to

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generate up to 35% of its electricity from these innovative bifacial solar panels, which capture direct energy from the top of the panel as well as indirect solar energy reflected off the ground into the back of the panel. The array will reduce fixed energy costs by an estimated $40,000 annually.

FOR A BETTER FOOTPRINT The solar array will also reduce Frost Valley’s environmental impact by replacing 35 tons of coal annually and over its 30-year life span will eliminate the need to burn 1,050 tons of coal. That’s the equivalent of ten railroad cars of coal! “As an environmental education facility as well as an outdoor recreational facility, we believe our responsibility is to be model stewards of our natural resources,” says Jerry Huncosky, Frost Valley CEO. “With the completion of our 672-panel solar array, Frost Valley moves another large step closer to achieving our five-year strategic goal of reducing our overall carbon footprint by 25%. The array is expected to generate 280,000 kWh of energy, which equates to the consumption used in 50 residential homes. The nearly $40,000 Frost Valley expects to save annually on electric

bills will be reinvested into future energy efficiency initiatives throughout our 5,500-acre camp.” This solar array also provides a tremendous learning opportunity for Frost Valley’s approximately 41,000 yearly visitors. Future plans include an interactive outdoor classroom and hiking trail near the array to demonstrate to students and guests how solar works. Frost Valley hopes other Ys will consider the many benefits of utilizing green energy. Solar panels provide an opportunity for Ys to increase self-sufficiency, reduce their carbon footprint, and offset fixed costs. As an official YMCA Service Delivery Provider, Frost Valley is happy to set up a consultation with Ys interested in learning more about implementing solar panels or arrays. Ys interested in this can email sdpy@frostvalley.org. Pictured below: (L to R) Jim Vaughan, Frost Valley’s President of the Board of Trustees and Jerry Huncosky, Frost Valley’s CEO at the official unveiling of the YMCA’s 672-panel solar array on May 18, 2019.

IMAGE SOURCE: FROST VALLEY YMCA

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GETTING READY FOR YEAR-END GIVING: YOUR QUESTIONS ASKED & ANSWERED By Mary Kay Polston

We asked our New York Service Delivery Partner Y Financial Development representatives Andy Powers, Vice President of Philanthropy at the YMCA of Greater Rochester and Mara Roberts, CFRE Vice President of Mission Advancement at YMCA of Central New Yorkto share their insights on the upcoming push for charitable giving.

Q: WHEN SHOULD WE START OUR YEAR-END GIVING CAMPAIGN? A: It’s always best to develop an annual fundraising plan that outlines all philanthropy activities for the year, including your year-end giving campaign. We like to start planning for the year-end season each September, so we have enough time to develop our year-end giving campaign materials and solicitation lists (both snail mail and email).

A: Audiences to include in year-end appeal activities are

Q: WE JUST FINISHED OUR ANNUAL CAMPAIGN AND/OR HELD A FUNDRAISING EVENT. IS IT OKAY TO ASK OUR DONORS TO GIVE AGAIN AT YEAR-END, AND IF SO, WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT?

existing donors (Yes, you can ask a donor to give more than once!), donors that have previously given to the Y but have not

A: Yes! It is ok to ask donors again at year-end because we

Q: WHAT AUDIENCES SHOULD WE TARGET FOR YEAR-END APPEALS?

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yet done so in the current year, past donors who haven’t given in several years, top member visitors, and donor prospects. If you can segment your data and have the budget for additional printing and mailing costs, you may also consider targeting members of 5+ or 10+ years or more as they have demonstrated a strong affinity to your Y. For this audience, it is helpful if you begin to communicate with them about the philanthropic work of your Y throughout the year and not just at year-end, so you are building awareness for our charitable work, thus increasing the likelihood that they will make a donation. You can build that awareness through monthly electronic member newsletters, features on your website, social media posts, lobby promotion and sharing Y stories with the local media.

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don’t want to disqualify anyone from making an additional gift to our Y. We should provide that opportunity, and then it is the donor’s decision if they would like to participate. Often, donors will surprise you by making multiple gifts because they believe strongly in your mission. Only occasionally do donors ask to be removed from our list because they feel that we are sharing too much information or appeals with them. One of the best ways to do this is to include language in your appeals recognizing and thanking those that have already supported and encouraging others to join them. We typically do not send direct mail or e-mail solicitations to major donors of $1,000 or greater, as we work to meet with these donors in person for ongoing stewardship, cultivation and solicitation.

Q: CAN YOU SHARE SOME TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE E-MAIL AND “SNAIL MAIL” APPEALS? A: Our Y stories are so important! They are what engage and connect donors to our work. Whether e-mail or snail mail, our appeals always incudes a picture and story of someone who has been helped through the generous gifts provided by our supporters. Appeals should be “donor” versus “Y” focused. At the Y, sometimes we slip into sharing about our wonderful work and programs, what we are doing and how we are doing it, but appeals should be drafted with the reader in mind, and not our organization. What can a donor make possible with their gift of $25? Or $100? Why is it important? And how does it help strengthen our local community? If you can, and your database helps you, personalize the salutation. We have all received “canned” appeals where perhaps our name has been incorrect. We don’t want to alienate the prospect or

the donor because of an incorrect title or salutation. If your data is not conducive to personalizing, go with a general “Dear Y Supporter” or similar. Though personalization is stronger, don’t let that curtail you from doing these types of appeals.

Q: HOW DOES YOUR Y PARTICIPATE IN GIVING TUESDAY, AND HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND LOCAL YS PREPARE FOR IT? A: Giving Tuesday provides an additional opportunity for us to raise awareness of the Y and our charitable work. We send out an initial e-mail with a “save the date” message that Giving Tuesday is coming, and then we send and appeal to our adult members on the actual day. We also promote Giving Tuesday through our social media channels and at our monthly board meetings, encouraging our volunteers to advocate for Giving Tuesday as an additional way to continue to raise financial support for the Y approaching year-end and reaching year end goals.

Q: WE’RE A SMALL Y THAT DOESN’T HAVE A TON OF RESOURCES. WHAT ONE THING SHOULD WE BE PREPARED TO DO ON GIVING TUESDAY? A: We would recommend is sharing one strong story about how your Y transforms people’s lives and strengthens the community. Share it via social media, your website, flyers in your facilities, or in your member newsletter.

DO YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS FOR MARA AND ANDY? Save the date for our live webinar and Q&A session on Wednesday, November 6 at 1:30 pm. Keep an eye out for more information!

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IMAGE SOURCE: DREW CALDWELL

STRENGTHENING BONDS AND By Drew Caldwell Y-Corps is a servant leadership development program that focuses on empowering teenagers with the tools, motivation, and drive to enact change in their lives and communities. Applicants receive training in order to spend the first months of the year doing individual service and fundraising for the Youth and Government Scholarship Fund. Community outreach of this type helps prepare them to be strong ambassadors for the mission of the YMCA. The experience culminates in a weeklong trip with their cohort across the region, touring, serving and developing their understanding of servant leadership. This year’s New York State YMCA Y-Corps concluded on July 26th, 2019 after an incredible week of service and connection. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Youth and Government program, 21 teenagers traveled the Eastern United States while also helping many YMCAs

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and other community organizations along the way. The team began their adventure in Yonkers, meeting at the YMCA to get to know each other and launch into the first project which was assisting the Yonkers Family YMCA’s community nutrition program by cleaning the stock area and cafeteria, then assisting in the evening food service gave the students a great chance to see the good work the YMCA does in the community. This continued throughout the trip as the team assisted the Burlington YMCA in moving their Social Service offices, worked alongside YMCA staff at a Day Camp in Philadelphia, and assisted the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington in setting up for the annual Thingamajig Invention Convention. The students also had the opportunity to work with other organizations, including a safety and beautification project at New Cumberland Borough Park in Hershey, PA.

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IMAGE SOURCE: DREW CALDWELL

D COMMUNITIES. Each project was a special experience, but one that surely stood out for all members of the team was the chance to mulch, weed, clean, and care for the Korean Veterans Memorial, two days before the anniversary weekend of the Armistice which is one of the memorial’s most heavily toured weekends of the year. Service was not the only focus of the trip as the team also toured several important places. The 9/11 memorial, the Yonkers waterfront, the New York City AIDS memorial, Washington Square Park, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Delaware State Fair, the Chesapeake Bay, Arlington Cemetery, the National Mall, and the Pennsylvania State Capitol were among the highlights of those locations visited by the team. At each of these locations the students were encouraged to reflect on their importance and given the

time to record their thoughts and feelings in their trip journal. Bonding is also a central tenet of the program, and the students who participated grew very close and united. They will become strong supports for each other as they go forward encouraging service and action in their communities. Each evening the students gathered for a roundtable discussion in which they shared their thoughts and experiences for the day and considered how to use the lessons learned to benefit their local communities and the world in general. Congratulations are due to these wonderful students, and thanks are due to the many YMCA staff and volunteers who welcomed the students into their facilities and communities.

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ADVOCACY IS OUR CAUSE.

ADVOCACY IS OUR CAUSE

Helping New York’s YMCAs Strengthen Communities Statewide.

ALLIANCE OF NEW YORK STATE YMCAS, INC. QUARTERLY MAGAZINE | VOL. 2 ISSUE 1 465 New Karner Rd, 1st Floor Albany, NY 12205 ymcanys.org