Commentary

Dabney Grinnan: YMCA collaboration has enriched community

June 15, 2014 

Two years ago, our YMCA had to make a choice: Either hire a new CEO or collaborate with YMCA of the Triangle via a management services agreement.

We looked closely at both options and decided the best choice for our community was the latter. So, for the past 17 months, the YMCA of the Triangle has supported the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA through a management services agreement.

It’s been a productive and positive relationship. The Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA staff, volunteers, members, and our broader community have benefited and learned from this collaborative relationship. This management services agreement will end in December and thus the board of the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA must make a decision about the future of our relationship with the YMCA of the Triangle.

Three years ago, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA Board of Directors developed a strategic plan to guide the organization for the next five years. Our goal was to develop and deploy best practices for community programs, services, YMCA governance, and board leadership. To put it simply, we wanted to do the best job we could of serving our constituency in Orange and Chatham counties.

Our relationship with the YMCA of the Triangle has enabled us to do just that. We’ve accomplished many of the goals we set for our Y and I’d like to share just a few of the highlights.

• The Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA’s 2013 Annual We Build People Campaign raised more than $250,000 to serve children, adults and families in our community. That’s the most successful campaign in our YMCA’s history. Every penny raised stays in our community.

• We engaged more than 60 additional community members (over the previous year) who volunteered to help us in this effort.

• Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA staff members have participated in formalized career development trainings alongside YMCA of the Triangle staff.

Over the past year and a half, we’ve worked with the superb staff and volunteers of Y of the Triangle. In that time, we’ve learned that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA and the YMCA of the Triangle share the same commitment to provide opportunity for everyone. Both YMCAs strive to serve to the broader, diverse community. Our collaboration has enriched both the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA and Y of the Triangle.

But don’t just take my word for it. Come by the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA or visit our website. Check out you our plans for the future and give us your feedback on what you’d like to see our Y do next.

I’m proud of the work our YMCA staff and our volunteer Board of Directors have done in the past two years. I believe we have better engaged our members, improved our programs and facilities, and boldly focused on our long-range goals for service to our community. We’re dreaming big at the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA. We’d love for you to join us!

Dabney Grinnan is the chair of the Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA.

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