Every capital campaign seeks to change the community in some way. Some seek to impact only a small number of people in a big way, others seek to improve the lives of many in what may seem like a small way. One campaign in Spokane, WA is seeking to improve the lives of thousands of people in a big way. The joint YMCA of the Inland Northwest (http://www.ymcaspokane.org) and YWCA of Spokane (http://www.ywca.org/site/pp.asp?c=cjITI8PHKoG&b=245242) capital campaign is a $40.5 million project that would construct two new jointly operated facilities and serve nearly one out of every six residents of Spokane County with programs ranging from proactive health to emergency counseling.
The first-of-its-kind collaboration in the US, the “Your Y (you’re why)” campaign employed a number of unique strategies including the use of public/private partnerships, public funding, federal New Market Tax Credits, and private philanthropy to succeed. In addition, the volunteer corps of fundraisers took careful time to learn about each organization’s unique niche and value, so that they could make the case for the whole campaign to every donor that was lucky enough to give.
In May of this year, the first facility opened in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood, only a few short blocks from downtown. My first visit to this new facility came on what I first thought was a busy Monday morning – but it turns out that the new facility is always that busy. I witnessed children and adults from all walks of life talking, learning, and exercising within these shiny new walls: as envisioned, this is a place where people can find the help, support, and camaraderie they need to become the person they want to be.
I could not have dreamt that I’d ever be a part of a project like this when I got into this business. While the path has been long and hard for all involved, I’m so glad and so proud to see the fruits of their labor today. So, when the crew at the YMCA of the Inland Northwest and the YWCA of Spokane prepare to open their second and final building in North Spokane at the end of this month, they can be sure that TCG will be the loudest people cheering from the stands.
Read more about the campaign at http://www.yourycampaign.org/
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