YMCA needs one final pushIt’s crunch time for the Alexandria Area YMCA. In 16 days, its board will look closely at all the donations collected up to that point and determine where to go from there.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
It’s crunch time for the Alexandria Area YMCA.
In 16 days, its board will look closely at all the donations collected up to that point and determine where to go from there.
“March 9 is fish-or-cut-bait time for our board,” said Jeff Bartholomew, YMCA executive director. “That’s when some big decisions will be made.”
YMCA leaders are urging anyone who is in a position to give to do so now. They’re seeking all sizes of donations – large and small, immediate or pledged over the course of several years – from all types of sources – businesses, organizations, families, individuals, those who haven’t given yet and those who are able to contribute a little more.
To date, the YMCA has raised more than $7.36 million of the project’s total estimated cost of $8.885 million. A total of 465 donors have contributed.
Its latest capital campaign, “Race to the Finish,” which kicked off in January, set its sights on raising $1.8 million to begin construction on the new facility. It has generated more than $275,000, leaving about $1.6 million left to go.
YMCA leaders are urging final donors to step forward to be “difference makers” in the community.
Plans call to break ground on a 56,000 square foot facility on County Road 82 this spring and to open the doors on the new YMCA in the spring of 2010. It will provide programs and services for thousands of kids, adults, families and seniors in the Alexandria area. Features include an aquatic center, gymnasium, health and wellness center, child care center, social area and more.
The YMCA will also provide intergenerational programming with a Christian emphasis to positively impact kids and families, Bartholomew said. It has formed partnerships with Douglas County Hospital (for therapy and rehab), Young Peoples Place (child care) and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Even though economic times are difficult right now, there has never been a better time to give to the YMCA, Bartholomew noted.
“Now is the time to build and put people to work locally and provide jobs,” he said. “We may not be able to build a YMCA this affordable at any time in the foreseeable future.”
YMCA leaders are anticipating a competitive bid climate.
In fact, Bartholomew said, if the project were delayed and the economy improved, construction costs could go up, forcing the YMCA to raise additional dollars.
“The time is now!” he said.
The YMCA will provide 17 to 20 full-time positions and more than 100 part-time jobs, Bartholomew said. The building project will provide jobs to local contractors at a time when construction-related jobs are at a premium.
The YMCA financial assistance program will ensure that those in the community who need access to memberships and programs will be able to do so, Bartholomew said.
For the final push of the campaign, YMCA leaders are concentrating their efforts on boosting the number of contributors. In an urgent e-mail to potential donators, Bartholomew put it this way:
“To be in a community the size of Alexandria with fewer than 500 individuals having given to this point is a metric we all know we can improve, and we know that there are many people ‘planning’ to make their pledge, and many people that simply haven’t been asked,” he said. “If you’re waiting for the ‘right time’ to send in your pledge, or indeed have not been asked – trust me, the time is now.”
If 1,000 people would pledge $1,000 over five years (a cost of $16.67 per month), the YMCA would be at or near its goal.
MALL PLEDGES CAN ADD UP
To give to the Alexandria YMCA, call (320) 763-9621 or visit the Web site, www.AlexandriaYMCA.com.
Local YMCA leaders provided a number of scenarios for potential donors to think about, depending on their financial situation:
•Consider making an $8.33 a month pledge for five years. That’s $500. You can use a bank debit form from the YMCA Web site to set up the donation.
•Consider making a $16.66 a month pledge for five years. That’s $1,000 and would put you on a “donor wall” to be displayed at the new YMCA.
•Consider making a “progressive” pledge. If your income streams have slowed a bit currently, you could pledge a very small donation the first year or two and then ratchet it up over the next three to five years or beyond.
•Consider even a small one-time gift or pledge. Get on board now. You can always increase it when the time is right or better for you to consider giving a bit more.