World Alliance of YMCAs

Case studies

World Alliance of YMCAs

Reimagining itself to build resilience

As the oldest and one of the largest Youth organisations in the world – reaching some 68 million people every year - YMCA plays an important role within the global community. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced YMCA to close hostels and gyms across the globe, resulting in an unprecedented loss in income. As a result, local YMCAs, who operate at the heart of local communities, are having to shut down some operations and cancel programmes at the very time when their services are needed most. To maintain its relevance and ensure continuity, the World Alliance of YMCAs (World YMCA) needs to build resilience and unlock new sources of funds. Deloitte supports YMCA in defining a sustainable fundraising strategy and, in a broader context, in reimagining itself.

Zoom out, zoom in

We tackled the challenge in three subsequent sprints, each with a distinct focus. Starting with the ‘Assess’ sprint, we performed an intensive interview round with national, regional and World YMCA stakeholders, to get a clear view on the bigger picture and identify the root issues. We analysed the fundraising strategies of its peers, and then laid out the options for World YMCA. During the ‘Design’ sprint, we fleshed out and evaluated various approaches and, more importantly, we created a common understanding of the key building blocks that are fundamental to successfully raising funds. During the ‘Prepare’ sprint, we tackled the question: How do we effectively implement the most promising strategy? In our case, the answer lays in the ‘Venture Path’ methodology, based on the principles of testing, refining and validating.

During the project, we mobilised our global network of public/non-profit sector experts, applied Deloitte AI-powered tools for market sensing and online sentiment analysis, and engaged with the UK centre of excellence for crowdsourcing solutions.

New modus operandi

The project triggered some fundamental changes that go beyond a new fundraising strategy. World YMCA has started experimenting with a complete new modus operandi and business mindset, preparing them to tackle some of their core challenges such as brand consistency, message alignment and impact measurement. They are exploring elements of an adaptive organisation, built on agile values, an investor mentality and data-driven decisions. They recognise the power of ecosystems and commit to engage in closer partnerships with local YMCA chapters, improving global alignment between fundraising, programme delivery and data governance. Furthermore, they are preparing to move from rigid execution plans to dynamic experiments, allowing them to inquire about beneficiaries’ needs, test their value proposition and validate key hypotheses. They are equipped with the right tools to foster new ways of thinking and, most importantly, deliver youth programmes with an even stronger impact.


We appreciate the active support of Deloitte for inspiring us to think boldly and for equipping us with forward thinking tools to elevate our fundraising strategy

Carlos Sanvee, World Alliance of YMCAs
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