A newsletter from North American YMCA Development Organization      Volume 33   |  Number 1  |  February 2019




Most organizations will only ever do one capital campaign, or at the very least, one in the lifetime of organization leaders. I worked with a client recently that said they were “saving” their major gift prospects for their campaign. However, when it came time for the capital campaign, they discovered that donors made gifts far below expectations, mainly because they had never been engaged with the organization before the campaign.


Don’t wait for a campaign to start a major gifts program for your Y! Major gifts donors can contribute a large portion of your annual operating budget. The good news is that any Y, regardless of size, can start a major gifts program. Here are a few easy steps to help identify and cultivate potential donors.


Start Close to Your Y

Your Y serves your entire community, but not everyone in your community will support the Y. The Y enjoys very high brand recognition, so awareness efforts aren’t that productive. Look no further for major gifts prospects than your own database. The best prospects already support your Y; perhaps they make an annual gift or even monthly gift, they attend your special events, they like your posts on social media, they use your programs and facilities. Share the story with a current donor of how a major gift will make a difference in your community.


Have a Couple Projects and Be Specific

Donors get excited by vision; the most successful major gift initiatives succeed because of a clear case for support. Your case may not be as complex as a full capital campaign, but it should contain similar elements: clearly defined challenge and solution, specific approach, ways the donor can make a difference, and urgency.


Look at Linkage and Interest, not just Ability

The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, based in NAYDO 2019 host city, Indianapolis, developed a model for donor engagement which includes; Linkage, Ability and Interest. Too often we just look for prospects with high ability, but we can’t affect a prospect’s capacity. What we can affect is their linkage (how connected they are to the Y) and their interest (excitement for the Y and the project). Start with a handful of prospects and find ways to personally invite them to see your Y in action or behind the scenes; involve them in small service activities like reading to Pre-Schoolers; request their feedback on a project, and so on. Increasing a prospect’s linkage and interest will lead to larger gifts.


Involve Leadership

Recruit a small group of people who get things done: entrepreneurs, small business owners, sales executives, etc. Add a couple of connectors: community volunteers, philanthropists, business development professionals, etc. Give this group clear directions to identify possible donors, work with you to open doors, and solicit gifts.


Major gifts fundraising is not the same as capital campaigns. Certainly, a large portion of campaign efforts is placed on major gifts, but a donor wanting to make a big impact can do that any time. Avoid “saving” prospects for the “right” time. The need is great and the time is now to engage these potential donors. 




Adam Clevenger, CFRE
Loring Sternberg & Associates

Adam Clevenger, a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), has spent his entire career building donor passion for causes. For over a decade, Adam has created donor-centered and sustainable fundraising programs.


Before joining LSA, Adam served as Regional Collaboration Manager for the YMCA of the USA, working closely with 300 local Ys to support their development efforts; Director of Annual Giving for the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis providing leadership to the annual campaign for 13 branches that raised more than $2 million each year. Additionally, he is a YMCA Faculty Trainer for the Annual Campaign and Introduction to Fundraising courses, a frequent contributor to Bloomerang and NAYDO blogs. Adam conducts several trainings and conference presentations each year, and has worked in the past with Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network, NAYDO, Association of Donor Relations Professionals, WeDidIt, Fort Wayne Get on Board, Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Indiana CPA Society, and Hanover College.


Adam has played nearly every role in the YMCA: member, parent, volunteer, staff, donor, board member, and even Youth Governor of Indiana YMCA Youth and Government. As a volunteer, Adam serves as VP of Finance for Indiana Chapter of Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Board Member for Second Helpings in Indianapolis, Stewardship Committee for Second Presbyterian Church, a former board member for Indiana YMCA Youth and Government and Hanover College Business Scholars Program Leadership Council. Adam and his wife, Jess, enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their two daughters and two energetic dogs.

Message from the NAYDO Chair



The Indy Pit Crew is approaching the starting line in anticipation of YOU joining your Y family in Indianapolis for the 38th Annual NAYDO Conference on YMCA Philanthropy, to REV UP YOUR CAUSE!


During the April 3-6 Conference, green flags will fly and opportunities will surround you. Wednesday will feature Philanthropy Live! projects, impact tours, receptions, networking, and much more. Thursday debuts hot topics, educational tracks, exhibitors, and an inspirational keynote speaker you won’t want to miss.


As you round the far corner, Friday's schedule has workshops, philanthropy forums, the Eagle Award and Communications Contest Awards reveal, and the much-anticipated Friday night gathering – Victory Lap at Dallara IndyCar Factory. On Saturday, the Indy Pit Crew has arranged for a tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grounds and NCAA Hall of Fame before you cross the finish line.


If we haven’t filled every moment of your schedule, we’d love to have you volunteer as a workshop host or convener or welcome attendees at registration. It’s a GREAT way to meet people from across the country and the world! One of the many rewards of attending the NAYDO Conference is the chance to network. Just contact Mary Zoller to volunteer.


Haven’t registered yet? There’s still time to join our rolling start. Make your plans today.

Speaking of a rolling start, we are pleased to introduce our newest members of the NAYDO Council, Scott Barnhard and Angie Lassley. The NAYDO Council provides strategic vision and leadership for the organization, and I am thrilled to have these Y professionals join our Council. 


Shelly McTighe-Rippengale
NAYDO Council Chair
Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer
YMCA of San Diego County

Register Now for April! - Late Fee Waived

Just been approved to attend NAYDO Conference on YMCA Philanthropy in Indianapolis on
April 3-6? It is not too late to register, and the late fee has been waived for a limited time. Don't delay!  

NAYDO pays for itself. If you implement what you learn, the funds raised will more than cover the cost of attending. Check out the conference program for your specific financial development training needs. 

Register for the conference  USING THIS LINK, through NAYDO office at info@naydo.org, or call 504 464 7845 to sign up.

Already Registered? Read our tips on how to get the most out of NAYDO 2019.


Plan before you go
Put some thought into the workshops you want to attend. Don't attend the same ones as others from your Y. Choose a handful of Hot Topics and other events. 

Use the mobile app
Create your schedule here, so it will be available at a glance. Connect with others, get the workshop bios and handouts. Play the Click photo game – which starts before you arrive in Indy. Watch for your notification to download the app before you arrive in Indianapolis.

Visit the sponsors and exhibitors
Our valued sponsors and exhibitors help to keep registration fees and other costs affordable. And, they are subject matter experts. Talk with them and get their ideas and advice. Thank them for supporting NAYDO.

Get out and about
Explore Indy's restaurants, districts, art, green spaces, shops, museums, and more. There's lots to do and see, and NAYDO has tours and groups organized if you are attending the conference by yourself. Have fun while you're in town.

Stay connected
During and after the conference, reach out to the people you meet. Y-USA's Link is a great way for networks to connect, ask questions, and exchange ideas. Use #NAYDOEveryday to share how you are implementing what you've learned at the conference or through year-round opportunities. Let us hear from you.


Upcoming and Year-Round Resources

There are lots of ways to stay connected to NAYDO before, during and after the conference.

NAYDO webinars, NAYDO Academy and the 2019 AFP Webinar Series provide some quick and easy ways to learn...and they're a benefit of your NAYDO membership.


Upcoming NAYDO Webinars, sponsored by Daxko

February 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m. CST

Special Interest: How to become a Certified Fund Raising Executive, CFRE, with Lesley Phillips, CFRE International

Learn everything you wanted to know about becoming a CFRE, the only accredited, globally recognized certification for fundraising professionals.

Target audience: All
Register Now


March 15, 1:30-2:30 p.m. CST

Marketing/Communications: How to Stay Lean and Mean at the Social Media Buffet with Rebecca Thorpe

With more than 340 social networking websites, how do we figure out which platforms are worth our time, effort, dollars, and content? What are we marketing? Who are we marketing to? How do we stay up-to-date, organized and relevant? 

Target audience: Marketing and Communications; Executive Directors, CEOs, COOs; Program and Membership Directors; Small and Mid-Size YMCAs
Register Now

April 18, 1:30-2:30 p.m. CST

Marketing/Communications: Magnifying Data to Maximize Dollars with  Amanda Metzger & Tracie Rickborn, Summerville Family YMCA

Learn from real-world examples of program, development and marketing staff working together to strengthen your case for support. Discover best practices for collecting program data/outcomes to increase your program funding and discover how to cultivate donors with data that is meaningful and engaging.

Target audience: New and seasoned financial development staff; marketing and communications; program and membership directors  
Register Now

Don't forget - NAYDO is an approved provider of CFRE  continuing education credits!


NAYDO Academy
NAYDO Academy will be hosted by the following Ys in fall 2019:

  • YMCA of Columbia, Columbia SC
  • Snohomish YMCA, Everett WA
  • Stratford-Perth YMCA, Toronto Canada
Started last year, the NAYDO Academy is a one-day annual campaign training for frontline staff, program directors and volunteers. Dates are being finalized, so check www.naydo.org for the latest details and registration links.
2019 AFP Financial Development Webinars

Y-USA is happy to partner again with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to offer the year-long AFP Webinar Series free to Y staff and volunteers, which includes our NAYDO members, too. Click here to register, view the webinar offerings and see other learning opportunities.


Newly-Elected NAYDO Council Members

Scott Barnhard and Angie Lassley were elected to NAYDO Council in November 2018 and officially started their term in February 2019.

Scott Barnhard
Chief Development Officer
Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA

Scott is a 29-year financial development professional. He's been with the Y 21 years: 4 as a volunteer and 17 on staff. His annual campaign experience includes growth in volunteers, donors, dollars, and the Governance Board. He raised $11 million in the past five years for capital development and has a track record of endowment growth along with board development. Scott earned a bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctorate.

Angie Lassley
YMCA of Salina, Kansas

Angie has been with the Y 32 years; 15 of it in financial development. While she was with the Y of Greater Indianapolis, she developed an annual support campaign for a new branch. She exceeded a multi-phase capital campaign goal for facility renovation. And, she has expertise working with multiple YMCA boards. In her current role as CEO, she implemented a governance committee, revised board descriptions and committee charters.

Visit the NAYDO website for profiles on all our Council members.


Link Offers New Ways to Connect

Have you checked out the Financial Development section on Link, Y-USA's new knowledge sharing and social media platform? It has lots of ways to ask questions, share resources, find new ideas, and connect with others. You can check out the new NAYDO Networks on Link. It's a great way to stay part of the community. More information will be coming soon!

Go to Link and respond to the question: Who's your go-to blog writer for major gifts? Be sure to tag NAYDO with #NAYDOeveryday. And keep checking back for more ways to connect with financial development and NAYDO on Link.