A newsletter from North American YMCA Development Organization        Volume 31     |     Number 2     |      November 2017



Marcy Heim
The Artful Asker

When I was seventeen I got a hold of a cassette. Are you still with me...cassette?  This cassette was called, “The Strangest Secret” and it was written by Earl Nightingale. In 1957 it was the first spoken recording to sell over 1 million copies!

What is the Strangest Secret? “We become what we think about.”

Why is it strange and why is it a secret? Generally, our first reaction is, “Oh yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before,” so its real power seems to be a secret.  Since time began great folks spoke to this idea (gals generally about men – sigh). Marcus Aurelius, the great Roman Emperor, said, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.”


It seems too simple to work – that’s why it is strange. If you think negative thoughts, you get negative results. If we can really “get” this very simple message, our personal and professional success changes remarkably.  Of course, if this were easy, we’d all be thin, rich, happy and raising millions!

NAYDO folks love my clear and simple, “How to’s” (and please join me at the 2018 conference to learn “how to” make an artful ask and “how to” write a RAP!). Sure, these help, but I credit raising millions to my THINKING!  Our thoughts lead to our feelings. Our feelings lead to our actions. Our actions lead to our results.

Our success begins in our minds. WE are the authors of our constant chatter and we have to manage massive doses of outside suggestions about what we should think and believe. “It’s hard to raise money for my Y”. “There is so much competition in my town.” “My board doesn’t get it.” “I don’t know how to ask.” “People don’t want me to talk to them about giving.” “Asking for money is icky.”

Here’s how to make your mind your partner!

1.  Be aware of what you are thinking now. 

That means STOP and reflect. What exactly are you telling yourself or asking yourself right now? Being aware of your inner dialogue is the first step to changing it if you need to (and 99% of us do).


2.  What questions are you asking yourself?

“Why is this so hard?”  “Why doesn’t my board ask for money?” “How can I get it all done?” “Why I am so stupid at ____?”  Research shows we answer our questions so your brain time is spent reinforcing the negative issues you are asking yourself about.  Change the questions! “Why am I so successful at engaging others to support my Y?” “Why are members so eager to give to help others experience our Y?” “How can I help others experience the joy of giving to my Y?”

3.  Decide to stop complaining and blaming.

Your Y world is a natural for this. YOU are often the positive spark for your members.  Turn that positive encouragement inward and focus on what is right and what you want to get done – not what is wrong and not working. What you focus on you will expand in your life. Make it the good stuff!

Is it not true that each and every day you make someone’s life better? Healthier? Happier?  Indeed! This is fueled by the dollars we give ourselves to our Ys because we believe in what we do AND the dollars we inspire others to invest in our good work.  NAYDO is the perfect spot to recharge your mindset and your methods.  There IS a JOY to giving!  Come fill your brain with positive and powerful energy at NAYDO!  I am thinking you will!



A Message from the NAYDO CHAIR

Andy Pierce, CFRE
Vice President, Marketing & Development
YMCA of Greater Louisville

New Orleans’ 300th birthday is 2018.

I’m a bit of a history buff, so such significant anniversaries catch my attention.  While there are cities in North America with a longer history, I would guess that none have as unique a blending of cultures, and the “personality” of New Orleans.   I am truly looking forward to seeing some of its history, while visiting for our 37thAnnual NAYDO Conference on YMCA Philanthropy next April. 

Even if history is not your thing, the need to raise funds is something that we all have in common.  I hope many of you are considering our 2018 NAYDO Conference as an opportunity to enhance your skills, expose your leadership volunteers to other Y’s fundraising successes and ultimately improve the culture of philanthropy in your YMCA.

Registration for the Conference is going very well.  Our Member Only registration period just ended and it appears that we are on target to have nearly 2000 participants, guests and exhibitors in New Orleans next April.  Registration continues through January, but the opportunity to save $50 per attendee ends December 4th

The YMCA of New Orleans and the Dryades YMCA are serving as co-hosts for as our Conference visits their shared city.  Unlike Conference hosts of the recent past, these 2018 hosts are smaller YMCAs and do not have the staff and volunteer capacity to cover the needs of a large Conference.

The YMCA of Greater Houston was excited to offer NAYDO 30 attendees to help our hosts.  Then, Hurricane Harvey dramatically changed life in their community.  We appreciate the Houston Y’s gesture but recognize that they must now focus on rebuilding their community, and their YMCAs.

300 Conference Volunteers Needed

NAYDO’s has a goal is to involve 300 volunteers in some capacity during our 2018 Conference.  Everyone who volunteers gets a chance on 2 free tickets to Jazz Fest on Friday, the final day for the conference.  We have made great progress, but we aren’t there yet.

We are hoping some Y’s will consider adding one or more staff to their NAYDO roster to be part of the New Orleans’ 300 and fill our volunteer needs at the Conference. 

We are seeking volunteers to assist with several Conference activities, but we particularly need two types of volunteers:

1.  Registered Conference Attendees to serve as greeters on Tuesday, April 24th.
      a. Arrive in time for training on Monday, April 23 from 4pm-6pm
Must not be registered for preconference education sessions or activities

2.  Non–registered Conference volunteers to serve as hallway greeters and general session greeters beginning Tuesday and continuing until through Thursday’s Impact and Awards Luncheon.
      a. Preferred arrival for training on Monday, April 23 from 4pm-6pm
      b. Conference Registration fee not required.
      c. Restricted from attending educational workshops.

Please contact Mary Zoller at maryzoller@aol.com if you are interested in volunteering, or if your Y would be willing to provide a volunteer.

#Houston Strong

I’m not much of a social media user, but I just can’t mention Houston without also mentioning the first World Series title for the Astros.   Just over sixty days ago, the Houston Astros joined arm in arm with the community to begin their recovery and few weeks ago those same players offered a welcome respite to their home town fans.  So, congratulation Astros, and to all others, stay “Houston Strong.”

Hope to see you in New Orleans next April!



Sheri Noer, CFRE
Sr. Director of Development
YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

As I sit here and reflect on the many hats we all wear in financial development, the limited time that we have in a day, and the impact that we strive for, I am reminded how often I rely on NAYDO and my colleague connections through NAYDO to maximize our development efforts!

I am excited to share how we try at YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to leverage the full advantage of what NAYDO has to offer. If I had to distill it down to four key ways that we utilize the assets of NAYDO to shift the culture of philanthropy at our Y it would be this:

1.  Foundation Building: How many times have we found ourselves struggling to find a solution or a better way of approaching philanthropy? NAYDO provides tremendous learning opportunities for us. I promote these monthly learning opportunities internally and turn them into Lunch & Learns throughout our Association. Each month I share the NAYDO webinar topic and date through my internal newsletter with all of our VPs, Executive & Associate Directors. They are encouraged to bring their appropriate staff and volunteers together for a Brown Bag Lunch at their Centers. These webinars provide a steady stream of learning opportunities for our staff and volunteers and help strengthen the foundation of philanthropy within our organization.

2.  Strengthening: As a NAYDO member association, we prioritize the value and necessity of attending the annual NAYDO conference. Every year our development team internally reviews an attendee list for the entire association.  We select those within our organization who will most benefit from the in-depth training provided at the conference and send them to the NAYDO conference. Prior to the conference we hold internal planning meetings to review the session offerings (which are available in advance) and assist in crafting a daily schedule that will best benefit the attendee. Post conference we have a group debrief to share all that was learned at the conference and make that information available to everyone in our association. The conference continues to strengthen our philanthropic efforts.

3.  Expanding: All NAYDO member associations, as conference attendees, are supplied with video/audio recording of all NAYDO conference sessions.  We choose 12 of the most impactful sessions from these recording and hold monthly internal webinars showcasing these sessions by some of the greatest minds in philanthropy. The sessions are chosen so that they align with our campaign calendar (i.e. – if we are in a “recruiting campaigners” phase then we might showcase a “Recruiting Engaged Volunteers” session). These are made available to our staff and volunteers to attend. These opportunities allow us to continue to grow and evolve our philanthropic endeavors.

4.  Networking, Networking, Networking: There is no resource more valuable than those in the trenches with us every day!  NAYDO provides that central networking point for access to almost ANY piece of information we might be looking for at any given time. We make available, internally, a central connection point for all things “Philanthropy”. We encourage all of our staff to utilize our Development library (available to all staff) of both printed & video development materials. We share all available NAYDO resources through this portal and if there are additional needs we reach out to member colleagues through NAYDO. This is one of the most valuable resources we have available!

So, whether you work in a YMCA development department or at a Center or Branch, I can guarantee there is something you can learn from NAYDO, their great panel of experts, and the never-ending resources and content available! I learn something new every day from our relationship with NAYDO and cannot imagine my life without them!


New Orleans is ready for NAYDO!
2018 NAYDO Conference | April 24-27
Mary Zoller, NAYDO Operations & Conference Director 

Our co-hosts, Dryades YMCA and YMCA of New Orleans, are looking forward to welcoming Y staff and volunteers from all over the world for another great conference. Maximize your experience and be sure to meet our December 4 deadline for the following:

Eagle Award - The Excellence in Fundraising Eagle Awards are presented annually to YMCA Associations who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in YMCA Financial Development. These Associations will have positioned their YMCA in the top group of most important charitable causes in their communities.

Communications Contest - Communicating our Cause is central to the success of the YMCA. NAYDO is committed to recognizing and sharing communication's excellence globally across the YMCA movement. Each year, YMCAs of every size, with any fundraising goal are encouraged to participate in the annual NAYDO Communications Awards Contest.

Young Professionals Program - The Young Professionals Program offers NAYDO Members between the ages of 21 and 31 a unique and exceptional conference experience focused on networking,professional development and mentoring. Through this program, NAYDO Young Professionals will set personal goals and outcomes for their time at the conference, connect with peers and mentors from around the world, increase capacity to deliver on philanthropic goals at their Y and deepen their understanding of and commitment to a culture of philanthropy.

Financial Assistance - NAYDO is committed to enhancing the professional education of individuals in the area of philanthropy. To help worthy individuals develop their fundraising skills and abilities, NAYDO has established a financial assistance program to assist in attending the annual  conference on YMCA Philanthropy. Over $100,000 was awarded for the 2017 Conference in San Diego!

Finally, if you missed the October 31 Members Only Registration Deadline, don't miss the Early Bird rates good through December 4:
NAYDO Member Staff: $675
NAYDO Member Volunteer: $575
NAYDO Member Volunteer - Wednesday Only: $245
Register here!