Case Study: Southwestern Montana Family YMCA

The Southwestern Montana Family YMCA in Dillon, Montana opened in 2004. As a small Y in a rural area, the volunteers and staff knew they needed to raise money to finish paying for their facility, but weren’t sure there was capacity for such support in their community. In November 2005, with their capital campaign at a standstill, a colleague recommended they call Bruce Berglund at Donor by Design Group.

Donor by Design worked with the Y each step of the way to revitalize their capital efforts. Roger Pelletier, CEO, describes it this way: “He [Bruce Berglund] has taken us by the hand, led us through the whole process, strategy by strategy and turned us into good fundraisers. He didn’t just give us a blue print, but led us through the plan. He helped us adjust and supported us through the challenging parts.”

While the capital campaign continues, the YMCA is also taking its first steps to creating an endowment fund and running an annual campaign, also with Donor by Design’s help. “We weren’t sure about trying to do an annual campaign on top of the capital effort,” said Roger. “The largest campaign in the community to date had raised $15,000. But, with Bruce’s help and using the strategies he taught us, we were able to raise $60,000 for our annual campaign in the first year!”

Roger’s story in his own words.
(Note that when Roger worked with us, we were still known as “Triangle 2”)

In January 2007, the YMCA worked with Lora Dow to create their first membership campaign. The campaign focused on member referrals, and the number of joins were double what the Y expected. An unexpected benefit, according to Roger was that “it created a lot of excitement in our Y. People were excited to talk about the YMCA and get their friends involved.”

Roger concludes, “Donor by Design has really taken our little Y under their wing and taught us skills to help us do right by our community and grow as an organization.”