YMCA’s response to COVID-19

The storied nonprofit shares how it is striving to continue its mission, even when it had to close its doors to visitors. The ‘Stay With Us’ campaign offers valuable lessons for working through this crisis.

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Editor’s note: This article is a re-run as part of our countdown of top stories from the past year.

How can your organization continue to engage the community, even when you have to close your doors?

That was the mission for the YMCA as the coronavirus pandemic swept across America, forcing almost all of its locations to close to the public.  The Y was able to reach out to its community stakeholders with a campaign it calls “Stay with Us,” bringing some of the community services the organization was known for to virtual platforms.

The change in tactics, and strategic pivot, offer takeaways for all kinds of organizations that are struggling to serve their audience during this crisis.

Here’s what Valerie Barker Waller, chief marketing officer and senior vice president for Y-USA, had to say about the campaign.

PR Daily: What are the goals of your campaign? What challenges do you hope to address?

Waller: As one of the country’s most storied nonprofits with a 170-year history in the U.S., the goal of our “Stay With Us,” campaign is to call on the public to continue supporting the Y.

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