We’re proud of the work we do to help nonprofits thrive. But we’re REALLY proud of the work our clients do to improve life for others.
Every day we are inspired by their vision, leadership and commitment to making the world a better place.
Here’s one of those stories.
This advice from Greater Valley YMCA CEO David Fagerstrom is an important reminder to all of us who are busy, stretched, behind, and keeping too many plates spinning, “Take the meeting.”
About a year ago, David received a call from “Jim,” a man who grew up in Nazareth, PA, and spent time as a kid hanging out at the Nazareth Y (a branch of the Greater Valley YMCA). Jim was going to be in town and wanted to come see the old gym. Never wanting to miss the opportunity to reconnect with a Y kid, David set up a time to meet.
Standing in the old gymnasium, Jim shared the story with David about how 50+ years ago his dad and some friends used his company trucks to drive to Bethlehem, PA, to pick up the very wood they were now standing on. Seeing how well-worn the “new floor” was today, Jim asked what it might cost to replace the wood. He saw this as a wonderful opportunity to honor his recently deceased dad.
Moved by this thoughtful gesture, David offered a full tour of the Y and enjoyed Jim’s memories of his youth spent with friends at the Y bowling alley, game room, auditorium, and pool. David explained that while “fully depreciated” and in need of some significant capital investment, the Nazareth Y continues to serve the needs of local kids and families. David shared his vision for re-imagining the Y and recapturing many unused square feet that once housed residents, but now lays dormant.
Walking him to his car, David thanked Jim for taking the time to visit, sharing his memories and of course for his generous offer to cover the cost of a much-needed gym floor. They agreed to follow up soon.
Take the meeting!
Not long after their time together, Jim reached out to David and inquired about what it would take to bring the old Nazareth YMCA into the modern era. What would be needed to make sure that his old Y would be there for future generations? Thanks to recent conversations about the facility needs, David was able to share the project costs. With little hesitation, Jim offered to spearhead the campaign effort with a multimillion-dollar pledge, as well as a leadership role to help solicit additional major gifts.
Not only did Jim underwrite the cost of the capital feasibility study, he is now co-chairing the Nazareth YMCA “FOR COMMUNITY. FOR GENERATIONS” Capital Campaign with another of his childhood Y friends. The campaign is in its early stages but has great momentum, big thanks to Jim’s leadership. Generations of kids and families will benefit from Jim's generosity and David's foresight and willingness to take the meeting.
P.S. David offered a second reminder to non-profit leaders, “Reach for the sky with donors. You never know when lightning will strike!