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YMCA of Delaware

Staff members spend less time on manual tasks and more time connecting with customers, thanks to their new Salesforce ecosystem.
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Delivering Digital Services to Thousands of YMCA Members

To effectively manage programs at its Youth Development Center, overnight camp, and seven branch facilities, this statewide YMCA needed an upgrade from its legacy technology. The Y deployed Salesforce, the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), Experience Cloud, and Traction Rec to create a powerful unified platform that has increased staff productivity.

Through the YMCA of Delaware’s self-service portal, customers can purchase memberships, sign up for fitness programs, and update their account information. Centralized case management has enabled staff to resolve customer issues more quickly. Spending much less time on paperwork and entering data into multiple systems, branch staff can focus on tasks that need a personal touch, like taking prospective members on tours of their fitness centers and swimming pools. The Y’s team continues to find new ways to automate its business processes and meet members’ needs and expectations.

  • $500K
    in staff salary costs saved annually
  • 4x
    increase in online program registrations
  • 20%
    of membership sales occur online


Need for a Connected, Flexible Platform to Improve Customer Experience

The YMCA of Delaware, founded in 1891, has seen tremendous growth over the past few decades. With seven branches statewide, a youth resource center in downtown Wilmington, and an overnight camp and conference center, the Y has developed long-standing relationships and a physical presence in Delaware to deliver lasting personal and social change. It is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the state, serving 80,000-100,000 people annually.

In 2019, the YMCA of Delaware began its digital transformation, implementing technology to manage its programs more effectively and accommodate the needs and desires of its members. The Y’s legacy system had limited functionality and involved multiple siloed databases. YMCA staff couldn’t customize the system to meet their needs. Some of their desired changes weren’t possible; others required paying their vendor for extra technical support.

Today’s families and individual members expect to register for swimming lessons, child care, or sports online. The legacy system allowed for program registration online, but members found the process complicated and frustrating. Only 20% of program registrations were successfully completed online. Instead, most members phoned in their registrations or showed up at their local branch to sign up at the front desk — taking up lots of staff time. Buying a membership online wasn’t even an option under the legacy system.

Salesforce has helped us streamline time-consuming processes so our teams can focus on the member experience instead of managing transactions. We love that we can be more member-centric in our welcome centers.” Jennifer McPherson, Vice President, Membership and Programs
YMCA of Delaware


Self-Service Portal Takes Program Registrations and Membership Sales Online

To bring its data processes and digital services into the 21st century, the YMCA of Delaware deployed Sales Cloud, the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), and Traction Rec. The Y’s team successfully launched online summer camp registrations on the new system in February 2020 … just before the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum in the U.S.

Across the state, YMCA facilities were closed, programs were cancelled, and many staff members were furloughed. A small internal team of three — working separately from home — kept pushing the full implementation forward. It took a little longer than expected, admits Emily Glading, Senior Director of Information Systems, but they got it done and kept it on budget.

By March 2021, the Y’s self-service portal — running on Experience Cloud with Traction Rec components — was not only empowering members to update their contact info, sign waivers, and register for programs online, but allowing them to buy memberships digitally too.


Managing Cases to Resolve Customer Issues More Efficiently

The Information Systems team anticipated that this shift — like any significant systems change — would increase the number of technical support requests from both YMCA members and staff. They created a tech support web form with Formstack and used Salesforce’s native Web-to-Case functionality to automatically turn every form submission into a case to be managed. Each case is funneled to a dedicated team at the Central (Wilmington) YMCA, which can access a 360-degree view of that member or employee.

This way, the Y can handle more support cases — as many as 50-60 per day during peak registration periods. Members get their problems resolved quickly, usually in a matter of minutes, within 12 hours at the maximum. And administrative and front-desk staff at branch YMCAs can use their time more productively, engaging with members in person.

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Streamlining and Automating Processes, So YMCA Staff Can Do More with Less

Emily Glading and her team have taken full advantage of their Premier Success Plan, using Expert Coaching Sessions to quickly ramp up their Salesforce skills. Now they can build their own Flows to automate processes that previously had to be done manually, like sending onboarding emails to new members.

They’ve integrated other apps with their Salesforce for Nonprofits system, including ProvenWorks AddressTools for address verification, and a third-party diabetes prevention program module. By integrating NPSP with the Classy fundraising platform, they’ve relieved staff members of hours of tedious labor manually entering donations and following up on pledges.

In total, the YMCA of Delaware estimates it saved $500,000 in staff salary costs in 2021. The number of online program sign-ups has quadrupled — 80% of program registrations are completed online. Twenty percent of membership sales now happen online.

Planned projects include more automated workflows and an SMS tool for sending text alerts to members. “It’s never going to be ‘over.’ There’s always more you can do,” said Glading. “We’re looking at integrating a customer survey tool. We want to be able to see that 360-degree view of a customer. There’s no point in having a surveying system that doesn’t connect to a customer’s Salesforce record. I’m sure we’ll identify more things to do in the next year. It’s all possible with Salesforce.”

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About the YMCA of Delaware

Founded in 1891, the YMCA of Delaware is the state’s largest nonprofit organization committed to strengthening local citizens through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.