• The Y Changes the Game, Emphasizes Youth and Preventive Health

Collaborate. Create. Accelerate. These are three principles we have adopted as consultants, and they also capture what we strive to help our clients achieve in their mission-driven work.

Periodically, we’ll share featurettes highlighting nonprofits and foundations that we have seen exemplify one or all of these principles. Feel free to suggest others in the comments section – we love success stories!


We were happy to see Y-USA featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy last month with two articles on how the organization has refocused its mission to make a more measurable difference in people’s lives. Not only has the revitalization of its national brand updated its role from that of a recreational resource to an innovator in preventive health, it offers one of the best examples to date of a nonprofit adapting to health care reform. The Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program models how existing nonprofit infrastructure can be used to deliver much-needed preventive programming in a way that is reimbursable by insurers — a model the Y hopes to customize for other chronic health issues such as asthma and cardiovascular disease as well. But its multi-year effort to create a new space for itself in an increasingly competitive and shifting post-ACA environment is not the only thing that makes the Y what we call a game-changer, it is how the organization has gone about managing this change: seeding innovation from within; engaging in a dynamic plan/test/refine cycle; ensuring its efforts are strategically aligned; and allowing the time needed for the new to take hold.

Read more on the Y as an example of scaling what works and implications for nonprofits under the Affordable Care Act

Tags: branding, innovation, strategy


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