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YMCA launches new survey to shape strategic goals

Fercho Family YMCA in downtown Fargo. Forum file photo

FARGO — The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties is asking for help to strengthen the community and organization's offerings as it looks to set new strategic planning goals.

A new survey — available online and at the front desk of Y locations — went live Wednesday, Feb. 14, and is open until March 12.

Steve Smith, CEO and president of the organization, said it was his goal to do strategic planning when he first took on the role in June 2017. He said the process will be led by the national YMCA office to investigate future growth of programs that will best support the community.

The YMCA focuses on three key areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. A series of questions will ask respondents how it's performing in those areas as well as ways it can improve services for youth and adults.

Smith said the survey will provide "a good understanding of where the needs are in the community" and how it can enhance the experience for its 15,000 local members.

The CEO said the survey is community focused, however, and not all questions are related to the Y. Results of the survey could show the need for more work in affordable housing, for example. While that's not something that falls under the Y's offerings, Smith said the organization could look at ways to make child care more affordable.

The survey could also find people want to ensure there are enough things for youth to do here, he said. People under the age of 18 make up 20 percent of the Y's membership.

Once the survey wraps up, a committee will analyze results and come up with recommendations to share with the board of directors at a March 26 meeting. Smith said the board will have a good idea of the new strategic goals sometime in May.

The survey can be found online at www.ymcacassclay.org/survey. Organizers said it should take no more than 5 minutes to complete, and answers will remain anonymous.