Posted by: thebluemusicblog | August 11, 2011


There once was a YMCA in a location I shall not disclose to you. Their YMCA building was old and really in need of painting and renovation. They fundraised for paint, but it was not a very successful fundraising campaign. So the money could not buy the amount of paint needed. What to do? They decided to make the paint thinner by adding some cheap fluid. The building looked good that night, but unfortunately a heavy rain came and washed away most of the thin paint.

Then a thunderstorm came, and from the thunder came a voice from above and made the YMCA leaders tremble in their shoes. The voice said: REPAINT! REPAINT! AND THIN NO MORE!

When we want to repaint the YMCA, the motivation for this is not budgets with red figures, but first of all the motivation comes from the power station of the YMCA. The power station is where the visions for tomorrow are developed. When you see the potential of this great YMCA movement, all the things we can do together, then the motivation to fundraise for these visions grow strong! And we want to see our visions become reality, not as thin paint, but as deep, strong colors which stay for many years!

A one-dollar bill met a twenty-dollar bill and said, “Hey, where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you around here much.”

The twenty-dollar bill answered, “I’ve been hanging out at the casinos, went on a cruise and did the rounds of the ship, back to the United States for a while, went to a couple of baseball games, to the mall, that kind of stuff. How about you?”

The one-dollar bill said, “You know, same old stuff … church, church, church.”

The worldwide YMCA family decided in the 1990s to repaint the movement and renew the YMCA. No cheap fluid was put into the paint. It was properly done, with the help of consultants and the voices of all National Movements were heard.

First came the Mission Review process. That gave us Challenge 21. Then came the Organisation Review process – the question was: How can we work better together to make the YMCA stronger? This process gave us the Global Staff Team, where all the areas of the global YMCA work together with the World Alliance of YMCAs. Out of the Global Staff Team came the suggestion to form a Global Operating Plan for Movement Strengthening.

It may sound very much like the Grey Music, and quite boring. I have been part of the Global Staff Team since it was formed more than ten years ago, and I can tell you it is far from boring or grey. I work in the Global Staff Team together with my good friends Mauricio from LACA, Tom from the USA, Mary Anne from Canada, Juan Simoes from Europe, Kohei from APAY, Joe from the Middle East and Carlos from Africa. It is a fascinating place to work, and after we decided through the Organisation Review process that we have different roles to play and what those roles are, there has been splendid collaboration, a lot of Blue Music, laughter, friendship, inspiring discussions and good ideas. One of these good ideas is the need for strongly improved Resource Mobilisation in the world wide YMCA, so that we can fund the NEW WAY strategy for YOUTH EMPOWERMENT and reach much longer and do much more in a better and more professional way.

And then one day we may not have to do as the preacher who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it’s still out there in your pockets!

To increase our fundraising potential, we need to get our story out there. We need to make the YMCA known. We need to stand out in the social media. We need to interact with our friends and make new friends – Friend Raising!

I have invited a good friend and colleague, Claude-Alain Danthe, Webmaster and Archivist at the NEW WAY office, to share with us his ideas around our use of the social media.


  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    • Thank you! Maybe you would explain to me what is challenging here? I would be happy to answer any questions! Johan

  2. I just wanted to say this is an amazing weblog, thank you for the post!

  3. Very useful post. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

  4. I really liked the article. It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!

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