Client: The YMCA of the USA – Togetherhood
Delivered: Project Strategy, Design Thinking, Naming, Identity Design, Program Tool Kit
Re-establishing a core mission of Community Service
You know ‘The Y’ as a swim and gym. What you may not know is The Y is one of the oldest non-profit service-oriented organizations in the country. The organizations’ three core missions are: youth development (mind), healthy living (body), and social responsibility (spirit). The Y was doing a fantastic job serving its members through workout, swimming and child care services. But as the organization moved away from its Christian foundation, the ‘spirit’ portion needed reimagining.
Enter Togetherhood – Identity and Program Design
In 2014, the YMCA of the USA hired Seedhouse to help them develop a new social responsibility signature program that would activate its member base to serve their communities. The founding principal identified was: Doing good makes me feel good. As a federated foundation, there were several challenges to developing the national program. We had to enlist the individual Y’s to work with the YMCA of the USA to develop this program so that the individual Y’s would actually implement it. The program had to be scalable – so the large, well-funded Y’s wouldn’t be the only Y’s participating. The program needed to be member-led, as the staff was already overburdened, spread too thin and wary of national directives coming from on high that had little to do with the everyday workings on the ground.
After many innovation and white board sessions, we sent the pilot program to 11 YMCA’s around the country. These Y’s committed to implementing the MVP tool kit to create a volunteer project for their members. Once complete, we all met up and did a three-day debrief and innovation session. Using their valuable feedback, we tweaked the program and tools, finalizing the Togetherhood identity.
We developed a downloadable tool kit that would take a member from start to finish on a Togetherhood project. The resources and printables were all designed within the 2010 YMCA brand standards. Finding freedom within those rules, we developed iconography and graphics to help get the word out about the project. Togetherhood provides Y members with fun, and rewarding community service opportunities that are member-led and scalable. Seedhouse worked with the Y throughout the development process, including in-depth immersion into The Y culture, workshops, and tool kit development. As of 2020, Togetherhood has had quite an impact and we are proud to have helped the Y pioneer this transformative project.