Guiding Principles describe our behaviors to support our organization’s work throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in goals, strategies, and leadership. Our Guiding Principles are as follows: We CULTIVATE-We grow staff and volunteer leaders who will be stewards of the Y mission, resources, and opportunities. We OWN-We think long-term and act on behalf of the organization, beyond our own team. We WELCOME-We are inclusive of all people and all communities. We SERVE-We provide timely and excellent service to members, volunteers, community, and each other. We LEARN-We are never done learning and always seek to improve. We are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. We UNITE-We work together to achieve big goals and speak as one voice. We RESPECT-We treat others with kindness and speak positively about other people in all situations. We PLAY-We celebrate, appreciate, and have fun!
The YMCA of Great Grand Rapids utilizes a Membership By Design framework, which is a member involvement and community building model for YMCAs across the country. All staff members—front-line, management, full- and part-time—and volunteers have a role to play in member engagement. These responsibilities can be broken into six steps:
- Enrollment: Staff and volunteers encourage potential members to enroll in programs and activities that meet their needs.
- Satisfaction: Staff and volunteers ask members continually about their satisfaction with a program or activity, track responses, listen to suggestions, and respond promptly in a manner consistent with the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.
- Relationship Building: Staff and volunteers are open, friendly, and approachable to all YMCA members and participants. Staff and volunteers initiate interaction with and between members.
- Education and Conversion: Staff and volunteers know about and share their knowledge of the YMCA, its programs, its policies, its mission, its values, and how it benefits members and the community.
- Volunteerism and Leadership: Staff and volunteers create opportunities for members to volunteer in their areas of interest, and they ask members to do so whenever appropriate.
- Ownership: Staff and volunteers encourage members to “own” the YMCA, using words such as “we,” “us,” and “our association” (and actions that match those words) to include members as well as staff and volunteers.