One way BigFish Consulting gives back to the local San Diego community is by volunteering with the East County Family YMCA.

I have been a Board of Management volunteer for 14 years and have chaired multiple subcommittee’s as well as served as a Board of Governor with the San Diego County YMCA. I’m guilty of being a passionate Board Member! I devote my time and BigFish resources to this cause because I strongly YMCA Logobelieve families and children must have a safe place to go to within the communities that they live in. Having a safe setting, like a YMCA, allows family’s the opportunity to spend quality time together while at the same time becoming exposed to positive people and environments.

With a $10mm annual budget, hundreds of staff members and 60+ Board Members, a lot can be said about what goes on at the East County Family YMCA. Currently there are 3 facilities with thousands of members. The facilities include a fitness center, multiple pools, active older adult education, child watch and a wide range of character building classes and programing. Each one of these facilities are not your parents YMCA’s of the past. These are state of the art, multi-million dollar facilities with the latest new equipment and maintained to the highest degree. They are safe, positive energy meeting places for all families, whatever your family make-up looks like, including creating your own YMCA family with fellow YMCA members. Along with these facilities, the YMCA runs after school programs at multiple elementary school locations to help out single and dual income earning family’s, parents who are in the workforce.

The YMCA does not turn anyone away who cannot afford to pay. Whether it be a membership, a summer camp, fitness class, no one is turned away. This is important to note because most people in the US don’t realize the YMCA is a non-profit. The YMCA is funded with 100% private money (except for a handful of State funded specialty programs).

So in lies the question, where does the money come from to pay for the folks who need help?

Every year starting late January, The East County Family YMCA launches a fundraising campaign to raise $455,000 in about 35 days. Yes that’s a BIG number. I know because I was the Campaign Chair in 2014 and will be again here in 2015. I do it because I get to be involved in such an amazing organization where you can see on a daily basis 300 passionate volunteers getting the real work done. They tell their own YMCA stories and explain where the money goes and how it is being used to help families in the immediate community.

The YMCA calls this seasonal funding event The 2015 Capital Campaign. 100% of the $455,000 will be devoted to Financial Assistance, and .93 cents of every financial gift will go to helping a family participate in the YMCA character building programs. Whether it’s $5 or $5,000 it all goes to Financial Assistance. It won’t be used to put a name on a building, staff salaries, just Financial Assistance to family’s who really need it. The San Diego County YMCA will raise millions for Financial Assistance this year.

This is why this time of the year get’s me so excited. Why I contribute BigFish resources towards the efforts to keep the YMCA going. I believe that if you truly want to make the world a little better place, then you must start in your own neighborhood. Sure you can donate to worthy causes that gain media attention, resolve issues on other continents, and you should. But it is priceless when you begin to see your efforts and resources making good in your hometown. It is rewarding to watch families use these facilities and hear and read their comments of how it has changed, or even saved their lives, provided a safe place for their children, a safe place to talk about the challenges of growing up and parents about family life.

So whether it be a local YMCA or just any local non-profit that you are passionate about, get involved. We think you might like it!

If you can’t, I won’t turn down your donation through our Campaign Page.

There’s a Y in every family which is why there’s a Y in the BigFish Family…..


About the Author: Chris Coughlan, Jr. is the Founder and CEO of BigFish Consulting. Chris’ launch of BigFish Consulting was perfectly timed with the “new collaborative economy” that emerged from the unfortunate financial crisis of 2008. The firm was created to fill an essential need Chris saw in companies of all sizes. Chris educates business owners, executives and sales teams on how to achieve their strategic revenue objectives through his concept Shortest Distance to Revenue™ and the idea of using “Real Prospects” as training tools.

Connect with Chris and BigFish Consulting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and @ccbigfishcc.

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