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Learn how Daxko is going beyond being just a software provider to being a business partner by helping communicate your impact and fulfilling needs across the entire member journey.

At the start of the pandemic, YMCAs, JCCs and community centers across the nation were forced to stretch their digital boundaries just to stay connected with members. Joe Grieshop, the chief marketing officer at Daxko, described it as a need for survival. 

“As we look for ways to tackle the challenges brought by 2020, establishing a comprehensive digital experience strategy is vital,” said Grieshop. “In today’s landscape of communication, interaction and engagement online, if you aren’t digitally connected, you aren’t connected.” 

Grieshop elaborated having a virtual platform for your association empowers your team to communicate the greater why or impact you have on your community. This was especially important while working with the YMCA of Greater Houston.

“The team at Daxko is helping the Houston Y translate and communicate the work they did to reenvision who and what the Y can be in their community,” said Grieshop. “With an increased focus on community needs, impact and transformation, the Houston team has established a new vision for their YMCA, stemming from the original mission the Y established over 100 years ago. We are partnering with them to bring that to life through evidence-based innovation and strategy.” 

Included in this partnership is market research, data management, member experience mapping and digital marketing tactics — such as paid ads, SEO, etc. — as well as a fully custom web design. “Our goal is to make sure their message doesn’t just end at their website or end at their ads,” said Grieshop. “Together, we are transforming how people view the Y by ensuring their mission and impact is carried through the entire member experience.”

Displaying impact beyond facility walls is exactly what the Houston Y aimed to do this year as effects of the pandemic exposed critical issues in the community, requiring more action from the Y than ever before. John Cardone, the executive vice president of brand experience at the Houston Y, said these needs pushed his team to carve out a new space for the Y, different from what they have normally been associated with. 

“We have begun to shift away from a traditional service model that is all about buildings and fitness programs,” said Cardone. “Instead, the YMCA will become more people-centric and take a holistic perspective on health and wellness that encompasses all aspects of people’s lives. Moving away from a purely physical understanding of well-being gives the YMCA the ability to discuss all initiatives and programs under this expanded umbrella.”

Communicate Your ImpactAs such, the Houston Y is proving they are a purpose, not a place by being an inclusive and purpose-driven organization working to end isolation, fight inequality, inspire youth to thrive, restore hope and well-being for refugees and immigrants, remove limits, and reimagine opportunities for all. “Our vision drives others to join us in bringing about greater change in our community,” said Cardone. 

To achieve this mission, the Houston Y aims to reframe how they’re viewed by stakeholders.

Cardone shared the four goals for 2021 that will help them achieve this: 

Leader. As an industry leader who continually redefines how people think and act around health, societal issues, racial injustice and intergenerational programming, the Houston Y is working passionately every day to make this vision a reality and be the example.

Advocate. The pandemic taught the Houston Y they are a partner for the community. “However, we are also an advocate that amplifies voices because our success is directly tied to the success of our community,” said Cardone. “We promise to promote a collaborative spirit and work together to make real change happen.”

Doer. Most important to the Houston Y, it is an action-oriented organization, with boots on the ground in the community driving needed change. “We hold ourselves accountable for the part we play in shaping a new era for our Y,” said Cardone. “Our core purpose is to contribute positively to society and accelerate positivity; be known as a positive force for change in everything we do.”

Self-Discovery. In the past, the Houston Y wanted individuals to just belong, but today it’s about much more. Cardone shared it’s about belief-driven buyers seeking new centers of meaning in their lives. “And they will seek the Y brand to help them discover who they are in the process,” he said. “This is a much more intimate and personal relationship that adds a layer of intrinsic value to a membership.” 

But with an internal reframing comes a need for externally communicating it. Grieshop recalled speaking with Cardone about his needs and hopes for the Houston Y’s digital marketing strategy. “John needed a partner who could give them insights and recommendations across their entire business platform, and we had the years of experience baked into working with hundreds of nonprofits to deliver,” he said. “Ultimately, the vision for the digital marketing agency at Daxko is to help leaders throughout the movement translate their vision and impact throughout all digital platforms in order to drive greater community transformation.” 

This partnership for a new digital marketing strategy fit the exact need Cardone envisioned to maximize resources while driving action. “For a community service organization, every dollar counts and brand awareness is key,” he said. “Utilizing a unified set of tools and hyper-targeted messaging, we are able to seamlessly move an individual from prospect to connected member.”

Together, Daxko and the Houston Y hope to affect over eight million lives in the Houston community and spread awareness of the Y’s mission and impact.

“Tackling issues like isolation, inequity, social injustice, health disparity and the achievement gap requires reimagining our story and how you tell it,” said Cardone. “Our expanded partnership with Daxko allows us to tell our story more strategically through a data-driven approach. Together we will target the right groups, attract more people and drive a transformation of the Houston community.”

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Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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