By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH, N.C. — Three Triangle YMCA’s have teamed up for their annual fund drives for the first time this year, and two of them are talking seriously about merging.
“There is greater opportunity for community service and greater opportunity for expanding the mission of the Y in those communities by working together,” says Doug McMillan, CEO of the Capital Area YMCA in Raleigh.
Joining the Capital Area Y in the fund drive are the Garner Road Family YMCA in Raleigh and the YMCA of Greater Durham.
The combined goal for the drive, which kicks off Oct. 9 at the N.C. State University Club, is $2.4 million.
Individual goals are $2.1 million for the Capital Area Y, up from $1.9 million raised last year; $200,000 for the Durham Y, up from $170,000 last year; and $100,000 for the Garner Road Y, up from $30,000 in its last campaign two years ago.
The Durham drive is chaired by Chuck Watts, general counsel of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co., while Tony Knox, deputy administrator of the North Carolina credit union division for the state Department of Commerce, chairs the Garner Road drive.
David Byrd, president of the Durham Y, says the campaign and possible merger both would help “serve the growing community effectively and maximize the mission of the YMCA.”
After 15 months of talks about a possible merger, volunteer groups for the Capital Area Y and Durham Y are taking a formal look at one another, including operations, finances, property, programs and staffing.
The two study groups – headed by Lacy Presnell, a partner in Raleigh law firm Burns Day & Presnell, and Robert Teer, president of Teer Associates in Research Triangle Park – are expected to complete their work in about a month.
The Capital Area Y has an annual budget of $34 million and employs 250 people fulltime and 2,500 part-time, while the Durham Y has a budget of nearly $5 million and employs 100 fulltime and 300 to 400 part-time.
“In the best-case scenario, we believe we would eliminate some redundancies and we would be more effective in delivering the mission of the YMCA consistently to all communities,” says McMillan of the Capital Area Y. “The fundraising initiative is an example of how redundancies, communication and mission can be more effectively done with one voice.”