YMCASF: Online Advertising

            Hey there Y community! Hope everyone is being safe and healthy during this time and remember that we are here to help! This week on the YMCASF blog dives into the online advertising elements which include advertising on the site, services, and communications received from the website.


            Right of the bat, the ymcasf.org website, there is no advertisements placed onto the website. The website does not have any opportunities for other companies to sell products or promote services. The organization does not sell spaces throughout their websites for ads to show up. The entire website is all about the Y and what they do.

  • As a well-known organization, the YMCA stands by its mission and vision to strengthen communities and promote a healthy lifestyle. The interruption of any advertisements on the page would shy away from the purpose of the organization and its drive to help people.
  • With all of the charitable good the Y does to help the community, advertisements on the website would draw attention away from the good and contradict the mission. “The Y is a leading partner, locally and nationally, in public initiatives; government, foundation and private sector partnerships which support those in our community who need it most” (Villalobos, et. al., n.d.). Several Y partners have band together to provide the organization with support to better the community and help those who do not have the resources.

The YMCA has partnerships with various types of local and national businesses, organizations, press, media, and other companies that drive the company forward. So many people have awareness of the brand without advertisements. Up until recently, the organization “never felt the need to advertise” (Tugend, 2016, para. 1). When they did advertise, it was for the public to understand that they are more than just a gym.


            During the rebranding process of the Y, the main goal of the campaign was to reach out to the public to inform them that the organization is a charity, a fitness center, and a center for development (Tugend, 2016, para. 4). YMCA has always been about strengthening the community and aiding people in the growth and development of their lives. Over time, the programs and services provided by the Y have changed, but the mission remains the same (Aschmidt, 2019, para. 4). The programs implemented by the Y are youth and family, health and wellness, adult and senior, and social supports (Villalobos, et. al., n.d.). In light of the pandemic, these resources have been made virtual for members and non-members to access and benefit from. Even with the “new normal” conditions of the country, the Y still strives to deliver resources to everyone who needs it. Since kids, parents, and elderly are suffering from the constraints of the pandemic, the YMCA offers virtual resources like student support, fitness classes, food pantries, and mental health support. Many families benefit from all the resources provided by the Y including the emergency childcare services for essential workers (Knight, 2020, para. 3). The highlight of the organization is its programs that help the community become stronger and unified.

Online Communication

            To reach the community, the Y has a place for anyone to sign up for newsletter near the bottom of the website along with all social media links such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The website and social media platforms allow everyone to engage and interact with the brand to share their Y stories. Member experience is everything and the Y spares no effort when ensuring that all members feel important and included. The communication efforts that the organization provides is somewhat consistent. With the advancement of the social media connection, the Y does update social media pages daily to keep its communication going. Previously, newsletters were sent every month, however, it lacks in communication through newsletters right now when it is crucial to stay updated. Newsletters bridge the communication gap for those who do not actively use social media and is the one area that the YMCA could improve upon. If communication on social media and newsletters continue, the communication effort would be efficient, consistent, and ideal.

News Today: YMCA Advertising Efforts

            YMCA CEO, Kevin Washington, was featured in an interview by TIME about four days ago discussing the measures that the YMCA is taking during the pandemic to stay afloat. Thousands of Y’s have made attempts to help the community amidst their own financial hardship by unemployment help, food distribution, childcare, converted homeless shelters, blood drives, day camps, and senior support (Shapiro, 2020, para. 1). Washington addresses the inequity across the country and the fact that there needs to be a shift in the communities to provide people with resources for survival (Shapiro, 2020, para. 5). Best online advertising practices are defined as a promotional mix of social media, Google Ads, and search ads (Sherman, 2019). The YMCA online advertising is present within mobile, web, social, and search to spread the word about the Y’s efforts in shaping the community. Although the organization does not put much effort in television or broadcast advertisement, it is still successful in expanding brand awareness across the globe. All the good that the company does has made a positive impact, however, if there is a time for people to support the Y, it is now. YMCA’s survival depends on the revenue it generates for its members and since it has been providing relief to the community, it has lost a good chunk of its revenue. Everyone is suffering, financially, during this pandemic and it is important for everyone to band together to support one another to become, as the Y envisions, stronger as a community.


Aschmidt. (2019, February 14). YMCA Delivers Positive Change to the Community through Digital Marketing. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://2060digital.com/blog/ymca-delivers-positive-change-digital-marketing/

Knight, H. (2020, April 05). On the bright side: YMCA offers emergency child care to Bay Area health care workers. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/On-the-bright-side-YMCA-offers-emergency-child-15178498.php

Shapiro, E. (2020, July 19). YMCA CEO Kevin Washington On COVID-19, Financial Pressures. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://time.com/5867118/ymca-ceo-kevin-washington-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR3jaCBlrfcbzmz04s4XvyfRnIIKv41JTc4nIwm0ssEVoZ4yX6hDJLxCm5o

Sherman. (2020, August 16). 7 Best Online Advertising Channels to Promote Your Small Business. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/best-online-advertising/

Tugend, A. (2016, January 23). The Y Embarks on Its First National Advertising Campaign. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/business/media/the-y-embarks-on-its-first-national-advertising-campaign.html

Villalobos, L., Bruning-Miles, J., Collins, C., & Jones, D. (n.d.). Here For Good. Retrieved July 24, 2020, from https://www.ymcasf.org/

Published by Sharleen Chandra

Hi, I’m Sharleen. Previously a teacher and social media marketing manager, I became a full-time student in the Marketing and Communications Master's Program at Franklin University. I spend most of my time with my family and my loving puppy. With SC Slice of Life, you will enter into a new world of endless possibilities! You will get lost in the adventures at every turn!

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