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Better Together

The Board of Directors at the Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA commissioned the Strategic Planning Committee to lead the strategic planning process in January, 2015. The committee met for several planning sessions prior to the Board/Staff Planning Retreats to study the unique community needs that will shape our Y’s future direction. Following the retreat, the Planning Committee and senior staff leadership refined the organizational strategies and desired outcomes for the Y’s Big Question.



Local and national trends continue to be factors in defining how we will strengthen our capacity to serve our community and explore the opportunities to make it the best it can be. This is a “living” plan; we are committed to long-term impact, and we recognize the need to continuously adapt our strategies as our environment changes.



To unite and connect our diverse community, providing opportunities to explore and develop their holistic potential and to be a sustainable and accessible organization.



A BIG question is an opportunity or threat to which our Y must respond. Usually, it is beyond the scope of our organization’s current strategies, thus requiring a new strategy and articulation of organizational response.

How do we achieve sustainability, accomplish greater community engagement and address community needs?


Better-TogetherYOUTH DEVELOPMENT. Critical Social Issues Facing Our Communities

  • Erosion in social-emotional development leading to negative youth behaviors.
  • Limited availability of non-athletic programs that draw out youth skills, creativity and confidence.
  • Youth need better support in practicing positive habits that include physical activity and healthy eating.

Organizational Response

We will help children and teens realize their potential and nurture their social-emotional, cognitive and physical development through holistic youth programming, experiences and supports. 


HEALTHY LIVING. Critical Social Issues Facing Our Communities

  • High rates of chronic disease and obesity in youth and adults.
  • More support needed for health-seeking adults to practice positive habits that include physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Lack of opportunities for adults to have convenient access to structured activities in a community facility.

Organizational Response

We will support those in our community who seek healthier lifestyles and greater well-being.


SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Critical Social Issues Facing Our Communities

  • Community support systems are not keeping pace with changing demographics and the needs of the family unit.

Organizational Response

We will adapt our programs and services to the changing demographics of our community, ensuring maximum impact.



Expand programs by assessing community trends in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and respond with programs and services that achieve impact.    

  • Expand our reach in child care services; continually look to expand our impact by partnering with like-minded organizations in order to uncover underserved families with child care needs.
  • Develop new and innovative non-athletic youth programs designed to draw out youth skills, creativity and confidence.
  • Create opportunities for families to connect and engage together through programs that foster stronger family bonds.
  • Develop new and innovative health and wellness programs that will help people achieve their goals.
  • Develop an approach to strengthen the health management capacity for women who use the Shelter’s services.



Engage, develop and empower leaders who are passionate and dedicated to the mission, cause and values to ensure that all segments of the community are welcome at the Y.    

  • Create a culture for our members which focuses on member engagement, cultivating relationships and building a greater sense of belonging.
  • Develop passionate, cause-driven staff leaders through intentional training.
  • Strengthen the foundational elements of Board Governance and create a sustainable culture of exceptional governance.



Promote sustainability and philanthropy by generating increasing amounts of financial support from charitable sources to achieve impact

  • Create and maintain a culture of philanthropy by growing the Annual Community Support Campaign.
  • Promote sustainability by developing an endowment development campaign.
  • Develop a plan to increase community awareness of the Y as an organization that strengthens community and demonstrates our cause, impact and charitable worth.
  • Develop a capital plan for all facilities that encompasses current and future needs of all capital assets and considers community needs for expansion.

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