YMCA Greater Boston

Rating: 1 stars   3 reviews

Issues: Human Services

Location: 316 Huntington Avenue Boston MA 02115 USA

Mission: The YMCA of Greater Boston is dedicated to improving the health of mind, body and spirit of individuals and families in our communities. We welcome men and women, boys and girls of all incomes, faiths and cultures.
Programs: Each year, over 700 children, ages 0-5, attend a YMCA infant/toddler/preschool program in locations throughout Boston and its surrounding communities.  YMCA child care programs offer developmentally and age appropriate activities that address the needs of each child.  Children learn by handling, moving, sorting, experimenting and experiencing.  Program staff design a curriculum that stimulates, challenges and motivates children.  Staff observe children carefully and guide them on to the next stage of learning with activities that pose additional challenges and rewards.  The YMCA provides almost $2 million in financial assistance to ensure that its programs are accessible and affordable to all.  Working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we are able to help low-income families access government subsidies for early childhood education.
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EIN 04-2103551
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

I am ranking the Y as far below expectations only insofar as it applies to the Board's actions in selling its historic Huntington real estate to Northeastern University. I have been a member of the Huntington YMCA since moving to Boston in 1994, and it has been a lifeline for me. The opportunity to participate in a community that embraces people from all walks of life, of all ages and abilities - physical, social, and economic - has been of enormous importance to me. Not only do I rely on the Y as a place where I can stay in shape, rehab from sports injuries, and develop close friendships with people of a multitude of backgrounds, but I also am proud to be a member of an organization that does so much to help disadvantaged youth, provide services to those in need, and, in general, puts the needs of the public before its own financial or political interests. It is only now, with the proposed sale of the Y to Northeastern, that I am dismayed to see the Board compromise the very principles on which it is founded, and which we, as a community, desperately need. Shame on the Y for caving to pressures from Northeastern and others, at the expense of its own membership and mission.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unsure

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Somewhat badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

The Boston YMCA is a long-term establishment, approaching landmark status. It has tremendous ties to the community with an active sports program. However, these services are in serious jeopardy after the YMCA Board agreed to the sale of the gym to Northeastern University. The Board's actions directly contradict the YMCA constitution -- and the decision has been made solely for profit... There has been no consideration of the community and the thousands of members that will be affected. Northeastern has numerous other building options available... why go after a hallmark in our community? MY NEGATIVE RATING IS SOLELY FOR THE YMCA BOARD'S AND NORTHEASTERN'S AGGRESSIVE SALES PROPOSITION THAT CONTRADICTS WHAT THE Y SYMBOLIZES...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The board of this organization is not representing the interests of members. The board is currently engaged in the sale of a substantial part of its assets to Northeastern University. This sale process has not involved members of the branch and in fact over 1000 active and concerned members have signed a petition to volunteer their efforts to find alternatives to the sale. The petition also calls for the board to cease and desist from selling assets. The board and staff have rebuffed all attempts by members who are willing to contribute funds, time, and effort to enhancing the physical and economic condition of the organization in order to ensure the organization can achieve its total balanced mission. The sale will substantially impair the long-term economic sustainability of the facility.
The board is self perpetuating and has no checks and balances as to governance. The members, whose funds are being spent unwisely, have no ability to effect changes in the board. The board has elements of self interest with respect to local politicians and real estate professionals who do business with the City of Boston. The sale process has been heavy handed with respect to political interests.
The use of proposed sale proceeds has not been disclosed. Our organization is composed of real estate professionals, architects, finance professionals, and many community members. Having participated fully in the process we are convinced the amount of sale proceeds announced to be used for a replacement facility will be impossible to build e.g. $10 million for a 100,000 square foot facility. The proposed plans and costs are not known yet building demolition and sale is proposed prior to the board knowing if the funds will accomplish the future plans of the organization. Members have unanimously voiced the opinion that the proposed facility will substantially degrade the available facilities and can not serve the needs of the entire community.
The board has committed to programs that are a substantial economic detriment to the financial and qualitative health of the organization.
www.savethebostony.com

We regret having to use this forum to express this frustration however as highly professional members and substantial donors ourselves we feel it is necessary to question this board. We would be please to share further details and we may be contacted via the above website.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a member, volunteer and substantial donor.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change the governance of the board to require election by members annually.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

sending children to camp, help improve facilities.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

in response to an annual camp campaign.

What would you tell others about this organization?

avoid engaging with this board until governance changes are made.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator