Y-M-C-a! a Business Overview of a Non-Profit Organization

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Y-M-C-A! A Business Overview of a Non-Profit Organization
Crystal Hunter
American Intercontinental University

A semi-detailed business overview of the non-profit organization known as the YMCA or Young Men’s Christian Association is discussed. A brief history of the origins of the company is detailed along with the definition or explanation of the company’s mission statement. The organization’s basic legal, social, and economic environment is described. Likewise the YMCA’s management structure, operational issues, as well as financial issues are discussed. Lastly, the possible impact that potential change factors, which includes the role of technology, can present to the YMCA business organization are discussed.

Y-M-C-A! A Business Overview of a Non-Profit Organization
In 1844, a man by the name of George Williams along with 11 of his friends established the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in London, England. The mission of the first YMCA was to provide a safe refuge and a place to study the bible for young men on the then tough and unrelenting streets of London. In 1851, the YMCA was introduced to the United States by a retired military captain by the name of Thomas Valentine Sullivan who was inspired by the works, efforts, and impact that the founding London based YMCA had provided for young men. (The Story of Our Founding, 2010). Fast forwarding 166 years, the Young Men’s Christian association is now a multicultural, multinational, and global corporation which continues to provide a refuge, but not solely for men, but for all, male and female.

Unlike most business organizations whose ultimate goal is to make money or profit, the YMCA began and still remains a non-profit organization. The legal environment of the YMCA as a non-profit organization can be somewhat diverse, as per the YMCA organization is global. However, the basic legal structure or environment of the YMCA while a corporation with ownership divided amongst its shareholders, has some variance to its structure in that it does not have to pay income tax on the company’s profits, and with the non-profit governmental status can be eligible for public and private grants (money), eligibility to solicit tax deductible contributions, have protection from personal liability, and even may have exemption from property taxes (Five Reasons to Incorporate Your Non-Profit Organization, 2010). The only governmental requirement for a non-profit organization to maintain its status is that it must ensure that all of its profits are reinvested into its charitable activities (Five Reasons to Incorporate Your Non-Profit Organization, 2010). The YMCA, while a global enterprise, has both paid and non-paid (volunteer) employees who run each operational location.

The YMCA organization’s mission for all is, “to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all, our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.”  (The Y: About Us, 2010)

According to YMCA (2005), the YMCA is a worldwide corporation which serves over 45 million people in 124 countries; and in the United States 12 million adults and youth in over 10,000 communities. The social environment of the YMCA is thus a broad and expansive environment, due to the fact that the YMCA serves multiple countries and likewise employs multinational/multicultural employees as well as volunteers. Each individual YMCA likewise, as evidenced by its ranking as the number one international non-profit organization, gears its programs and services towards the cultural values, beliefs, needs, and desires of each center’s community (The Y: Facts and Figures, 2010). Likewise, the YMCA’s customers are of all races, nationalities, sex, and even age in some facilities as per some sites even offer daycare services for infants...
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