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How self-service member capacities boosted engagement for Delaware YMCA




7 branches

Individuals Served:



Unleashing self-service super powers to members

Like many YMCAs, during the pandemic the YMCA of Delaware paused the majority of their memberships due to limited onsite programming. As services and facilities in the region began to re-open, the team was faced with the challenge of bringing back their vital membership revenue stream.

With a mission of empowering youth, fostering healthy living, and promoting strong communities, the YMCA of Delaware serves over 100,000 people annually and is the only state-wide YMCA with 7 member branches, a youth resource center, overnight camp and conference center.

With Traction Rec and Salesforce, some of the biggest benefits we are seeing are members being able to control their accounts online and in turn self service registrations have increased.

Emily Glading

Emily Glading

Sr. Director

Time for change

With their legacy technology membership renewals, purchases and updates had only ever been available in person or over the phone in the past. This daunting restart posed a huge risk of overwhelming onsite staff with an avalanche of administrative work and putting members through a slow, frustrating experience of waiting in line or on the phone.

On top of these concerns, the Memorial Day Weekend was just around the corner and the Y had traditionally seen a surge in membership sales and members onsite over the holiday as families flocked to the Y’s beautiful outdoor pools. With all those families needing to reactivate their memberships as well, it was set to be a perfect storm.

The Obstacles
  • All memberships would be processed in-person at the front desk (no online sales or self-service capability).
  • Member profiles and payment information could only be updated manually by staff.
  • Membership cards had to be activated on-site. Limited resources on a holiday weekend would mean an extra strain on staff causing wait times for registering members and delays providing onboarding instructions.
  • One of the busiest weekends of the year was coinciding with mask restrictions being lifted. This would trigger a significant surge in registration and people accessing on-site services.

Anytime from anywhere access

Using Salesforce technology and Traction Rec’s membership functionality, the YMCA launched online membership sales and a customer self-service portal. For the first time ever individuals and families could purchase or renew their memberships anywhere and anytime through the self-serve and mobile compatible portal. Now, individuals could access programs and services immediately, without the reliance or constraints of staff availability.

In anticipation of the Memorial Day weekend membership rush, the Y also implemented a customized automatic email for onboarding new members, to include specific wording and instructions on what to do when they arrived at the Y, how to get their cards activated, and how to access the pools over the long weekend.

Within the self-service portal, families were also able to access and update all of their household details - from contact information, to payment methods, program registration, before and after school care signup, forms and waivers, and more for everyone in their household. All of this could be done without contacting the Y, alleviating the administrative workload for staff and empowering members to engage with the Y whenever and wherever was most convenient for them.

To keep an eye on sales by location and help anticipate spikes in attendance, the appropriate staff were notified every time a new member signed up over the long weekend as well as real time reports they could monitor across all branches. With their new online membership sale process and detailed welcome email in place, staff went home on Friday night to enjoy their long weekend.

For the first time ever individuals and families could purchase or renew their memberships anywhere and anytime. Within the self-service portal, families were also able to access and update all of their details.


Empowered members and streamlined experience

For the YMCA Community members
  • Individuals could filter, browse and purchase available memberships online for their preferred location(s), making for a smooth and seamless transaction
  • The online self-service portal enabled members to access all the information they needed from program enrolment, signed forms and waivers, to payment information, and transaction histories from any device.
  • A smooth on-boarding process for new member arrivals and card setup thanks to the information and guidance provided in the automated welcome email, specifically customized and distributed to members over the weekend
For the YMCA Staff
  • The introduction of online membership sales saw an immediate upswing in membership renewals, sales, and reactivations recorded.
  • 100% of membership sales during Memorial Day Weekend were processed online, 274 new members registered without ever coming to the Y and with no staff time required. 137 were processed within 24 hours.
  • Real time reports monitored membership sales, and facility visitations across all branches, enabling staff to focus resources on needed demands

After years of struggling with siloed databases of information, limited technology capacity, and poor constituent and staff experiences, the YMCA of Delaware is on the right path with Traction Rec. Today, with its over 400 active users utilizing Traction Rec, the YMCA continues to grow, bringing to life memberships, programs, camps, childcare and much more for a personalized constituent experience.

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