Positioning the YMCA of Greater New York to meet new community needs

PwC gets the client’s perspective

In times of great adversity, organizations strive to thrive while creating a profitable, and meaningful, path forward. The YMCA of Greater New York, a nonprofit serving 500,000+ New Yorkers at 24 branches throughout New York City, teamed up with PwC for pro bono work during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic to help the nearly 170-year-old organization to think differently, swiftly respond to changing needs, and continue to help the community learn, grow and thrive.

Interview with:
Sharon Greenberger
President and CEO


What was the challenge?

“We started 2020 as a $200 million revenue organization and ended as a $100 million revenue organization, with the same infrastructure and debt load in place. A few months into the pandemic, we realized that neither our revenue model nor our service delivery model was working to support New Yorkers. The city was in lockdown and access to our facilities was extremely limited. To survive, we had to look at everything differently, reimagine and rethink our approach, and be willing to take chances and try new things.”

Describe the solution delivered by the YMCA of GNY and PwC’s community of solvers.

“PwC helped us analyze consumer sentiment to better understand what people were thinking, feeling, and needing. PwC also helped us view our different program areas as business lines and identify opportunities to expand our reach and our ability to serve and support New Yorkers. We realized that our core experience could be expanded and repositioned, including providing emergency childcare, increasing homeless services, and expanding upon our virtual offerings. PwC was also instrumental in helping us analyze and define options for debt restructuring.”

Where or how did innovation and unexpected ways of thinking come into play?

“Our discussions with the PwC team led us to a clearer understanding that we had the capacity to serve in ways that met our communities’ needs that we hadn’t considered in the past, including vaccination centers and food pantries. PwC’s internal experience and analysis helped us understand the viable pathways forward and allowed us to quickly pivot and execute a successful restructuring strategy.”

How does the solution deliver trust?

“It’s important that New Yorkers and our other stakeholders trust that we have an operating model that can respond to change at any given time. Working with PwC has helped us to embrace a mindset of change and flexibility, which is key to organizational long-term sustainability.”

Sustained outcomes

Vaccinations provided to New Yorkers at YMCA of Greater NY vaccination sites in 2021

Pounds of food distributed to New Yorkers in need (over 6,000 NYC families served) in 2021

Debt restructuring created financial flexibility and removed restrictions that limited the actions of the YMCA of GNY

How we are leading with trust, transparency and purpose

Contact us

Shannon Schuyler

Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer, PwC US

Kyle Robinson

Principal, Consulting Solutions, PwC US

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