Anthony Bowen YMCA

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Neighborhood News November 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Anthony Bowen YMCA


Did anyone else get a letter from the Anthony Bowen YMCA saying that they are tacking on another $36 ($39 for families) to the December billing.

For programs and services.

I get that it all goes to help people, but I can’t help but think that this was handled poorly. I mean, if I wanted to give an extra $36, I would do that. I already give to some other charities, and those are of my choice.

It’s not a huge deal, financially, I just think it’s bizarre to force it upon people. If they want to raise their rates, fine, announce that and let the market dictate.

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I thought it was a little funny too, so I emailed the individual who “signed” the letter. Here is his response. In short, you can break up the payment into installments if you want to. I was annoyed that they 1. hid the fee at the bottom of a lengthy letter, 2. charge seemingly random fee during the month of Dec without a lot of notice or explaining options of how to absorb the cost. I’ve been a member of the YMCA in other parts of he US and never had this experience.

“Please note that we do value you as a member, and I apologize if we may have inadvertently given you the perception otherwise. Please note that our organization provides over $2,000,000 in subsidy each year, and last year, YMCA National Capital was responsible for providing $205,000 of that much needed support to children, adults, and families in our community. It is important to note that we do not raise anywhere near that amount. So, all the fees we collect (membership fees, annual assessment fees, program fees) help to not only cover vital operating costs, but also offset the gap created by the community service activities in which we engage to make our community stronger. Please note that the letter was written the way it was because we are proud of all that we are doing, and we wanted that to be the first message and not the assessment fee. I can understand how you feel, but please know that the intent was not to camouflage or hide the fee. I will make sure our leadership has your feedback. Thank you very much!

We have also received approval to spread the fee over the next three months. We realize that it can be challenging to absorb the entire amount over the holidays. Hence, that option allows our members to pay three smaller increments in December 2014, January 2015, and February 2015. If that helps please let us know, and Farida Sultanova, our Business Services Director, will update your account. You can respond to all because she is also copied on this message. Thank you!

Again, please know that we do value you and all of your members. We could not do what we are doing to make people healthier, feed families, bring a bit of cheer to children during the holidays, provide subsidized camp and child care services, and so on without you! We hope that your experience at YMCA National Capital brings you a rich sense of community and gives you a sense of comfort in knowing that you are part of a non-profit organization that is truly making a difference in the community.


P.S. Our last drive, which was a combination of fundraising and donations of items from members and companies, allowed us to feed 320 underprivileged families. We are very excited that we surpassed last year’s numbers and were able to give food to so many families.”

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