Joseph B. White was recently appointed by the YMCA of Greater Providence to serve as chair of the 2012 Annual Support Campaign. White is partner at Robinson & Cole LLP, and serves as a member of the law firm’s Business Transactions practice group. In addition, he is a municipal court judge in North Kingstown. White has been a leadership volunteer at the YMCA of Greater Providence for nearly 10 years.
PBN: How did you first become involved with the YMCA of Greater Providence?
WHITE: The YMCA is an amazing organization that touches the lives of so many people in our community. Nearly 10 years ago, I became involved with my local “Y” – the West Bay Y in North Kingstown – where my family and I are still members. There I met neighbors and friends who shared with me the impact the Y had on their lives. I was thrilled to be asked to join the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater Providence where, over the last several years, I’ve learned even more about how we improve the health and well-being of our families, friends, and neighbors throughout Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
PBN: How does the 2012 fundraising goal of $1.1 million compare to previous years? Do you expect any challenges given the slow economy?
WHITE: More now than ever, our friends and neighbors need the services the Y provides. The number of programs and services that we provide to the community increases, especially during difficult economic times, so, of course, our fundraising goals increase as well. Because the Y has been a part of our community for so long, I think people often take us for granted. During the past year, the Y has been working both locally and nationally to redefine our messaging so that people better understand the work that we do.
PBN: Are there any new initiatives or events you would like to put in place in order to help reach the goal?
WHITE: The Y relies on a corps of volunteers who engage members of our community. In business, we talk about the importance of “building relationships” but the Y truly leads by example, engaging supporters in a personal and individualized manner that strengthens their bonds with the organization. This year we are planning a huge kickoff breakfast that will bring together donors, volunteers, staff and community leaders from across our association. We hope that we’ll be able to raise the visibility of the Y and increase support. •