How Mankato Family YMCA’s New Website Drove 51% Increase in Community Engagement

How Mankato Family YMCA’s New Website Drove 51% Increase in Community Engagement

By Sara Perry
Published On Sep 18, 2023

Mankato Family YMCA, rooted in the heart of Minnesota, has been a community stronghold since 1874, dedicated to enriching the lives of its members by nurturing their physical, mental, and social well-being. Partnering with Daxko, they transformed their outdated website, achieving approval for up to $10,000 per month in Google Ad Grants after a previous denial. This case study explores how this collaboration propelled the Mankato Family YMCA toward digital excellence and amplified its impact on the community.

The Problem

The Mankato Family YMCA faced a unique challenge that hindered its online presence and engagement efforts. The organization’s website, outdated and challenging to navigate, had remained a lower priority project for staff to tackle. However, everything shifted when the denial of Google Ad Grants came into play – a significant opportunity offering eligible nonprofits up to $10,000 monthly for targeted search advertising. The reason behind the denial? Their website did not meet Google’s stringent standards for grant approval.

The denial of Google Ad Grants prompted a crucial realization – a revamped digital presence was essential. The Mankato Family YMCA’s commitment to its community and the aspiration to leverage digital marketing for amplified impact fueled their determination to embrace change.

The Solution

The Mankato Family YMCA was already in discussions with Daxko, a conversation initially centered around adopting their software to address the need for an online registration system. Collaborating with Daxko on a new website became a natural decision for the Mankato Family YMCA team, as they actively sought holistic solutions tailored to their evolving needs.

The solution encompassed a multi-faceted approach. At its core was the comprehensive overhaul of the Mankato Family YMCA’s website. Leveraging the expertise of Daxko’s team, the website underwent a structural transformation that facilitated seamless navigation and intuitive user experiences. The new website seamlessly adapted to different devices, ensuring a consistent and engaging interface for visitors across various platforms – a crucial alignment with Google’s stringent website requirements.

A more user-friendly website helps the Mankato Family YMCA engage more members

Daxko’s expertise in modernizing member management and operational frameworks for nonprofits proved pivotal in seamlessly integrating online registration systems into the new website. This transformative shift from traditional paper-based registrations to an intuitive online system eliminated the need for manual data entry and paper forms. This transition wasn’t just about adopting digital processes – it was about cultivating a new mindset that enhances operational efficiency, enabling staff to focus on meaningful interactions with members and other critical tasks, while also elevating the overall member experience.

The goal for the new website was to make it user-friendly and to make it visually appealing. And then to optimize it to work in a digital world. With the role that digital marketing plays - being able to apply for Google Grants and take advantage of that program were things that were really important to us.


Liz Zaruba

Graphic Design and Marketing Director at Mankato Family YMCA

The Results

The collaborative efforts between the Mankato Family YMCA and Daxko resulted in remarkable outcomes within a short timeframe. In just two weeks following the launch of the new website, they secured approval for Google Ad Grants.

Google Ad Grants help the Mankato Family YMCA reach more interested community members

The impact of the revitalized website on community engagement proved to be significant. Pledges surged by 116% in comparison to the previous year. Concurrently, donation amounts also saw a notable increase of 22% during the same timeframe.

This growth was equally evident in program registrations, where a considerable 15% rise was observed from the previous year. Specific programs, such as skate and swim programs, experienced exceptional growth rates of 21% and 40% respectively, emphasizing the positive influence across various YMCA programs.

Feedback from the Mankato Family YMCA staff highlighted that the new website’s elements, especially its visually appealing design and the integration of online registration, resonated deeply with their community. The streamlined online registration system was reported to significantly enhance member convenience and engagement, emerging as a favored feature that further enriched the YMCA’s impact. The deliberate visual emphasis on authentic community photographs fostered a sense of belonging and a profound connection, allowing individual community members to feel represented.

The thing that I loved about working with Daxko is that everyone was so responsive. Whenever we did have questions, and we had a lot of questions, I feel like everyone was really quick to respond and really willing to take the time to make sure that we understood everything.


Liz Zaruba

Graphic Design and Marketing Director at Mankato Family YMCA

With Daxko’s support, Mankato Family YMCA achieved Google Ad Grant approval, while also enhancing operational efficiency, member experience, and community impact through their digital transformation.

As the partnership continues, Daxko’s support extends to the management of Mankato Family YMCA’s Google Ad Grants. Daxko’s strategic expertise is now directed towards campaign optimization, tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), budget management, and continuous refinement, ensuring that the staff at Mankato Family YMCA can instead direct their focus on building meaningful connections within their community.

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