A Personal Touch Helps the Y Recruit Affluent Donors to Its Cause

The 2012 Philanthropy 400

A Personal Touch Helps the Y Recruit Affluent Donors 1

David Lubarsky, for The Chronicle

Gary Laermer (far left) got donors like these to give at least $1,000 to the YMCA of Greater New York and then recruit up to a dozen of their friends to do the same. Such help from donors powered the charity’s fundraising growth.

Behind the Y’s 7-percent growth in donations last year are local fundraisers like Gary Laermer in New York City and Cheryl Reynolds in Monrovia, Calif., who are relentlessly focused on finding affluent people who can afford to give at least $1,000 a year.

Mr. Laermer says he and his fundraising colleagues have boiled down their fundraising advice to four words: “No meetings, no money.”

Ms. Reynolds is doggedly persistent. “I don’t give up on