Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs

The Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs brings together 114 YMCA locations working in 150 communities and serving more than 1.1 million Illinoisans to strengthen the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.


The purpose of the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs is to connect, support and foster state-wide initiatives, manage public policy education efforts and ensure communication to advance the YMCA’s mission in Illinois:

  • To foster statewide communication and cooperation among Illinoi YMCAs.
  • To gain consensus on issues of importance to Illinois YMCA.
  • To make local, state and national policy decision makers aware of the Illinois YMCAs’ mission and programs and gain recognition as a leader on issues that affect children and families.
  • To education policy makers on behalf of the children and families served by Illinois YMCAs.
  • To protect the operating integrity of the Illinois YMCAs’ organizations in order to carry out its mission.
  • To represent, communicate to, and to advocate on behalf of all member YMCAs located in the State of Illinois.

Our Focus areas

Along with the 45 corporate YMCAs in Illinois, the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs focuses in the three areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  We do this through our committees that direct our policy, advocacy, communications and statewide initiatives efforts.  In youth development, we are pursuing priorities around child safety, tracking impact and licensing.  In healthy living, we are focused on expanding support for obesity prevention, encouraging healthy community collaborations, tracking our impact and increasing physical activity and healthy eating before, during and after school.  Through our social responsibility efforts, we are cultivating a culture of volunteerism and engagement of members and participants in order to improve communities across the state.

Policy & Advocacy priorities

one-pagerOur policy and advocacy priorities include supporting legislation, policy and systems changes and advocating for:

  • Youth development that nurtures the potential of every child and teen including improving access to and improving the quality of child care and after school enrichment programming, increasing funding for critical services for youth and supporting policies to address education quality and violence prevention.
  • Healthy living that improves communities’ well-being through increasing physical activity and healthy eating before, during and after school and expanding funding for chronic disease prevention programs.
  • Social responsibility through giving back and providing support to our neighbors including legislation that encourages volunteerism, civil engagement and nonprofit growth.

Here is a brochure about the Alliance.