Learn more with educational materials

Get acquainted with what Open Y is all about, including basic information, an introductory video, frequently asked questions, plus past newsletters and presentations.

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The YMCA faces the same challenges as most organizations with decentralized and fragmented digital ecosystems. Open Y brings together a community of YMCAs and partners from across the world to provide consistent digital execution and a path for innovation.

Watch this 20-minute video to learn about how Open Y:

  • Aligns talent, saves money and delivers better experiences for YMCAs
  • Drives enrollment, engagement and participation with YMCAs and partners
  • Designs future digital products to evolve their brand and customer experience


The Open Y team fields a lot of questions—find answers to the most common questions here.

How much does it cost?
There’s no cost to participate, no cost for licensing, no cost for the code—and there’s no catch. Participants can access modules and features on the Open Y content management system for free, for as long as you would like. If you are interested in developing premium services or customized features, you will need to develop them at your own cost and cannot charge fellow YMCAs if you choose to share on Open Y.

What are the details of the platform?
Open Y uses Drupal 8 functionality. Modules are always being added by participating YMCAs and partners.

Can we keep our current URL?
Yes, you can keep the same domain; you’ll need to work with your hosting provider to do the DNS migration to point to the new site.

Which partner(s) should we work with on Open Y?
The Open Y core team has compiled a list of full-service and specialty partners that can help you work on Open Y. If you have an existing partner, you’re welcome to continue working with them. Contact us if you’d like more information on finding a partner that might be a fit for your needs.

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If terms like CMS, Drupal and SEO are new to you, here are brief explanations for terms you might see used throughout this site.

  • Content management system (CMS) is a computer application used to create or modify digital content (like a website or suite of digital signs).
  • Drupal is a CMS that used to make websites and applications. It’s open-source software that’s free.
  • Open-source refers to software that anyone can download, use and work on.
  • Open Y module is a collection of functions used on the CMS. For example, if you want to integrate with an email management tool that’s not included in the core features of Open Y, you can add the functionality to Open Y by developing a module that you create on your own.
  • Partners are third-party experts that support YMCAs in their Open Y work. Partners can include full-service digital agencies, hosting providers, web developers and more.
  • Platform—a digital platform refers to the software or hardware of a website. The Open Y platform uses Drupal 8 functionality. Modules are always being added by participating YMCAs and partners.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by using tactics to ensure the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

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