We Are the Y

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Communication


Jennifer Ptacek


The purpose of this study is to investigate organizational identification among YMCA members. These members of the nation's largest community-service nonprofit organization have never been examined within an identification context. Moreover, organizations that operate through paying-members have largely been excluded from the literature as well. this study aimed to measure YMCA members' organizational identification levels, identify whether activity type or frequency of participation was related to identification level, examine whether identification is related to likelihood of speaking favorably about the organization, and to identify where YMCA members receive information about the organization. Using a quantitative survey administered via Qualtrics at regional YMCA branches in Southwest, Ohio, this study found that activity type and frequency of participation were not significantly related to organizational identification, but that likelihood of speaking favorably about the organization was positively related to identification. Overall, YMCA member identification levels were found to be moderate and the main sources where members receive information about the YMCA were email, the YMCA's website, and signage posted around the facility. Implications and directions for further research are discussed


Department of Communication, Organizational identification, YMCA, Social Identity Theory, nonprofit identification

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