Frequently Asked Questions

For YMCAs

Basics

A content management system—or CMS—is a computer application that is used to create or modify digital content (like a website). Content management systems often support multiple users working collaboratively.
Drupal is a content management system that’s used to make websites and applications. It’s open-source software, which means that anyone can download, use, work on and share Drupal with others. Like Open Y, Drupal is free.
A module is a collection of functions used on the content management system. 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.

Costs

There’s no cost to participate, no cost for licensing, no maintenance fees—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.
The core team that established and maintains Open Y believes that by working together, the investment in Open Y will be paid back through faster development of successful digital initiatives. The core team plans to pay for expenses associated with managing Open Y for a period of time that’s long enough to establish Open Y in the market.

Participation

You can download the Open Y code from https://www.drupal.org/project/openy. Once you have downloaded Open Y, you are free to start using it. There’s no sign up, no logos or ads to get in the way of using it. If you want to connect with a recommended digital partner to help you use, or create a custom feature for Open Y, check out our participants and partners. Below is a video on how to install Open Y for non-technical individuals. You do not need to be a developer to build an Open Y site.

Once you have the Open Y platform, you’re free to use it.

  • Choose which of your development efforts to share with the Open Y community—all, some or none
  • For any modules that you do share with the Open Y community, they are to be shared free of charge and can be used by other participants
  • Work independently, or choose to collaborate with a digital partner
  • You won’t be liable for bugs, crashes or performance issues within the content management system
  • You’ll be invited—but not obligated—to discuss Open Y feature requests and offers, celebrate new launches and participate in events
If you find something in the content management system that doesn’t appear to be working quite right, please contact the Open Y core team and let us know which module and what’s being impacted. If you can fix the bug yourself, feel free to do so.
Contact the Open Y core team to discuss opportunities to get more involved. You can also sign up for news and updates.

For Digital Partners

Technology basics

Open Y uses Drupal 8 functionality. Modules are always being added by participating YMCAs and digital partners.

Participation

In addition to working with a fantastic non-profit organization, you’ll have an opportunity to share your services with the national YMCA community. There are 2,700 YMCA locations in 10,000 communities across the country. Some YMCAs that participate in Open Y might not require external support for developing customized features—but some definitely will be seeking help from experts like you.
Most digital partners are invited to participate in Open Y, based on past projects working with YMCAs to successfully implement digital projects. Contact the Open Y core team to discuss involvement and download the code at https://www.drupal.org/project/openy.

Once you have the Open Y platform, you’re free to use it.

  • Choose which of your development efforts to share with the Open Y community—all, some or none
  • For any modules that you do share with the Open Y community, they are to be shared free of charge and can be used by other participants
If you find something in the content management system that doesn’t appear to be working quite right, please contact the Open Y core team and let us know which module and what’s being impacted. If you can fix the bug yourself, feel free to do so.