Lending a Hand

By on Aug 3, 2018 in Giving, People

Michael Berton

The YMCA had a positive impact on Michael Berton’s life when he was growing up, as a place where he attended both day care and summer camp. As an adult, the Yardi proposal writer has found multiple ways to give back to the community nonprofit.

As a part time development specialist for the organization, Berton has raised more than $150,000 in grant funding for the Lompoc branch of the YMCA. Most recently, he arranged for Yardi’s corporate headquarters to contribute several used computers for a new Teen Study Hall.

For families without computers or Wi-Fi in their homes, options for access are limited to the school library on campus at Lompoc High or the local public library, which closes at 7pm.

“The YMCA identified a need when teens asked for a safe place to complete their homework and to study,” Berton explained. “Teens will use the computers to access research sites for term papers and reports, complete homework assignments, and apply for grants, scholarships, FASFA, colleges, and jobs. The branch is located right next to the high school and will provide teens with a safe place to study that is close to their homes.”

Yardi was pleased to be able to donate several gently used computers for the new Study Hall.

In his capacity as a grant writer for the organization, Berton helps facilitate access to programs and membership services by securing funds through grants from foundations and businesses.

“The Lompoc YMCA is in a unique situation, lacking support from major corporations, foundations, and individuals with large philanthropic means. Therefore, raising funds for the Y’s mission through foundations and grant writing is key to raising funds for the branch, which has 40% of their members on scholarships,” he explained.

At Yardi, Berton has worked in the marketing department for two and half years. His team supports sales by responding to requests for proposals, requests for information, and questionnaires from prospects and existing clients and creating other sales collateral.

“I am grateful to Yardi, my manager, and coworkers for helping me build the career skills that I have used to support the Lompoc community,” he said. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, reading, paddle boarding, watching sports, and attending concerts.

He’s not done giving back. “In the future, I hope to work with nonprofits in a consulting role, continue writing grants, and make an impact in my community by empowering organizations to achieve their mission,” Berton said.

About the Lompoc YMCA

The YMCA helps build relationships, create connections, and provide opportunities for families to grow spirit, mind, and body through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. Programs, such as Third Grade Learn to Swim, Livestrong, which provides free or low cost customized exercise regimens to cancer survivors, and other wellness programs, such as group exercise classes, senior fitness, and many more help the community become safer, beat cancer, and fight the high obesity rate.