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Feature Article - June 2013

YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs

A Look at Trends in YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs


While we refer to the facilities covered in this section as "YMCAs," the respondents covered here include YMCAs, as well as YWCAs, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), and Boys & Girls Clubs. In 2013 these respondents represent 19.4 percent of the survey respondents.

While YMCA respondents have typically been mostly from the Northeast in former years, this year, the greatest number of YMCA respondents are from the Midwest, with 29.4 percent of the YMCA response. They were followed by the Northeast (25.2 percent), South Atlantic (21 percent), West (13.4 percent) and South Central (10.9 percent) regions.


The greatest number of YMCA respondents were from suburban communities. Nearly half of YMCA respondents (48.3 percent) indicated that they were located in the suburbs. Another 30.5 percent were in rural communities, and 21.2 percent were in urban areas.

The vast majority of YMCA respondents indicated that they worked for private nonprofit organizations. Some 92.4 percent were private nonprofits. This compares with 17.1 percent of non-YMCA facilities. Another 5.9 percent of YMCA respondents said they were public organizations.

YMCA respondents manage three facilities, on average. This group of respondents was highly likely to report that they managed three or fewer facilities. Some 82.4 percent of YMCA respondents said they managed between one and three facilities, compared with 57.5 percent of non-YMCA respondents.

Once again, YMCA respondents were among those most likely to form partnerships with other organizations. Some 96.6 percent of YMCA respondents indicated that they form such partnerships, compared with 90.2 percent of non-YMCA respondents. The most common partners for YMCAs include local schools (85.7 percent of YMCA respondents partner with them), nonprofit organizations (69.7 percent) and local government (68.1 percent). More than half also report that they partner with corporate or local businesses (65.5 percent), healthcare and medical facilities (55.5 percent), or other YMCAs (52.1 percent). (See Figure 53.)

YMCA respondents were highly likely to indicate that their primary audience for their main facility was all ages. More than half (52.9 percent) of YMCA respondents said they reached all ages, compared with 40.1 percent of non-YMCAs. Another 23.5 percent of YMCA respondents said adults are their primary audience. Smaller numbers named children (18.5 percent), teens (3.4 percent) and seniors (1.4 percent) as their main audience.

Revenues & Expenditures

Respondents from YMCAs were among those most likely to report increasing revenues in all the years covered by the survey. While less than half (47.5 percent) in 2012 reported that their revenues had increased from 2010 to 2011, in 2013, 59 percent reported increasing revenues from 2011 to 2012. Another 17.1 percent said their revenues had fallen in that year. Looking forward, more than six in 10 YMCA respondents expect further increases to revenues in 2013 (60.2 percent) and in 2014 (69.5 percent). (See Figure 54.)

YMCA respondents reported a 7 percent decrease in their operating expenditures from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012, to an average of $2,166,000. They expect a further drop of 0.2 percent in fiscal 2013, to an average of $2,162,000, after which operating costs are expected to rise again. Even with these decreases, YMCAs project their operating expenditures will be 54.4 percent higher than the across-the-board average in fiscal 2014, with YMCAs spending $2,339,000 on average in that year.

YMCAs were highly likely to report that they had taken action to reduce their expenditures. Some 94.8 percent of YMCAs had taken such actions, compared with 86.3 percent of all respondents. The most common actions YMCA respondents took to reduce their expenditures included: increasing energy efficiency (67 percent of YMCAs), increasing fees (56.5 percent) and reducing staff (49.6 percent).

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