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Feature Article - June 2015

YMCAs

A Look at Trends in YMCAs


In this section we cover "YMCAs," a category that actually includes not only Ys, but also YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs. Essentially, these tend to be nonprofit, multipurpose facilities that serve many of the same purposes as health clubs, community centers and recreation centers, but are different enough in their staffing and funding mechanisms to warrant a category of their own.

Once again, more than half of YMCA respondents were from the Northeast or Midwest. Some 32.2 percent of YMCA respondents were from the Midwest, and 24.4 percent were from the Northeast. Far fewer respondents reported in from other regions, led by the South Atlantic (17 percent of YMCA respondents) and followed by the South Central region (13.3 percent) and the West (11.9 percent).

The greatest number of YMCA respondents were from suburban communities, followed by rural areas. Some 46.3 percent of YMCA respondents said they were located in the suburbs, while 29.1 percent were located in rural communities. Another 24.6 percent said they were located in urban communities.

Falling in line with the definition of this group of respondents, the vast majority said they worked for private, nonprofit organizations. Some 93.4 percent of YMCA respondents said they were with private nonprofits, compared with just 17.4 percent of non-YMCA respondents. Another 5.1 percent of YMCA respondents said they worked for public organizations.

On average, YMCA respondents said they manage 3.1 facilities. They were more likely than others to report that they manage one to three facilities. While 84.6 percent of YMCA respondents said they manage between one and four facilities, just 63.8 percent of non-YMCA respondents manage one to three facilities.

YMCA respondents are among the most likely to report that they formed partnerships with other organizations. Some 99.3 percent of YMCA respondents said they had formed such partnerships, compared with 84.8 percent of non-YMCA respondents. The most common partners for YMCAs include: local schools (83 percent of YMCA respondents partner with them); nonprofit organizations (80.7 percent); YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs (61.5 percent); corporate or local businesses (60.7 percent); and local government (57 percent). (See Figure 54.) YMCAs were also the most likely to report that they had partnered with health care or medical facilities. Some 54.1 percent of YMCA respondents had partnered with health care facilities, compared with 17.2 percent of non-YMCA respondents.

YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that their facilities' primary audience was all ages. While 55.1 percent of YMCA respondents said they primarily reached all ages, 40.9 percent of non-YMCA respondents said this was their primary audience. Another 22.1 percent of YMCA respondents said that children ages 4 to 12 were their primary audience. Some 17.6 percent said adults ages 19 to 64 were their primary audience, and 3.7 percent said seniors were their main audience.

Revenues & Expenditures

The number of YMCA respondents who report that their revenues increased year over year grew from 50.4 percent in 2014 reporting an increase for 2013 to 59.7 percent in 2015 who saw an increase in 2014. (See Figure 55.) Another 14.9 percent of YMCA respondents said revenues had decreased from 2013 to 2014. Looking forward, more than six in 10 are expecting revenues to increase in 2015 (61.1 percent) and in 2016 (67.7 percent).

While there was a 24.9 percent increase in average operating expenditures from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014 for all respondents, YMCA respondents reported a 1.3 percent decrease to operating expenditures in that time period, from an average of $2,472,000 in fiscal 2013 to $2,440,000 in fiscal 2014. They expect to see a further 0.9 percent decrease from 2014 to 2015 to an average of $2,417,000. That said, from 2014 to 2016, YMCA respondents are expecting their average operating expenditures to grow by 8.2 percent, reaching $2,640,000.

YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that they had taken actions to reduce their expenditures. While 84 percent of non-YMCA respondents said they had taken such action, 88.1 percent of YMCA respondents had done so. They were most likely to report that they had increased their fees. Some 58.2 percent of YMCA respondents said they had increased fees, compared with 41 percent of non-YMCA respondents. Other actions commonly taken by YMCA respondents include: improving energy efficiency (54.5 percent of YMCA respondents had taken this approach); reducing staff (49.3 percent); putting construction and renovation plans on hold (25.4 percent); and cutting programs and services (23.1 percent).

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