Feature Article - June 2007
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General Survey Results

The most common partners include local schools (55.5 percent of respondents partner with local schools), local government (46.7 percent), nonprofit organizations (41.8 percent), corporate or local businesses (34.5 percent) and state government (33.7 percent). (See Figure 5.)

The organizations least likely to form partnerships with other external organizations were private, for-profit organizations, with 42.7 percent not partnering at all.

Local schools were particularly favored as partners by parks and recreation departments, 78.3 percent of which reported forming such partnerships. YMCAs also were highly likely to partner with local schools. More than four in five YMCAs surveyed said they had formed such partnerships.

Local government is a popular partner across many facility categories, with parks and recreation departments most commonly choosing these entities for partnership opportunities. More than 67 percent of parks and recreation departments in the survey listed local government as a partner. YMCAs and school districts also commonly partner with local government, with 57.7 percent and 54.3 percent reporting such partnerships, respectively.

Colleges and universities commonly partner among themselves-with 55.8 percent of colleges and universities reporting such partnerships. YMCAs also were likely to form partnerships with colleges and universities, with 56.7 percent of YMCAs reporting such a situation.

More than 5 percent of respondents listed other partners that were not included in the survey, such as associations like the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the American Camp Association and specific sport-related organizations like the Professional Golf Association (PGA), among others; civic groups like Rotary International, Lions and Elks Clubs; faith-based organizations; outfits like the Boys & Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; the Special Olympics; and local and state tourism boards.

Most likely to form partnerships were YMCAs, with 100 percent of these organizations reporting that they partnered with external organizations. Parks and recreation departments also partner to a high degree, with 96.3 percent of respondents reporting that they partner with external organizations. Military installations, schools and school districts, and colleges and universities also reported a high degree of partnership, with 90.9 percent, 90.9 percent and 81.7 percent of respondents in each respective category reporting external partnerships of some kind.

The facilities least likely to form partnerships with external organizations included resorts and resort hotels (48.8 percent of which partner with external organizations), waterparks, amusement parks and theme parks (52.4 percent) and campgrounds, youth camps, private camps and RV parks (61.9 percent). (See Figure 6.)