Feature Article - June 2009
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General Survey Results

Partnerships can be an extremely useful tool for expanding a facility's reach into the community or for expanding the programming capabilities of an entity, especially in a sagging economy. But some types of organizations are far more likely to form these kinds of partnerships than others.

A sizeable majority (84.7 percent) of respondents indicated that they do form partnerships with other organizations. The most common partners for these respondents are local schools (57.5 percent of respondents said they partner with schools), local government agencies (48.7 percent) and nonprofit organizations (43.9 percent). More than one-third (34 percent) also indicated that they partner with state government agencies. (See Figure 7.)

The least common partners are private health clubs. Just 4.5 percent of respondents indicated that they had formed a partnership with a private health club. However, this does represent a slight increase from 2008, when just 3.7 percent indicated they had partnered with a private health club.

Most facilities were more likely to indicate they had formed partnerships this year than last. The biggest jump—6 percent—was seen among schools and school districts. This year saw 86.4 percent of respondents from schools and school districts indicating that they formed partnerships with other organizations. Respondents from YMCAs and parks and recreation organizations were the most likely to indicate forming partnerships. A vast majority of each—97.1 percent of YMCAs and 95.6 percent of parks and recreation respondents—said they had formed partnerships with external organizations. Camps and health clubs were the least likely to partner, though a majority of respondents in each category still reported that they had done so: 65.2 percent of camps and 77.1 percent of health clubs said they had formed partnerships. (See Figure 8.)