Feature Article - June 2010
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A Look at Trends in YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs


onprofit organizations like YMCAs represent a unique operating structure and mission among the facility types covered in the survey. Like health clubs, they offer fitness options and programs. Like schools, they reach out to children with educational opportunities. And like park districts, they provide a combination of sports and other programs for families and others.

According to YMCA of the USA, there are 2,686 YMCAs with nearly 21 million members. This category of respondents to our survey also includes YWCAs, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and Boys & Girls Clubs.

YMCA respondents, like others, were most likely to be from the Midwest, with 43.5 percent naming that as their location. Nearly a quarter (23.1 percent) of these respondents were from the Northeast, and 15.2 percent were from the South Central states. Less than one in 10 were from the South Atlantic (7.6 percent) and the West (7.6 percent).

While these types of facilities are often thought of in urban settings, more than half (52.2 percent) of our respondents were located in suburban communities. The remainder were divided evenly between urban areas (23.9 percent) and rural areas (23.9 percent).

A majority of respondents (59.8 percent) from YMCAs said that they operate a single facility, and another 26.1 percent operate just two to three facilities, making these respondents much less likely than average to work with a larger number of individual facilities.

Again in 2010, respondents from YMCAs were the most likely to say they had formed partnerships with outside organizations. Local schools were the most common partners, with 84.4 percent of YMCA respondents reporting that they had partnered with schools, followed by nonprofit organizations (72.2 percent) and local governments (64.4 percent). (See Figure 54.)

The YMCA itself reports a high number of collaborations among various types of organizations, reporting on how many individual YMCAs partner with such entities as elementary schools (1,815), churches (1,553), local government agencies (1,265), hospitals (1,148), parks and recreation (1,245) and more.