Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Trends in YMCAs


We refer to the facilities in this section as "YMCAs," but the respondents covered here include many other nonprofit, multipurpose facilities, including YMCAs, YWCAs, Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and Boys & Girls Clubs.

More than half of YMCA respondents are from either the Midwest or Northeast. Some 31.7 percent of these respondents reported in from the Midwest, and 24.4 percent were from the Northeast. Smaller numbers were from the South Atlantic region (15.4 percent), the South Central region (14.6 percent) and the West (13 percent).

As in past years, the greatest number of YMCA respondents were from suburban communities. Nearly half (49.2 percent) reported that they were located in suburban areas. Another 27.5 percent were from urban communities, and 23.3 percent were from rural areas.

As might be expected, the vast majority of YMCA respondents said they worked for nonprofit organizations. Some 91.2 percent indicated they were with private, nonprofit organizations, compared with 7.2 percent who said they worked for public organizations.

YMCA respondents manage 2.9 facilities on average, lower than the average of 6.4 for all facility types. YMCA respondents were much more likely than others to report that they operated between one and three facilities. While 61.3 percent of non-YMCA respondents manage one to three facilities, 87.2 percent of YMCA respondents do so, up from 82.4 percent in 2013.

Once again, YMCA respondents were among those most likely to report that they partnered with other organizations. Some 96.8 percent of YMCA respondents said they formed such partnerships, compared with 83.1 percent of non-YMCA respondents. The most common partners for YMCA respondents include: local schools (82.3 percent of YMCAs partner with them); nonprofit organizations (77.4 percent); local government, and corporate or local businesses (58.9 percent of YMCA respondents partner with each of these); and health care or medical facilities (54.8 percent). (See Figure 54.)

YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that their main facility's primary audience was all ages. While 37.4 percent of non-YMCA respondents said their main audience was all ages, more than half (52.8 percent) of YMCA respondents served all ages. The next largest group—28 percent—said adults ages 19 to 64 were their primary audience. Some 14.4 percent said children ages 4 to 12 were their main audience, and 4.8 percent named teens ages 13 to 18 as their primary audience.