Feature Article - June 2019
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A Look at Trends in YMCAs

Revenues & Expenditures

The percentage of Y respondents who reported their revenues increasing year-over-year fell slightly in 2018, while the number reporting decreasing revenues saw a significant jump. From 2016 to 2017, 53.8 percent of Y respondents said revenues increased, and 12.5 percent reported a decrease. From 2017 to 2018, 51.5 percent reported an increase, and 25 percent reported a decrease in revenues. (See Figure 55.)

Looking forward, Y respondents are much more optimistic, with 63.9 percent projecting revenues to increase in 2019, and 72.3 percent expecting an increase in 2020.

After reporting a decrease of 4.8 percent in average operating expenses from 2016 to 2017, Y respondents once again saw operating expenses drop in 2018. The average operating expenses for Ys fell 9.3 percent, from $2,910,000 in 2017 to $2,640,000 in 2018. Looking forward, however, Y respondents expect their operating expenses to grow by 7.2 percent over the next two years, to an average of $2,830,000 in 2020.

On average, Y respondents reported that they recover an average of 73.2 percent of their operating costs via revenues, up from 68.6 percent in 2018, and among the highest recovery rates of the facility types covered in the survey. While 30.6 percent of Y respondents said that they earn back at least 91 percent of their operating costs via revenues, for non-Y respondents that number falls to 12.7 percent. And while 18.1 percent of Y respondents said they earn back 50 percent or less of their operating costs via revenues, more than half (50.1 percent) of non-Y respondents earn back 50 percent or less.

As usual, Y respondents were among the most likely to report that they had taken action to reduce their operating expenditures. While 93.2 percent of Y respondents said they had taken such action (up from 88.9 percent in 2018), just 79.6 percent of non-Y respondents had taken actions to reduce expenses. The methods Y respondents were most likely to use to reduce their expenses include: increasing fees (71.2 percent); improving energy efficiency (61.6 percent); reducing staff (43.8 percent); putting construction or renovation plans on hold (31.5 percent); and cutting programs or services (15.1 percent).

Y Facilities

While more than half (52.8 percent) of Y respondents reported that the number of people using their facilities increased from 2017 to 2018, a significant number—23.6 percent—reported a decline in usage at their facilities in this time frame. (See Figure 56.)