Feature Article - June 2020
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Trends in YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs

A Look at Trends in Ys


In this section, we cover Ys, a category that, for our purposes, includes not only YMCAs, but also similar facilities that are typically nonprofits, such as YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs, among others. Due to their nonprofit operations, these facilities tend to stand apart in unique ways. Respondents from Ys and similar facilities made up 6.6% of the survey respondents in 2020.

Y respondents were most likely to be located in the Midwest and Northeast. Some 38.4% of Y respondents said they were from the Midwest, while 23.3% were from the Northeast. Another 18.6% were located in the South Atlantic region, 15.1% were in the West, and 4.7% reported in from the South Central region.

Nearly half (47.7%) of Y respondents said they were located in suburban communities. Another 29.1% were in rural areas, and 23.3% were found in urban communities.

On average, Y respondents said they reach a population of 83,310 people. Some 37.1% of Y respondents said they serve a population of 20,000 or fewer. Another 38.4% reach a population of between 20,000 and 99,999 people. And 24.4% of Y respondents said they serve an audience of at least 100,000 people.

Respondents from Ys said they manage an average of 2.5 facilities (down from 4.2 in 2019). They were far more likely than other respondents to manage between one and three facilities. While 82.6% of Y respondents said they manage one to three facilities, just 53.2% of non-Y respondents manage three or fewer. On the other end of the spectrum, while 20.7% of non-Y respondents manage 10 or more facilities, only 1.2% of Y respondents have 10 or more facilities to manage.

Y respondents were far more likely than other respondent types to report that they form partnerships with other organizations. In fact, 100% of Y respondents said they form such partnerships, compared with 88.2% of non-Y respondents. The most common partners for Y respondents include: local schools (91.9% of Y respondents had partnered with schools); nonprofit organizations (82.6%); corporate or local businesses (72.1%); local government (66.3%); and health care or medical facilities (59.3%). (See Figure 56.)

A majority of Y respondents (59.5%) said they primarily serve an all-ages audience. Another 21.4% said they primarily reach adults, and 16.7% primarily serve children at their facilities. Finally, 2.4% said they primarily serve an audience of seniors 65 or older.