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

A Look at Trends in Ys

A growing number of Y respondents have been planning construction over the past several years. In 2020, 74.4% of Y respondents said they had plans for construction, up from 74% in 2019 and 64.2% in 2018. Half (50%) of Y respondents said they were planning to renovate their existing facilities. More than one-third (34.9%) were planning additions, and 30.2% said they were planning new construction. (See Figure 59.)

On average, Y respondents were planning to spend $7,780,000 on their construction plans, a substantial increase of 49.3% from 2019, when the average was $5,210,000.

The 10 features most commonly found in Y respondents' facilities in 2020 include: Wi-Fi-service; fitness centers; indoor courts for sports like basketball and volleyball; exercise studios; locker rooms; classrooms and meeting rooms; childcare centers; indoor aquatic facilities; playgrounds; and bleachers and seating.

Some 38.4% of Y respondents said they have plans to add features at their facilities over the next three years, down from 42.5% in 2019.

The most commonly planned additions for Y respondents in 2020 include: splash play areas; playgrounds; bleachers and seating; exercise studios; park shelters; community gardens; indoor running and walking tracks; fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment; locker rooms; and indoor aquatic facilities.


As usual, all Y respondents covered by the survey said they offer programming of some kind at their facilities. This compares with 96.7% of non-Y respondents.

The programs most commonly provided by Y respondents' facilities in 2020 include: day camps and summer camps (provided by 94.2% of Y respondents); holidays and other special events (91.9%); fitness programs (89.5%); youth sports teams (88.4%); group exercise programs (88.4%); mind-body balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (86%); swimming programs (82.6%); educational programs (80.2%); aquatic exercise programs (80.2%); and programs for active older adults (77.9%).

Programs that saw an increase in the number of respondents providing them from 2019 to 2020 include: day camps and summer camps (up from 93.2%); holidays and special events (up from 87.7%); fitness (up from 89%); youth sports teams (up from 83.6%); group exercise (up from 86.3%); mind-body balance programs (up from 83.6%); educational programs (up from 75.3%); and aquatic exercise (up from 75.3%).

The number of Y respondents who said they have plans to add programs at their facilities over the next several years increased from 37% in 2019 to 39.5% in 2020. This compares with 34.8% of non-Y respondents who said they had plans to add programming.

The 10 most commonly planned program additions for Y respondents in 2020 were:

  1. Teen programming (no change from 2019)
  2. Environmental education programs (up from No. 5)
  3. Individual sports activities like swim clubs or running clubs (no change)
  4. Performing arts programs (no change)
  5. Sport-specific training such as golf or tennis lessons (up from No. 7)
  6. Adult sports teams (did not appear in 2019)
  7. Nutrition and diet counseling (up from No. 8)
  8. Special needs programs (down from No. 2)
  9. Trips (did not appear in 2019)
  10. Daycare and preschool programs (did not appear in 2019)

As is usually the case, there's a lot of variation in the programs Ys are planning to add from year to year. In 2020, adult sports teams, trips, and daycare and preschool replace sports tournaments and races, educational programs and arts and crafts from the top planned programs for 2019. RM