A Look at Trends in YMCAs
In this section we cover "YMCAs," a category that actually includes not only Ys, but also YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs. Essentially, these tend to be nonprofit, multipurpose facilities that serve many of the same purposes as health clubs, community centers and recreation centers, but are different enough in their staffing and funding mechanisms to warrant a category of their own.
Once again, more than half of YMCA respondents were from the Northeast or Midwest. Some 32.2 percent of YMCA respondents were from the Midwest, and 24.4 percent were from the Northeast. Far fewer respondents reported in from other regions, led by the South Atlantic (17 percent of YMCA respondents) and followed by the South Central region (13.3 percent) and the West (11.9 percent).
The greatest number of YMCA respondents were from suburban communities, followed by rural areas. Some 46.3 percent of YMCA respondents said they were located in the suburbs, while 29.1 percent were located in rural communities. Another 24.6 percent said they were located in urban communities.
Falling in line with the definition of this group of respondents, the vast majority said they worked for private, nonprofit organizations. Some 93.4 percent of YMCA respondents said they were with private nonprofits, compared with just 17.4 percent of non-YMCA respondents. Another 5.1 percent of YMCA respondents said they worked for public organizations.
On average, YMCA respondents said they manage 3.1 facilities. They were more likely than others to report that they manage one to three facilities. While 84.6 percent of YMCA respondents said they manage between one and four facilities, just 63.8 percent of non-YMCA respondents manage one to three facilities.
YMCA respondents are among the most likely to report that they formed partnerships with other organizations. Some 99.3 percent of YMCA respondents said they had formed such partnerships, compared with 84.8 percent of non-YMCA respondents. The most common partners for YMCAs include: local schools (83 percent of YMCA respondents partner with them); nonprofit organizations (80.7 percent); YMCAs, YWCAs, JCCs and Boys & Girls Clubs (61.5 percent); corporate or local businesses (60.7 percent); and local government (57 percent). (See Figure 54.) YMCAs were also the most likely to report that they had partnered with health care or medical facilities. Some 54.1 percent of YMCA respondents had partnered with health care facilities, compared with 17.2 percent of non-YMCA respondents.
YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that their facilities' primary audience was all ages. While 55.1 percent of YMCA respondents said they primarily reached all ages, 40.9 percent of non-YMCA respondents said this was their primary audience. Another 22.1 percent of YMCA respondents said that children ages 4 to 12 were their primary audience. Some 17.6 percent said adults ages 19 to 64 were their primary audience, and 3.7 percent said seniors were their main audience.
Revenues & Expenditures
The number of YMCA respondents who report that their revenues increased year over year grew from 50.4 percent in 2014 reporting an increase for 2013 to 59.7 percent in 2015 who saw an increase in 2014. (See Figure 55.) Another 14.9 percent of YMCA respondents said revenues had decreased from 2013 to 2014. Looking forward, more than six in 10 are expecting revenues to increase in 2015 (61.1 percent) and in 2016 (67.7 percent).
While there was a 24.9 percent increase in average operating expenditures from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014 for all respondents, YMCA respondents reported a 1.3 percent decrease to operating expenditures in that time period, from an average of $2,472,000 in fiscal 2013 to $2,440,000 in fiscal 2014. They expect to see a further 0.9 percent decrease from 2014 to 2015 to an average of $2,417,000. That said, from 2014 to 2016, YMCA respondents are expecting their average operating expenditures to grow by 8.2 percent, reaching $2,640,000.
YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that they had taken actions to reduce their expenditures. While 84 percent of non-YMCA respondents said they had taken such action, 88.1 percent of YMCA respondents had done so. They were most likely to report that they had increased their fees. Some 58.2 percent of YMCA respondents said they had increased fees, compared with 41 percent of non-YMCA respondents. Other actions commonly taken by YMCA respondents include: improving energy efficiency (54.5 percent of YMCA respondents had taken this approach); reducing staff (49.3 percent); putting construction and renovation plans on hold (25.4 percent); and cutting programs and services (23.1 percent).
There was a decrease in the number of YMCA respondents who saw more people using their facilities year-over-year. While 61.3 percent said usage of their facilities had increased from 2012 to 2013, just 50.4 percent said usage had increased from 2013 to 2014. Another 38.5 percent said there had been no change, and 11.1 percent reported a decrease. (See Figure 56.). Looking forward, more than six in 10 expect to see an increase in the number of people using their facilities from 2014 to 2015 (64.6 percent) and from 2015 to 2016 (68.9 percent).
Respondents from YMCAs were among the most likely to report that they had plans for construction over the next three years. While 65.5 percent of non-YMCA respondents said they had plans for new facilities, additions or renovations, some 70.6 percent of YMCA respondents said they had construction plans. This number has been increasing in recent years, from just 63.4 percent in 2012. YMCA respondents were most likely to be planning renovations at their existing facilities, with 49.3 percent indicating that renovations would be made within the next three years. Another 31.6 percent said they would be making additions, and 19.9 percent said they would be building new facilities. (See Figure 57.)
YMCA respondents said they would be spending 4.9 percent more on their construction than the average for all respondents. While the average for all respondents is $4,024,000, YMCA respondents said they would be spending $4,221,000 on average for their construction. In addition, while there was a decrease in construction budgets for the general survey population, YMCA respondents reported a 9.9 percent increase from the average of $3,840,000 in 2014.
There was once again very little change to the features most commonly found among YMCA respondents' facilities. The 10 most common features include: locker rooms, fitness centers, exercise studio rooms, Wi-Fi services, classrooms and meeting rooms; indoor aquatic facilities, indoor sports courts such as basketball and racquetball courts, playgrounds, childcare centers, and bleachers and seating.
The percentage of YMCA respondents who plan to add features to their facilities over the next three years fell slightly from 2014 to 2015. While 43.2 percent had such plans in 2014, this year, some 41.2 percent of YMCA respondents said they would be adding features to their facilities.
The most commonly planned additions for YMCA respondents in 2015 include:
- Splash play areas (planned by 30.4 percent of YMCA respondents who will be adding features)
- Playgrounds (21.4 percent)
- Climbing walls (17.9 percent)
- Locker rooms (17.9 percent)
- Exercise studios (16.1 percent)
- Indoor tracks (16.1 percent)
- Classrooms and meeting rooms (14.3 percent)
- Indoor aquatic facilities (14.3 percent)
- Fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment (12.5 percent)
- Fitness centers (12.5 percent)
There was an increase in the percentage of respondents who said they had plans to add: playgrounds (up 2.9 percent); exercise studios (up 1.3 percent); and locker rooms (up 1.2 percent). New features on the list in 2015 that did not appear in 2014 include climbing walls, indoor tracks, fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment, and fitness centers. They replace outdoor sports courts, bleachers and seating, waterparks and indoor sport courts.
All YMCA respondents covered by the survey offer programming of some kind at their facilities. The most common programs found among YMCA respondents' facilities include: day camps and summer camps (offered by 86.8 percent of YMCA respondents); fitness programs (83.8 percent); swimming programs (83.8 percent); youth sports teams (82.4 percent); holidays and other special events (81.6 percent); mind-body/balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (77.9 percent); educational programs (73.5 percent); teen programming (72.8 percent); aquatic exercise programs (72.8 percent); and personal training (72.8 percent).
The only change in the programs featured on the top 10 list in 2015 was the addition of teen programming, which replaces programming for active older adults. There was no type of programming that was offered by more YMCA respondents in 2015 than in 2014.
From 2014 to 2015, the number of YMCA respondents who said they plan to add more programs at their facilities over the next three years grew from 36.8 percent to 39.7 percent. YMCA respondents were more likely than others to report that they had plans to add programs. Some 34.2 percent of non-YMCA respondents said they had such plans.
The 10 most commonly planned program additions for YMCA respondents include:
- Nutrition and diet counseling (up from No. 4)
- Mind-body/balance programs such as yoga (up from No. 10)
- Adult sports teams (down from No. 1)
- Teen programs (up from No. 6)
- Fitness programs (did not appear in 2014)
- Special needs programs (down from No. 5)
- Performing arts programs (up from No. 8)
- Individual sports activities such as running clubs (did not appear in 2014)
- Sports tournaments and races (did not appear in 2014)
- Personal training (did not appear in 2014)
As is generally the case, there was a great deal of change among the top planned programs for YMCA respondents. Fitness programs, individual sports activities, sports tournaments and races, and personal training rose into the top 10, replacing sport-specific training, environmental education, youth sports teams, and daycare or preschool programs.
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