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March 2, 2021

Where Does $100 to the YMCA Go?

by Anne Paddock

If you donated $100 to the YMCA in 2019, how was that $100 spent? The answer depends on whether the donation was made to one of the local chapters (there are about 2,700 in the US) or to the YMCA of the USA (which is legally known as the National Council of YMCA’s of the USA) and is the parent organization in the US (that seeks to strengthen local YMCA”s through grants and program support) or the World Alliance of the YMCA (the parent organization of the 119 countries in the world that have YMCA’s), based in Geneva, Switzerland.  For the purposes of this post, let’s assume the donation was made to the YMCA of the USA (because each of those local chapters is a separate 501 (c) 3 that files its own IRS Form 990 so the answer could have 2,700 different answers).

In 2019, the YMCA of the USA reported total revenue of $137 million (compared to $135 million in 2018) so revenue was stable from year-to-year. Most revenue came from four sources:

  • $84 million (61% of revenue):  Programs (Social Responsibility, Youth Development, Healthy Living)
  • $37 million (27% of revenue):  Contributions, Gifts, and Grants
  • $ 7 million (5% of revenue):  Government Grants
  • $ 7 million (5% of revenue):  Investment/Gains

What is most striking about the above information, is that the YMCA does not rely heavily on contributions. Instead, most revenue is generated from the programs offered by the organization.

Expenses totaled $137 million (not including $2 million in depreciation) and can be categorized as follows:

  • $46 million (34% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $40 million (29% of revenue):  Grants
  • $24 million (18% of revenue):  Fees for Services (primarily training partners and program assistance)
  • $10 million (7% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $10 million (7% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $ 6 million (4% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 1 million (1% of revenue):  Organization Dues

Using the above information, every $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 34:  Compensation

-$ 18:  Fees for Services

-$  7:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  7:  Travel and Conferences

-$  4:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  1:  Organization Dues

-$ 71:  Subtotal Expenses

$ 29:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 29:  Grants

$  0:  Revenue Remaining

As illustrated above, the largest expense is for compensation for the 407 employees who received $46 million, which equates to an average compensation of $113,000.  However, only 144 employees received more than $100,000 with the most highly compensated employee reported to be Kevin Washington, President and CEO who received $786,138 in compensation in 2019.

The YMCA of the US has paid for first class travel and travel for companions. IN 2019, no one flew first class but they did pay for travel for Kevin Washington’s spouse to attend key events and meetings in 2019.  This expense was treated as taxable compensation.

The second largest expense is grants. $40 million, or 29% of revenue, was awarded in grants:  $38 million domestically and $2 million overseas.  Grants are only provided to YMCA”s or affiliated members of the World Alliance of the YMCA. 682 grants greater than $5,000 were awarded to YMCA’s in the US, primarily for program support.  37 grants totaling $2 million were awarded to recognized charities overseas, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Iceland, and Central America and the Caribbean.

The YMCA of the USA had $132 million at the end of 2019 (up from $121 million at the beginning of the year) primarily because of net unrealized gains on investments.

In summary, $73 million (or $53 out of every $100) was spent on compensation for employees, office-related expenses, travel and conferences, advertising, and dues; while $64 million (or $47 out of every $100) was spent on grants and fees for services (primarily training partners and program assistance).

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019), click here.

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