Skip to content

April 27, 2022


Where Does $100 to the YMCA Go (2020)?

by Anne Paddock

If you donated $100 to the YMCA in 2020, 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).

The YMCA of the USA is overseen by 26 independent voting members of its governing body although the Form 990 lists 32 members, which appears to be due to timing differences.  14 of the 32 are female while 18 of the 32 are male (note:  The Form 990 does not report gender; determinations were made based on name and google searches and are presented to show if the board is diversified).

In 2020, the YMCA of the USA reported total revenue of $118 million (compared to $137 million in 2019)  which was a nearly $20 million decline attributable to Covid.  Most revenue came from four sources:

  • $48 million (% of revenue):  Programs (Social Responsibility, Youth Development, Healthy Living)
  • $54 million (% of revenue):  Contributions, Gifts, and Non-Government Grants
  • $12  million (% of revenue):  Government Grants
  • $ 3  million (% of revenue):  Investment/Gains

What is most striking about the above information, is that the YMCA relied more on contributions, gifts, and grans in 2020 than on programs (which was the inverse in 2019 and 2018).

Expenses totaled $124 million (not including $2 million in depreciation) and can be categorized as follows:

  • $37 million (31% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $49 million (42% of revenue):  Grants
  • $20 million (17% of revenue):  Fees for Services (primarily training partners and program assistance)
  • $ 9 million (8% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $ 2 million (2% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $ 4  million (3% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 3  million (2% of revenue):  Other (dues, interest, provision for uncollectible, etc)

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

$100:  Revenue

-$ 31:  Compensation

-$ 17:  Fees for Services

-$  8:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  2:  Travel and Conferences

-$  3:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  2:  Other Expenses

-$ 63:  Subtotal Expenses

  $ 37:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 42:  Grants

-$  5:  Revenue Remaining

The largest expense is grants. $49 million, or 42% of revenue, was awarded in grants:  $48 million domestically and $1 million overseas.  Grants are only provided to YMCA”s or affiliated members of the World Alliance of the YMCA. 432 grants greater than $5,000 were awarded to YMCA’s in the US, primarily for program support.

The second largest expense is for compensation for the 310 employees who received $37 million, which equates to an average compensation of $119,000.  However, only 107 employees received more than $100,000 with the most highly compensated employee reported to be Kevin Washington, President and CEO who received $793,640 in compensation in 2020.

The YMCA of the USA had $130 million at the end of 2020 (down from $132 million at the beginning of the year) primarily because of net unrealized gains on investments that offset the $7 million in excess expenses over revenue.

In summary, the YMCA of the USA experienced a $20 million drop in revenue in 2020 due to Covid.  Staff cuts were made (there were 310 employees in 2020 compared to 407 employees in 2019) although average compensation increased (from $113,000 to $119,000) because compensation costs did not decrease as much as staff cuts (compensation decreased from $46 million to $37 million).

$55 million (or $46 out of every $100) was spent on compensation for employees, office-related expenses, travel and conferences, advertising, and other expenses; while $69 million (or $59 out of every $100) was spent on grants and fees for services (primarily training partners and program assistance).  It is important to point out that although the total number of grants decreased by about 200 from more than 600 in 2019 to just over 400 in 2020, the total revenue amount of grants increased to $49 million (compared to $40 million in 2019) which appears to have been made to assist the local YMCA’s.

The YMCA of the USA spent $105 for eery $100 received which amounted to spending $7 million more than the organization raised. These costs were partially offset by unrealized gains on assets so net assets remained virtually unchanged at year-end 2020.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020), click here.

  1. Apr 27 2022

    I have not reviewed those but I will look into World Central Kitchen. It’s too early to get any info on Frankels’ fundraiser. I don’t know if she started her own non-profit or is raising funds for a non-profit. Either way, there is about a 2-year lag in information (right now I am looking at 2020 Form 990’s).

  2. Dan Gaubas
    Apr 27 2022

    I really appreciate your sharing these informative posts from so many nonprofits. I was wondering if you have reviewed either World Central Kitchen,, or Bethanny Frankels’ Ukraine fundraiser? Thanks again for your articles!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: