YMCA of the USA

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 2/10/2021. To update the information in this column, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


The nation's 2,400-plus YMCAs are found in 10,000 communities throughout all 50 states. YMCAs have been serving their communities for nearly 150 years by meeting the health and social services needs of families and individuals. YMCA programs serve 17.9 million people each year, including nearly 9 million children. YMCAs in the United States are part of a more than 120-country worldwide movement, the World Alliance of YMCAs.

YMCAs are building strong kids, strong families and strong communities through programs and services that tackle some of society's most pressing problems.

Contact information

Mailing address:
101 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606-0606

Website: www.ymca.net

Phone: (312) 977-0031

Email: webmaster@ymca.net

Organization details

EIN: 363258696

CEO/President: Kevin Washington

Chairman: Mr. Thomas J. Henderson

Board size: 47

Founder: Mr. George Williams

Year founded: 1844

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


YMCAs collectively make up the largest nonprofit community service organization in America and work to meet the health and social service needs of 17.5 million men, women, and children. Ys help people of all faiths, races, abilities, ages, and incomes develop values and behaviors that are consistent with Christian principles. No one is turned away for inability to pay.

In the average Y, a volunteer board sets policy for its executive, who manages the operation with full-time and part-time staff and volunteer leaders. Ys meet local community needs through organized activities or programs. In its own way, every Y nurtures the healthy development of children and teens; strengthens families; and makes its community healthier and safer.

YMCA programs are designed to build the values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Ys teach kids to swim, offer exercise classes for people with disabilities, and lead adult aerobics. They also offer hundreds of other programs in response to community needs, including camping, child care, teen clubs, environmental programs, substance abuse prevention, youth sports, family nights, job training, international exchange, and more.

Organization: Each YMCA is an independent charitable nonprofit, qualifying under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code. YMCAs are required by the national constitution to pay annual dues, to refrain from discrimination, and to support the YMCA mission. All other decisions are local choices, including programs offered, staffing and style of operation. Staffed by 241 employees, the national office, (the YMCA of the USA) is in Chicago, with Field offices in California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas. Its purpose is to serve member associations.

YMCAs are at work in more than 130 countries around the world, serving more than 30 million people. Some 230 local US Ys maintain more than 370 relationships with Ys in other countries, operate international programs, and contribute to YMCA work worldwide through the YMCA World Service campaign. Like other national YMCA movements, the YMCA of the USA is a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mission statement

YMCA states its mission as follows:

To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Statement of faith

Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Community Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating143 of 9418 of 59
Fund acquisition rating192 of 9439 of 59
Resource allocation rating88 of 9437 of 59
Asset utilization rating532 of 94134 of 59

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$13,086,876$24,216,259$32,318,498$43,116,972$56,613,014
Short-term investments$47,115,739$54,989,305$59,245,651$74,688,066$57,758,175
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$124,803,318$114,725,397$110,208,687$135,162,684$124,145,630
Long-term investments$30,966,837$29,922,918$24,456,401$23,871,058$27,470,016
Fixed assets$6,256,731$8,014,333$8,523,448$8,021,842$6,507,433
Other long-term assets$9,831,811$9,113,624$8,591,114$8,623,476$7,848,142
Total long-term assets$47,055,379$47,050,875$41,570,963$40,516,376$41,825,591
Total assets$171,858,697$161,776,272$151,779,650$175,679,060$165,971,221
Payables and accrued expenses$25,379,889$18,672,339$14,798,104$9,273,130$7,131,624
Other current liabilities$4,009,912$639,748$1,169,520$1,243,496$1,129,317
Total current liabilities$29,389,801$19,312,087$15,967,624$10,516,626$8,260,941
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$6,568,088$4,808,617$5,227,099$6,020,073$6,732,423
Total long-term liabilities$12,068,088$10,808,617$14,727,099$12,520,073$13,732,423
Total liabilities$41,457,889$30,120,704$30,694,723$23,036,699$21,993,364
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$38,195,517$41,024,388$30,314,391$50,858,500$44,201,842
With donor restrictions$92,205,291$90,631,180$90,770,536$101,783,861$99,776,015
Net assets$130,400,808$131,655,568$121,084,927$152,642,361$143,977,857
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$65,805,390$43,437,498$34,366,213$44,118,077$58,594,936
Program service revenue$48,352,947$84,415,118$83,052,150$79,417,908$79,701,816
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$3,165,083$6,605,798$15,419,155$4,408,282$1,700,766
Other revenue$569,167$2,958,931$1,789,690$3,188,460$2,617,462
Total other revenue$52,087,197$93,979,847$100,260,995$87,014,650$84,020,044
Total revenue$117,892,587$137,417,345$134,627,208$131,132,727$142,614,980
Program services$111,724,319$125,730,814$125,415,585$122,301,689$125,151,743
Management and general$12,361,332$11,672,092$19,050,088$12,177,626$14,332,187
Total expenses$125,808,480$139,515,174$146,669,639$136,856,789$142,057,709
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)($7,915,893)($2,097,829)($12,042,431)($5,724,062)$557,271
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($7,915,893)($2,097,829)($12,042,431)($5,724,062)$557,271


Kevin WashingtonPresident and CEO$793,640
Paul McEntireExecutive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer$648,314
David ByrdSenior Vice President, Movement Advancement$439,857
Rebecca BowenExecutive Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer$432,513
Karyn KirkExecutive Vice President & General Counsel$424,155
Nancy L OwensSenior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer$408,272
Robert DentonSenior Vice President, Chief Government Affairs Officer$376,060
Shawn BorzelleriSenior Vice President, Service Delivery Program Development Officer$375,105

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 2/10/2021. To update the information below, please email: info@ministrywatch.com


Beginnings in London
In response to unhealthy social conditions arising in the big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution, George Williams and a group of merchants founded the Young Men's Christian Association in London, England, on June 6, 1844. At that time, young men often lived at work sleeping in crowded rooms over company shops. Outside the shop things were bad - open sewers, pickpockets, thugs, beggars, drunks, lovers for hire and abandoned children running wild.

Organized to substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets, by 1851 there were 24 YMCAs in Great Britain, with a combined membership of 2,700. That same year the YMCA arrived in North America: It was established in Montreal on November 25, and in Boston on December 29.

The idea proved popular everywhere. In 1853, the first YMCA for African Americans was founded in Washington, D.C., by Anthony Bowen, a freed slave. The next year the first international convention was held in Paris. At the time there were 397 separate Ys in seven nations, with 30,369 members total.

Civil War times
In the United States during the Civil War, Y membership shrunk to one-third its size as members marched off to battle. Only 59 Ys were left by war's end, but a rapid rebuilding followed, and four years later there were 600 more. In 1866, the influential New York YMCA adopted a fourfold purpose: "The improvement of the spiritual, mental, social and physical condition of young men." In the 1880s, YMCAs began putting up buildings in large numbers and hiring full time staff.

Gyms and swimming pools came in at that time, too, along with big auditoriums and bowling alleys. Hotel-like rooms with bathrooms down the hall, called dormitories or residences, were designed into every new YMCA building until the late 1950s. Income from rented rooms was a great source of funds for YMCA activities of all kinds.

Ys organized college students for social action, literally invented the games of basketball and volleyball and served the special needs of railroad men who had no place to stay when the train reached the end of the line.

Through the influence of nationally known lay evangelists Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) and John Mott (1865-1955), who dominated the movement in the last half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries respectively, the American YMCAs sent workers by the thousands overseas, both as missionary-like YMCA secretaries and as war workers. Both Moody and Mott served for lengthy periods as paid professional staff members of the YMCA movement and maintained lifelong connections with it.

The U.S. entered World War I in April 1917. Mott, on his own, involved the YMCA movement in running the military canteens, called post exchanges today, in the United States and in France. Ys led fundraising campaigns that raised $235 million for those YMCA operations and other wartime causes, and hired 25,926 Y workers-5,145 of them women-to run the canteens.

Great Depression
The Great Depression brought dramatic drops in Y income. When direct relief was taken over by the federal government in 1933, it released YMCAs and other nonprofits from their welfare tasks. Ys were forced to prove to their communities that both character-building agencies and welfare agencies were needed, especially in times of stress.

Between 1929 and 1933, Bible class enrollment fell by 60 percent and residence use was down, but exercise and educational classes were both up, along with vocational training and camping. YMCAs discovered they could survive if they served a large number of people and had low building payments.

During World War II, the National Council of YMCAs (now the YMCA of the USA) joined with Ys around the world to assist prisoners of war in 36 nations. It also helped form the United Service Organization (USO), which ran drop-in centers for servicepeople and sent performers abroad to entertain the troops. Ys worked with displaced persons and refugees as well, and sent both workers and money abroad after the war to help rebuild damaged YMCA buildings.

After more than two decades of study and trial YMCA youth secretaries in 1944 agreed to put a national seal of approval on the "four fronts" or "four platforms" of Youth Work: a father-son program called Y-Indian Guides, and three boy's clubs-Gra-Y for those in grade school, Junior Hi-Y and Hi-Y.

Post War
At the close of the war, the Ys had changed. Sixty-two percent were admitting women, and other barriers began to fall one after the other, with families the new emphasis, and all races and religions included at all levels of the organization. The rapidly expanding suburbs drew the Ys with them. In 1958, the U.S. and Canadian YMCAs launched Buildings for Brotherhood in which the two nations raised $55 million which was matched by $6 million overseas. The result was 98 Y buildings renovated, improved or built new in 32 countries.

During the Great Disillusion of 1965-1975, with national YMCA support and federal aid, new outreach efforts were taken up by community Ys in 150 cities. The four-fronts youth programs withered for lack of attention, but held in parts of the Midwest and much of the South. When federal aid dried up, money troubles began to reappear. Y leaders were urged to become more businesslike in both their appearance and their operations, a topic raised by Y boards since the 1920s.

After 1975, the old physical programming featured by YMCAs for a century began to perk up as interest in healthy lifestyles increased nationwide. By 1980, pressure for up-to-date buildings and equipment brought on a boom in construction that lasted through the decade.

Child care for working parents, an extension of what YMCAs had done informally for years, came with a rush in 1983 and quickly joined health and fitness, camping, and residences as a major source of YMCA income.

Character Development and Asset-Based Approach
During the 1980s and '90s, the ideas of "values clarification" were slowly replaced by ideas of "character." The moral upbringing of children had been considered the sole domain of the family, and enabling the child to discover his or her own ethical system was the goal. But by the mid to late '80s, this was seen as contributing to a morally bankrupt society, in which there is no notion of virtue (or of vice), just different points of view.

The focus had been on the "deficit model," in other words, what went wrong with the youth who got into trouble, and how could they be corrected. But youth workers and academics started to look at what contributes to healthy development and prevents problems-an "assets model." The YMCA of the USA collaborated with The Search Institute on this issue and came up with practical results.

The research showed 30 (later increased to 40) developmental assets that positively correlated with pro-social and healthy behaviors in youth, and negatively correlated with anti-social and unhealthy behaviors. The more assets a youth has, the more likely he or she is to behave well, the less likely to engage in risky behaviors. This not only provided a "road map" for Ys to follow in creating healthy kids, families and communities, but also was an inherent proof of the effectiveness of youth programs.

It also showed a wider focus than had been thought possible. It doesn't matter if a program consists of sports, music, a teen center, mentoring or aerobics, or if it's aimed at reducing teen pregnancy, smoking, or crime. If it provides one or more of the developmental assets, it will reduce the overall risk of any kind of negative behavior, and raise the likelihood of positive behavior.

Program accomplishments

2003 Accomplishments

  • Refined Consulting-Based Service Delivery Model: Initiating or completing service delivery and support plans--addressing facility and property issues, technology solutions, public policy/government relations and international engagement -- for 348 member associations in the first year of a three-year effort to develop plans for every association.
  • Served As An Expert Resource: Delivering training to increase the number of member associations involved in Abundant Assets to 64 and the National YMCA Diversity Initiative to 78.
  • Developed Effective Leaders: Conducting seven Membership Universities, 19 Program Schools, 10 Principles and Practices symposiums and more than 50 national program training events.
  • Positioned the Movement As A National Leader: Securing more than $7 million in corporate sponsorship pledges and $2.3 million in cash contributions.
  • Shaped Public Policy: Advancing the YMCA's status as a charitable organization by assisting dozens of YMCAs with counseling, legal advice and documentation to address mission challenges. Although several challenges continue, no YMCA has ever lost its tax exemption.
  • Created New Governance System: Crafting the new governance structure and leading the process to educate Ys on new proposal.
  • Improved Financial Health: Committing to a surplus budget to restore reserves.
2001 Accomplishments
  • YMCA celebrated their 150th anniversary year in 2001.
  • America's YMCAs raised $777 million--money that stays in each community in programs and scholarships for children, families and senior citizens.
  • In the prestigious 2001 rankings of not-for-profit organizations by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Times, YMCAs again ranked second among human services organizations based on contributed income and second among not-for-profits when ranked by annual revenue.

The YMCA offers financial assistance for people who cannot afford the full fee for membership and programs.