Our Funding Model

The YMCA's operations are made possible through a sustainable model that mixes revenue from philanthropy, government funding, and fee-for-service programs. This is a standard funding model that many other charities use as well, including universities and hospitals.

Investments from different levels of government illustrate that the YMCA of Greater Toronto is a trusted charity that delivers essential programs and services. However, government funding does not cover some of the key initiatives we need to offer for our communities to reach their full potential.

Every private philanthropic dollar that goes towards building new YMCA Centres of Community not only helps leverage government support; it also inspires others to give and help build more equitable neighbourhoods equipped with healthy infrastructure and essential services.

Philanthropy has an important role to play in making the GTA one of the best places to call home. We believe the future is bright, but we also know some of our neighbours are falling behind. It’s up to the true leaders in our region to pave a path everyone can follow towards a stronger, more connected community.

Frequently asked questions

Why does the YMCA need donations?

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that takes a holistic approach to health, offering wrap-around supports to help people boost their well-being and to promote equity in our communities. We deliver child care, camping and outdoor education programs, employment services, immigrant settlement services, and youth programs including emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness, a middle- and high-school for students who learn differently, and youth leadership development programs. Donations are a critical part of our revenue model. They help us run programs, offer financial assistance to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to participate in those programs, and build new YMCAs so more people in more neighbourhoods can access our offerings.

Don’t people pay for the Y’s services through membership and program fees?

Fee-for-service programs make up one part of our revenue model, alongside government funding and donations. Fees such as Health & Fitness monthly membership fees, camp payments, and child care payments are not donations; these fees pay for you to participate in the given program. We receive funding from our government to operate some of our other programs, such as employment services and immigrant settlement services, which are free for participants thanks to that funding. Donations help support some of the programs we deliver at no cost to our participants, but are not government funded, such as:

  • YMCA Teen Night, where youth can access the Y for free on weekends, giving them a safe place to exercise and meet healthy role models
  • YMCA Youth Leadership Development programs, which help youth facing barriers develop the skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life
  • Financial assistance, which enables those who otherwise couldn't afford it to participate in Health & Fitness and Camp programming.
What’s the YMCA’s relationship with the United Way?

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is not currently a member agency of the United Way Toronto & York Region (UWTYR) and we do not receive financial support as such. However, our YMCA and the UWTYR have, for decades, shared a vision for a healthy, thriving GTA and we continue to partner on special projects and sit together at community tables to that end.

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