City YMCA Establishes New Member Rates Based On Income

The Jamestown/Lakewood YMCA’s trustees and board of directors have created new membership rates based on income, replacing the Y’s current stringent, categorical-based membership fees.

“The community spoke and our leadership team here at the Y listened,” said Mark G. Eckendorf, chief executive officer of the Jamestown Area YMCA. “This switch from basing our rates off of certain categories with preset, determined rates and fees to our new model-which has new categories, yet flexible rates dependent on a person or family’s household-income.”

Income-based pricing is designed to allow YMCA potential members flexibility and ease of joining, along with allowing the Y to stay true to its’ charitable organizational charter.

“It’s really about being in line with the needs of our community and accessibility for all,” Eckendorf said. “The YMCA’s focus is on providing services and programs for the entire community which focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Inclusion not exclusion is our goal here, and switching to this model (income-based pricing) of membership aligns us more to be able to accomplish this.”

The Jamestown Area YMCA has implemented this household-income based membership fees along with new membership categories.

“Our new membership categories include: three or more adult household members plus children, two adult household plus children, two adult household, one adult household plus children, one adult household, adult member (29 and over), young adult (19-29 years old) youth (infant to 18-years old) and Y-Express only,” Eckendorf said.

Flexibility and speed seem to be one of the byproducts of this new program.

“The YMCA should be and is a welcoming place,” Eckendorf said. “By switching to this new household-based income for membership rates will allow us [YMCA] to be flexible and speedy when taking in new members and aligned with what people can afforded in this area.” “We want to make it as easy as possible for a potential member to join,” Eckendorf said. “This is a huge and paradigm shift in how we conduct business here at the Y-flexibility and ease-of-access when joining is very important to our leadership team at the YMCA.”

The YMCA has made this change in its policy to align better with the community.

“We looked at our membership demographics and we noticed there was an opportunity to reach and service local-area residents that we’ve missed before,” Eckendorf said.

For more information on the Jamestown/Lakewood YMCA’s new income-based pricing contact the Jamestown YMCA at 664-2802 or the Lakewood YMCA at 763-0303 or visit the YMCA on line at www.jamestownymca. org/main/membership-for-all/ to try our online calculator where one can figure out their membership rates.