Once the value proposition is clearly recognized, the idea of partnering will graduate from being conceptual to being one that merits community-specific research and other due-diligence activities. At this point, resources will need to be spent and the delineation of “who spends what” will need to be determined. The allocation of costs is unique to each project.
However, the types of costs are often similar. Participants universally expressed a desire to share costs in order to minimize sunk costs prior to ultimate commitment by all parties. The study provided input related to professional services utilized and how costs are typically shared between the YMCA and municipalities (See Tables 8 and 9). The study also provided information related to the outcome of the investment (See Table 10). This information is categorized by partnerships that included facility-related investments and those that were focused solely on programmatic partnerships. The typical duration of the due diligence process is detailed in Table 11.
Market research was utilized by a majority of study participants. While market study research is a commonplace tool for YMCAs, it is not always recognized similarly by potential partners.
This perspective may result in varied commitment levels related to shared costs. Participants were adamant that market research data be used as a credible foundation for operating proformas, facility requirements, debt service capacity and potentially shared subsidies related to operations and long-term maintenance. Significant discussion was conducted with participants regarding market research data that was under-utilized and the retrospective repercussions. An example of the beneficial information generated through market research is detailed in Table 12. This information is invaluable when defining the facility components and phasing necessary to generate anticipated YMCA program and membership revenue.