Targeted Telephone Survey: Developing Successful Municipal Partnerships
On behalf of the Mid-Major YMCA group, I am gathering information on partnerships involving YMCAs
and municipalities, specifically partnerships with cities or counties that result in significant jointly funded
programs, facilities and/or other community assets where the YMCA is either the sole operator or part
of a joint operating agreement. Your YMCA has been identified as being involved in a successful
partnership with a municipality. Over the next few minutes, I will ask you a series of questions related to
the specific partnership you have chosen to discuss in an effort to identify and compile similarities
among YMCA who are engaged in partnerships throughout the United States.
The questions will be asked in the following sequence:
 General Overview and Description of the Project/Partnership
 Partnership Development/Due Diligence Phase
 Contractual Phase
 Community Impact
GENERAL OVERVIEW AND DESCRIPTION
Every partnership is unique; there are, however, some specific characteristics that we are attempting to
identify through this study. Let’s begin with general information related to your project. At the end of
this section, I will give you an opportunity to expand on any unique aspects of your specific partnership.
1. Which of the following best describes your primary partner?
a. City
b. County
c. Other 2. How would you classify this partnership?
a. Operation of a new facility
b. Operation of an existing facility
c. Operation of a park program
d. Operation of an aquatics complex
e. Operations of a senior center
f. Co-funding of a significant program
g. Joint operation of a significant
h. Other 3. Municipal partnerships that involve facilities and other community assets typically include
formal agreements or arrangements. Which of the following best describes your partnership?
a. Fee for Service Management Agreement (short-term or seasonal arrangement with no
lease; YMCA generates a fee to manage a municipal facility)
b. Operating Agreement (typically involves a lease or long-term operating arrangement
where the facility is branded as a YMCA and ultimately fees earned are the result of
YMCA programs and memberships)
c. Combination of Service Management and Operating where fees generated are a blend
of municipal community service agreements, YMCA program and membership revenue
and potentially additional funds secured through other third party partnerships.
d. Joint-operation or funding of a significant program (the program may or may not be
conducted at a municipal facility)
4. Partnerships often result from a perceived mutual value proposition. For the YMCA, the value
proposition is commonly associated with mission expansion, capital funding, operating
efficiencies, revenue generation and community benefit. Which of the following best describes
the value proposition of the partnership to your YMCA?
a. Expanded service area
b. Capital funding
c. Minimized risk associated with serving:
i. An under-populated area
ii. A low income area
iii. A newly emerging market
iv. A unique population
d. Revenue generated from a management contract
e. Joint-funding or another operational benefit related to the facilitation of a significant
program
5. Beyond the general description captured in these questions, are there any unique aspects to
your partnership that added to the value proposition for either partner?
PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT/DUE DILIGENCE PHASE
Every partnership must have a starting point and then ultimately a tipping point that turns a good idea
into reality. The next few questions will establish commonalities related to how these partnerships get
started and what tips a partnership from the development phase to the contractual phase.
6. Which of the following best describes who initiated your partnership?
a. YMCA (the YMCA sought out specific partners and presented an opportunity)
(If YMCA) Which of the following allowed your initiative to be considered?
i. Advocates within municipal leadership
ii. Well-defined value proposition points for all parties
iii. Pre-established community support
iv. Third party statistical data which verified the community need
v. Pre-cultivated relationships utilizing tours, awareness-building techniques
vi. An RFP was developed and distributed to targeted partners by the YMCA
vii. Other b. Municipality (the municipality sought out potential partners)
(If Municipality) Which of the following best describes this process?
i.
The YMCA was the only agency contacted
ii.
The YMCA responded to a generally distributed RFP
iii.
The YMCA responded to a RFP developed specifically for the YMCA
iv.
The YMCA was requested to provide information for a municipal work session
v.
Other -
7. Which of the following professional services were utilized in the development process and to
what extent did you use them?
a. Market Research Consultants
b. Fundraising Feasibility Consultants
c. YMCA of the USA
d. YMCA peers with relevant expertise
e. Architects
f. Engineers
g. Contractor
h. Other 8. Which of the following best describes the end result of the development process for your
partnership?
(If Facility)
a. Market Research results including membership and program proforma that clearly
defines projected service delivery opportunities and revenue generation potential
b. YMCA operating proforma utilizing market research data
c. Schematic facility design
d. Preliminary construction budget based on schematic design, recent construction costs
and escalation
e. Potential fundraising target
f. Preliminary operating budget utilizing all data gathered which established debt
requirements, potential partner capital and operating subsidy and ramp-up timeline
g. Project timeline
h. An approved Memorandum of Understanding resulting from YMCA board action and
municipal resolution
i. Other (If Program)
a. Market Research results including membership and/or program proforma that clearly
defines projected service delivery opportunities and revenue generation potential
b. YMCA operating proforma utilizing market research data
c. Potential fundraising target
d. Preliminary operating budget utilizing all data gathered which established debt
requirements, potential partner operating subsidy and ramp-up timeline
e. Project timeline
f. An approved Memorandum of Understanding resulting from YMCA board action and
municipal resolution
g. Other 9. What was your YMCA’s financial investment during the development phase and what did it
fund?
10. What was the financial investment of other partners during the development phase and what
did it fund?
11. From start to finish, how long was the development phase?
CONTRACTUAL PHASE
The contractual phase of a municipal partnership ultimately outlines the specific parameters of
expectations related to the operations of a facility and/or program. The goal during this section is to
identify the most common key components of a municipal contractual agreement.
12. Which of the following best describes how the legal document was developed and funded?
a. Jointly
b. By the YMCA
c. By the Municipality
13. Which of the following best describes the sequence of the contract ratification process?
a. YMCA approval followed by municipality approval
b. Municipality approval followed by YMCA approval
14. Which of the following best describes the length of your contract?
a. 0-5 years
b. 6-10 years
c. 10-20 years
d. 20-30 years
e. 30 years+
15. Which of the following key components were included in your contractual agreement?
(If Facility)
a. Ownership
i.
Land
ii.
Facility
b. Design and Construction Funding (i.e. bonds, private donations, grants, debt)
c. Lease Agreement
i.
Land
ii.
Facility
d. Operating Agreement
i.
Operating Hours
ii.
Fees and Scheduling
iii.
Operational Subsidies (amounts and responsibility)
iv.
Daily Maintenance and Repair
e. Term and Cancellation
f. Construction of Improvements (funding and responsibility)
g. Insurance Requirements and Responsibilities
h. Disputes, Defaults, Remedies and Termination
i. Tax Covenants (YMCA and Municipal)
j. General Provisions
k. Special Provisions
l. Long Term/Major Facility Maintenance (amounts and responsibility)
m. Applicable Attachments
n. Other -
(If Program)
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.
j.
k.
l.
Description of Program Partner Responsibilities
Participant Fees
Participant Revenue Distribution
Dates of Service
Promotion and Public Relations
Insurance
Effective Date and Term of Agreement
Modifications
Indemnity and Release
Sponsorship Proceeds Distribution
Termination Agreement
Other -
COMMUNITY IMPACT
16. At the beginning of our conversation, you stated the intended value propositions of your
partnership. In your opinion, were these successful, and if so, to what extent?
a. YES b. NO
17. It is assumed that partnerships have a perceived economic impact. Was that perception realized
and if so, can you quantify it for each partner?
a. YES b. NO
18. Reflecting back on the partnership process, what advice would you offer other YMCA leaders as
they consider entering into a partnership arrangement?
19. In your opinion, what were the greatest challenges/obstacles that you experienced throughout
the process?
20. With regard to “lessons learned,” would you do anything differently with a new partnership
based on your past agreements? If so, what?
a. YES b. NO
Thank you for your time and participation in this study. Relevant data gathered from respondents will be
analyzed, compiled into a report and shared with senior YMCA leadership to support the successful
development of sustainable municipal collaborations throughout the United States.
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Telephone Survey - YMCA Partnership