Categories: Industry Insights

5 Nonprofit Trends Transforming Community Centers in 2023

Published On: Sep 14, 2023

Nonprofit community centers play an important role in many communities, offering more than just programs and facilities. These centers promote community leadership and strengthen social ties, all while serving the unique and continually evolving needs of their members. As members navigate their lives, community centers must adapt to meet their members’ expectations consistently and comprehensively.

As members navigated their lives in 2023, their needs shifted and nonprofit community centers adapted to new trends, changing the programs they offered and the ways they interacted with members. In this blog, we’ll highlight five key nonprofit trends shaping the industry according to the latest nonprofit performance data powered by Daxko Operations.

Gym members lifting weights

1. January Saw Record New Joins

As the holiday season winds down each year, community members start looking ahead to their New Year’s resolutions. Among the most popular goals each year are those related to weight loss (37%), diet (33%), and improved fitness (39%). Community centers typically see an influx of new members in the New Year as members seek to fulfill these resolutions, and January 2023 was no exception.

According to same-store sales reports from Daxko Operations users, new memberships soared by 47% in January 2023 as compared to January 2022, translating to $7.3 million in dues. Looking beyond the numbers, these organizations saw families embarking on wellness journeys together, children participating in enriching programs, and seniors finding connection and companionship. With a 91% retention rate through February 2023, community centers are clearly turning these resolutions into meaningful and lasting connections.

A yoga class stretching

2. Member Engagement Continues to Grow

Recent nonprofit market research shows that community centers and their engaged members are enjoying some much-welcomed stability as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key indicators of this growth is the strong performance in post-discount membership revenue, which saw a 57% increase between March 2021 and March 2023.

Nearly 50% of US consumers now report wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives, a significant rise from 42% in 2020. Nonprofits are seeing that focus on wellness reflected in growing program registrations and member engagement. Since 2021, active members in nonprofit community centers have grown by nearly one million each year, according to same-store sales reports from Daxko Operations users. Between March 2022 and March 2023, check-ins increased by 23%. Compared to March 2019, there has been an outstanding 102% increase.

As individuals continue their fitness and wellness journeys, they’re putting their trust in nonprofits to provide quality facilities and engaging programs. This record growth serves as a testament to the industry’s passion for meeting community needs, positioning nonprofits as key players in fostering community well-being.

Chaperones and kids at a youth event

3. The Demand for Childcare is Growing

With an exponential increase in childcare registrations since March 2019, nonprofits are playing a vital role in shaping family support within their communities as birth rates increase. The 24% year-over-year growth in revenue, according to same-store sales reports from Daxko Operations users, highlights the trust that working families place in their local community centers and emphasizes community demand for accessible childcare services.

Nonprofit childcare programs are more than a convenience. They’re essential for many working families and offer parents peace of mind knowing their children are in a nurturing environment. The rise in childcare registrations indicates the growing importance of these programs within community centers, driven by socioeconomic factors like parents returning to the office after working remotely, the increasing number of single working mothers, and in some cases, accessibility to government funding.

This increase in revenue and engagement represents a commitment to supporting families and illustrates the critical role community centers play in the lives of the members they serve.

A group fitness class dancing

4. Personal Training Revenue Has Increased

According to same-store sales reports from Daxko Operations users, there has been a 23% increase in personal training revenue between May 2022 and May 2023. The rise in participation suggests more members are recognizing the benefits of having a dedicated trainer to support their fitness journey.

The rise of personal training as a nonprofit trend also reflects a broader shift in community needs. Members are looking for more personalized support in their health and fitness journeys, and community centers are stepping up to meet this demand. By focusing on individual goals and providing tailored programs, trainers can provide more comprehensive support as members work towards their fitness goals. Whether through weight loss, strength building, or providing a sense of community, personal training is becoming an essential service that resonates with members of all ages.

A member making a credit card payment

5. Inflation Has Outpaced Increases in Membership Dues

Nonprofits face an ongoing struggle to balance revenue goals with membership rates, and despite ambitious plans for growth, many organizations are falling short. Spikes in inflation have outpaced average dues increases. Data outlined in Daxko’s 2023 nonprofit trends report shows that while the average planned membership growth was 7%, the actual average membership dues increase for YMCAs was only 1.7% and for JCCs was 3.5%.

What does this mean for nonprofit community centers? The inability to keep pace with inflation suggests nonprofits may be facing challenges in implementing intended rate increases or may be prioritizing member retention over revenue growth. The result is riskier financial footing for nonprofits aiming to invest in facility improvements, program expansions, and staff development.

To overcome challenges related to inflation, community centers must review and regularly adjust membership rates. Aim for realistic and achievable revenue goals, maintain a balance between affordability and financial sustainability, and continue to engage donors. By taking a strategic approach to membership pricing, community centers can navigate the changing economic landscape and continue to make a lasting impact on their communities.

Nonprofit trends indicate 2023 has been a transformative one for nonprofit community centers. The disparity between inflation and increases in membership dues calls attention to the financial realities many nonprofits face. But despite the challenge, nonprofit community centers remain focused on serving, inspiring, and connecting with members.

Want to Learn More?

When you’re navigating a shifting economic landscape, staying informed and adapting to trends is crucial. That’s why we created The Check-In – to support you with the industry insights you need to make a greater impact on your community.

The 2023 Check-In provides an exclusive look into the latest nonprofit trends, what members want, and how your peers are performing in 2023. Identify the member trends and challenges nonprofit community centers are facing with the latest nonprofit performance data powered by Daxko Operations.

Inside, we’ll cover:

  • January’s remarkable increase in new joins
  • The growing commitment of members to health and wellness
  • An increasing demand for childcare
  • The revenue potential of personal training services
  • How membership dues increased compared to inflation

Download your free copy and dive into the data.

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