Membership FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate at the YMCA?

All people are welcome to participate in YMCA of San Francisco programs and use our facilities as members, regardless of race, ability, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or income. Everyone belongs at the Y.

What makes the YMCA unique?

The YMCA is a values-based, character-building, nonprofit membership organization that plays a vital role in contributing to the community. Our values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are in everything we do. We plan our high-quality programs around essential elements to help kids grow up caring and responsible. Our staff is caring, competent and experienced. Our training includes safety, management modules, CPR, First Aid and more.

At the YMCA, young people can develop new skills, increase self-esteem, and make new friends while having fun in safe, nurturing environments. Families can build stronger bonds, achieve greater work/life balance, and become more engaged in their communities. People of all ages and abilities can build a healthier spirit, mind and body.

Financial assistance is available, thanks to the generosity of our donors.

How can I join the Y?

There are a variety of membership options to choose from, including joining one specific facility or having access to more than one. For details, visit the website of your local branch page or give us a call at 415-777-9622.

Can I access all of the YMCA of San Francisco locations when I join one?

If you purchase a YMCA Bay Area Membership, then you can access all of our YMCA of San Francisco facilities plus a large number of additional Bay Area locations. The YMCA of San Francisco has 9 fitness facilities located throughout San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin County.

If you are a facility member at any one of our locations, you have full access to that particular YMCA, and you can use any other YMCA of San Francisco facility for $5.00.

What is the difference between a Facility Membership and a Program Membership?

With a Facility Membership, you have full access to the YMCA facility that you join. This includes fitness centers, group exercise classes, lap and recreational swimming, and some branches offer ChildWatch. You also receive a free fitness orientation and priority registration for programs. As a facility member, you can participate in most programs at no additional cost. To participate in programs with fees, facility members can take advantage of reduced fees.

A Program Membership is for those who want to enroll in a particular class or program, such as swim lessons, youth sports, or child care, and do not wish to have full access to the YMCA facility. General usage of the YMCA facility is not included. A nominal annual fee is required for a Program Membership. Additional fees apply per class or program.

Is online registration available for membership? Once I become a member, is online registration available for programs and classes?

Register for a Facility or Program Membership in person at your nearest YMCA. Once you are a member, there are several ways to register for programs and classes. For personal assistance, call or visit your YMCA. You can register for select programs and classes online.

Does the Y offer financial assistance for membership and programs?

YMCA membership and programs are open to everyone. Financial assistance is made available to those who cannot afford the services the YMCA provides. These funds come from the generosity of our donors. We handle all financial assistance applications and supporting documentation confidentially. For details, visit our Financial Assistance page.

How do I volunteer my time to help the YMCA serve the community?

Volunteering is an important part of the energy and excellence of the YMCA of San Francisco. YMCA volunteers work at each facility; they help with programs and events; they serve on committees; and some lead as members of branch boards. We are grateful for all volunteer help, and we need a wide range of skills and interests to help us meet the needs of the people and the community that we serve. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, view our Volunteer page, call or visit your YMCA.

Is the YMCA a charitable organization?

The YMCA of San Francisco is a nonprofit organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service with a 501(c)3 charitable designation. All donations made to the YMCA of San Francisco are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. When you donate money, 100% of your donation is used to provide financial assistance to those in need and to subsidize programs. Make a donation online today!

Who are contributors to the YMCA?

Individuals, families, businesses, community partners, foundations, churches, civic groups and government grants all support the work of the YMCA to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.

Why should I give to the YMCA if I am not a member?

Your support is still needed. Membership fees and donations are two different sources of income, both tied to our charitable mission. Income from program and membership fees and government sources cover the YMCA’s operating costs, program delivery and membership services. It does not cover the cost of community programs for young people and adults or financial assistance for economically disadvantaged youth and families.

Donations to our annual Strong Communities Campaign go directly to support programs and scholarships that benefit young people, adults and families. Your donations support our efforts in the community to provide meaningful opportunities, positive experiences and caring adult role models to help youth grow into responsible adults. Therefore, your support benefits every community member, regardless of their YMCA involvement.

Is the YMCA affiliated with the YWCA?

The YMCA and YWCA are not affiliated. Each is an independent nonprofit organization with a separate but strong mission. The YMCA’s primary focus is character-building programming that helps young people reach their fullest potential in environments that promote a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. Our goal is to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.