If you want to know how to get free YMCA membership, this article is perfect for you.

It exactly how you or anyone can get free YMCA membership and some tips to help you.



If you were to be asked about the YMCA or the Y, your first response might involve the Village People and their iconic song YMCA.

Other than the catchy beat and the subsequent body gestures associated with the song is the reality that the YMCA is a place for families to utilize exercise equipment, pool if so equipped, participate in exercise classes, as well as other services.

First, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

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Since its inception in London, England in 1844, the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) has sought to be a refuge or haven for individuals to be insulated from the pressures and stresses of society.

That same commitment is adhered to today as YMCAs in various communities offer the basic services of exercising.

However, as our society has evolved so have the services offered by the Y.

Some of those additional services and programs include camping experiences for young teens, drug-free programs, childcare, housing runaways, and much more.

With the song ringing in our minds let us look at ways that we can access the Y’s services through a free or discounted membership.


Personal Story

Every year a group of non-profits would host, in concert with a service club, an exercise/breakfast for seniors in our community.

The seniors would begin to arrive at 700 in the morning.

As part of their registration, they would receive a T-shirt and then visit all of the booths set up by the not-for-profit and receive several giveaways that were related to their health and physical condition.

At 8 AM the seniors would be invited to gather together for preliminaries and a welcome by the service club representative along with an opening prayer.

To engage the seniors and get them warmed up for their morning walk the YMCA staff would gather everyone together and to the strains of YMCA by the Village People engage the seniors in exercise and having fun.

It proved to be a perfect way to get the seniors engaged, get their blood circulating, excited about the morning’s activities, and their walking to improve their health.


20 Best Ways & Tips to Help You Get Free YMCA Membership


1. About YMCA

The history of the YMCA dates back to 1844 when an individual by the name of George Williams left his farmland home during the Industrial Revolution to take on a job as a department store worker in London England.

With city life being an eye-opening experience for this young man he sought to find an organization and group of young men that would not succumb to the vices that the streets of London offered an impressionable young man.

It was that same vision and mission that exists today as the YMCA tries to create a safe and enriching environment for communities of individuals to gather together.


2. YMCA Membership

The cost of membership varies from location to location and is dependent upon various membership packages.

Additionally, each YMCA is unique and offers different programs and services that are designed to meet the particular needs of their community.

Therefore, you most likely will find an opportunity to exercise, perhaps the Y will have a pool, group fitness classes, steam room, teen programs, etc.

To find out all that your local YMCA offers, it would be best to go to the national website by clicking here.

By accessing this site, you can find your particular local YMCA.


3. Veterans

The YMCA clearly states and is committed to providing a membership discount or membership at no charge to veterans who have provided service to our country.

To be considered for this potential free membership or reduction in membership the veteran needs to bring in their DD 214 and speak with the membership director to see what sort of benefits the veteran can take advantage of.


4. Military

The Y also commits to active-duty personnel.

As part of this dedication to military men and women, the YMCA offers memberships to eligible military families and personnel.

To take advantage of any discounts or free memberships, the individual simply contacts Military One Source to confirm their eligibility and receive the appropriate documentation to fill out and submit.

Once documentation has been received, the individual may approach their local YMCA and speak to the membership director.

In addition to the form, the active-duty military personnel should bring their military ID and any other documentation that may reflect their current active-duty military standing.


5. Public Safety

Another group of individuals who selflessly serve their community is in the area of public safety.

These public safety personnel are defined as firefighters, EMTs, police officers, etc.

Upon approval, they may receive a discount or waiving of any associated fees in joining the YMCA as a member.

The family members of the public safety community employees may also be provided this same potential discount.


6. Corporations

The YMCA realizes the importance of having active and healthy employees.

This not only is beneficial to the company’s bottom line and the employees themselves but also helps to reduce the costs associated with medical care.

Subsequently, the YMCA works with corporations in providing a discount or free memberships to qualifying corporations and businesses to meet the physical, entertaining, and various service needs of its employees.


7. Volunteer

The Y understands the value of volunteers.

Not only do volunteers help enrich their own lives but others who are involved with the services of the YMCA.

Volunteers also help to reduce the financial bottom line.

In appreciation of volunteers, a volunteer may be offered a free membership from the Y as a way of saying thank you for your community service.

Most local YMCAs have criteria that need to be attained for a volunteer to be eligible for a free membership.

Generally, it is in proportion to the minimum number of volunteer hours needed during any given week.


8. Employee

Another great way of earning a YMCA membership is to become part of the staff.

Even though the business model is a not-for-profit, the same business staffing and processes need to be followed which require the employment of talented and skilled staff.

If you have leadership, clerical skills, ability to interact with individuals through physical fitness, then perhaps an employment position can be found with the YMCA.

As part of your employment package, you most likely will be offered free membership.

Also See: How to Get Free Food on Doordash.


9. Single Parents

Although the YMCA fully appreciates the need for maximizing their revenue base, they also understand that there are hardships in individuals’ lives.

One of those potential hardships that can be experienced in a family can be the reality of a single parent.

Consequently, the YMCA, potentially in your community, may offer free or dramatically reduced memberships for a single parent and the family.

Verification of household income would need to be provided.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

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10. Financial Assistance

The YMCA operates summer camps in which qualified kids can have an outdoor experience.

As single parent family home or financially distressed the children in the home may qualify for scholarships or other reduced costs as it relates to enjoying a camping experience.

Additionally, there may be scholarships available as the YMCA and other not-for-profits depend significantly on the support of their community.

Consequently, there may be monies set aside through various fundraising events that can be tapped into and utilized as scholarship monies for children who are classified as underserved.


11. Gift

Often, family and friends send birthday gifts in celebration of your special day.

Perhaps you could request that any gifts that anybody is planning on sending your way could be the gift of a membership at the YWCA in keeping with your goal of getting healthy, losing weight, etc.



12. Family

A possibility to get a free membership to the Y would be to look to your family for support.

Perhaps you’re in a situation in which money is tight and support from your family through the giving of a YMCA membership could happen.

Also, if you’re trying to lose weight and getting a membership to a club is financially difficult perhaps the family would be willing to sponsor you.


13. Seniors

Many companies, organizations, and not-for-profit understand that seniors live on a fixed income.

Consequently, they are offered discounts or provided services at no cost.

The YMCA may be one of those not-for-profits that may provide a policy as it relates to seniors and discounts or not charging any membership fees.

Also, they may consider situations on a case-by-case basis and your situation may allow you to obtain a free membership or scholarship.

Also See: How and Where to Get Free Pizza.


14. Certain Grades

Another option for a particular member of your family to receive a membership at no cost is that some YMCAs select a particular grade and children within that grade school level and are offered a free membership.

Their rationale may be for several reasons which could include child obesity, health-related issues, etc.


15. Healthcare

Having health care insurance can be a costly expense and it seems that the premiums go up each year.

Insurance providers understand the importance of good health and keeping people on weight management programs and eating properly,

Your health insurance provider may offer, as part of their insurance package, free membership to the local YMCA.

This would be a good investment on their part for the individual to take advantage of a Y membership and help to maintain a healthy lifestyle as well as reduce medical expenses.


16. Groupon

Another option to obtain a free membership or discounted membership is to search for coupons on the Internet.

Sometimes, a discounted membership can be obtained through Groupon.


17. Free Trial

The YMCA, as a not-for-profit, offers to the community various opportunities to obtain memberships at their facility.

These membership drives are often in conjunction with affiliate associations such as the United Way

In doing so they may offer a prize as part of a drawing for people to support the cause.

As such, they may do giveaways which may include a Y membership or they may do a raffle which only would cost the individual one or two dollars.

The chances of winning a YMCA membership may be low but it is always worth a two-dollar donation for a raffle to have the opportunity of winning.

It is important to look out for these membership drives especially during the fall months when the United Way does their campaign kickoff and the drive to raise money from the community.


18. Competition

If you have decided to get in shape and want to lose weight or just feel better about yourself then you may wish to obtain a membership at the YMCA.

The caveat would be to challenge another individual who also has the same health goal in mind.

Therefore, the competition could be between you and the other individual with the “loser” buying the membership of the other individual to the YMCA.


19. Medicaid

Depending upon what state you live, a benefit, if you are on some sort of medical assistance program, maybe a YMCA or gym membership can be obtained.

Again, to reduce insurance costs and medical treatment expenditures, many forward-thinking insurance companies provide an insurance benefit for an individual which could include gym membership.

Therefore, it is important to check with your local Medicaid program to see if this is an option.


20. Disabled

Sometimes, financial resources are limited for an individual who is overcoming a disability.

The possibility, in this case, is to speak with the YMCAs membership director to see if you could qualify for a free or deeply discounted membership due to financial constraints associated with your disability.


Free YMCA Membership FAQs


Where Was the First YMCA Started in the United States?

The first YMCA to open its doors in America was in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.

It was modeled after the YMCA that was started in London and offered a haven for young men to be protected from the vices of city life.


What Is the Average Cost for a YMCA Membership? 

The cost of a YMCA membership may vary from geographical location to geographical location.

This is because each of the YMCAs, although may be part of the national organization, have their separate chapters and function in that autonomy.

The factors that contribute to the membership fees assessed include the paying of employees, the cost of overhead, etc.

Having said all that, the average cost of a membership for the Y ranges from $$29-$64.

The membership range is dependent upon whether the membership is for an individual, family, etc.


You Can Do It

The YMCA is a viable option for families who wish to take advantage of exercise equipment, swimming pools, and other family activities as provided by the Y.

If your situation warrants, you can get a discounted or free membership depending upon your circumstances.

In either case, the YMCA has a rich history of helping individuals and continues to follow along the lines of that vision and mission.



The YMCA is still a relevant not-for-profit in most communities and has stayed true to its mission of helping others through exercise, being a haven, and encouraging others to maintain their health in all areas of their life.

What better way to be actively involved in such an organization than to take advantage of any free or discounted membership options that they provide.

Besides, you can always donate if you so choose to help support this not-for-profit.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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