Hi. My name is Melanie Tsuchida and I’m the Association’s Manager of Strategic Learning. You may recognize my name from one of my past roles within the Association (going on four titles). In my new role, I get the opportunity to talk with nonprofit professionals like you, ask questions, and crunch numbers, all while looking at the big picture. We’re approaching evaluation as “strategic learning,” and my role is to ensure our evaluation efforts don’t end with a one-off report and instead are used to inform decisions that move our organization, members, and nonprofit community forward.
I want to personally thank you for taking the time to complete the member survey. Collecting feedback both thoughtfully and intentionally from our members is something we are actively improving. We also know we’ve disappointed members in the past who have given their time and thoughtful feedback by not closing the loop. In my role as Manager of Strategic Learning, a newly created position for the Association, I hope to end this cycle while reassuring you that the input we gather from members will be continuously used to inform our decisions.
The member survey gave us a clearer and stronger understanding of what our members are motivated by, value, and rely on from the Association. They have already sparked discussions and ideas among staff, and more importantly, they have informed additional questions to ask and information to collect.
Here are a few valuable insights we learned from you:
- We’ve known professional development is a necessary offering, but the survey results painted a stronger picture of why we need to take a close look at how we manage, strategize and offer trainings. Over 40% of members listed professional development and trainings as their first valued program/service, and another 24% stated it as their second valued program/service.
- We learned that regions outside of the Denver Metro and Pikes Peak place a higher value on the Knowledge Center and Member News Bulletin – two online and on-demand resources - but also want more offerings available to and in their regions, whether that be in-person events or webinars.
- We learned that members want more advanced trainings, as well as more webinars. A common theme was more trainings and peer learning between specific roles (e.g. Executive Directors) and experience.
- We further understand that majority of members are motivated to engage with the Association for updates and information on best practices. Over 30% stated updates on best practices as their primary reason to engage, and another 20% stated it as their secondary.
We are planning to dig deeper into these findings to ask the “why” and “how” through interviews and focus groups across the state. We’ll then use the results from the survey, further explained by the findings from focus groups and interviews, along with existing information to make strategic decisions grounded in data and input from our members.
Your participation in this survey meant that we can ground our strategic learning (a.k.a. evaluation) efforts in actual perceptions rather than assumptions. If you have any questions about the survey, our strategic learning efforts or want to talk with me about your needs and challenges, please feel free to reach out to me.
P.S. Can’t wait to chat with you more about your membership experience and needs.
Review the full report here.