Online surveys can be a great way to “take the pulse” of your membership - or in our case, our readership.
In January, we asked our readers to participate in an annual online survey to find out the key issues impacting small non-profits and membership organizations and what information we could offer in the Wild Apricot blog that might help.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond to our survey! It’s great to have your feedback – which we value and act upon.
We'll Offer the Survey Results in Two Separate Posts
Since we added some new questions to this year’s survey around membership expectations and issues, we’ve decided to cover the survey results in two separate blog posts. In this post, we'll focus on the blog - profiling its readers, their organizations and why they read this blog. In the second post, we'll offer some insight into survey feedback around key membership issues for 2012; expected growth; as well as challenges.
Here’s a brief look at Part 1 of our survey results:
Who’s following the Wild Apricot blog?
It’s always interesting to find out more about our audience, so we start the survey each year by asking questions about the reader and their organization. Here’s what we found out:
Type of organization:
It’s interesting to note that this year, the majority of survey respondents were with membership organizations (38%), professional associations (30.5%) and charities (13%).
The majority of survey respondents fell into the following three categories:
- 50% of survey respondents represented organizations that have under 250 members, donors or supporters
- 33.3% of respondents were with organizations with 250 to 500 members, donors or supporters
- 16.7% of respondents were with organizations with 500 to 2000 members, donors or supporters
Respondent’s role in their organization:
As you can see from the graph below, our blog readership profile has changed slightly over the last year. Currently, the majority of our readers (at least those who responded to the survey) are: Webmasters, Communications/Marketing staff, Membership managers, Board Members, and Executive Directors. Of course, we understand that both the volunteers and staff of small organizations may also wear a number of hats.
Reasons for Reading the Wild Apricot Blog:
While we realize that there may be a number of reasons folks follow our blog, the top reason offered in this survey was information on Membership / non-profit website development.
And we weren’t surprised to see that another highly rated topic corresponded with the #1 “key issue” facing membership organizations this year: Membership engagement & communications. In addition, we found that readers are also keen to read our monthly round-up of non-profit webinars.
Other topics readers want us to cover:
One of the most interesting parts of the survey are the responses to our open-ended question about topics we should cover. While I can’t list all of the topics, here are a few that we’ll try to cover in the coming months:
- collecting & using member data to provide more valuable benefits
- creative email newsletter samples
- membership management technology for making customizable reports for strategic planning
- Google grants and how to best utilize them
- content creation for advertising/marketing
- Public Relations resources & how to engage the media for free publicity, press releases, etc.
- short articles on how to do different tasks with our website software
While we love to have readers leave us comments on individual posts, it’s great to get feedback from readers through our survey as well. And even though we don’t get a huge response to these surveys, we DO take the comments and suggestions seriously. For example, we got a few comments related to our software product – which we passed along to our product and support folks. And we also had a few general comments about the blog, including the following:
- I like the current mix of topics - it's a very helpful resource for a volunteer group with no budget to speak of!
- I love all the information that I learn from Wild Apricot.
More from the 2012 Wild Apricot Blog Reader Survey...
In Part 2 of our Blog Reader Survey Results, we’ll offer more information on our readers’ key issues; expectations for and challenges to growth in 2012, along with insight into key methods of recruiting and communicating with members in Part 2 next week, so stay tuned to the Wild Apricot blog.