In our staff meetings at the National Trust’s Center for Preservation Leadership we debated the pros and cons, but in the end we took the leap and conducted the first-ever online survey of our Forum members. And we are delighted to report that almost 10 percent of you took the time to respond. One member, Carrie Woerner of Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, a member since 1998, won the drawing for a year’s free membership.
What did we learn?
You are a loyal bunch:
Almost 30 percent of the respondents have been members for more than three years, and almost 50 percent for more than five years.
You are a varied group:
Respondents fell fairly evenly into various membership categories: consultants, government agencies, state and local preservation organizations, commissions, historic sites, students, and individuals.
You like print publications:
Some 80 percent of you categorize Forum Journal and Forum Newsas “interesting”; about half of you indicated that these publications are “useful.” Sixty-one percent of respondents reported that they circulate the newsletter and journal to staff and board members—something we strongly encourage.
You are using Forum Online more and more:
Almost half of you said that you find Forum Online interesting and useful. Only 23 percent of you responded that you don’t use it at all. These numbers reflect an increase since our last survey, which was conducted in 2002. Four years ago more than half the respondents indicated that they never used Forum Online or didn’t know it was there.
You use the listserve more:
Activity on the Forum-L listserve has also increased in four years. Almost half of you responded that you find the listserve useful and several “solo practitioners” noted that they rely on the listserve for informative and up-to-the-minute discussions.
Some survey respondents pointed out membership glitches —didn’t receive publications, password didn’t work, wrong mailing address, etc.—so please,if you have any problems with your membership, let us know, either by phone or e-mail. If we don’t know there is a problem, we can’t fix it!
Also only 14 percent of respondents indicated that they send publications and announcements to the Forum Office. We would like this number to increase. These are your publications, so please make sure that we are on your list to receive newsletters and e-mail announcements. Send e-news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One respondent asked how the results will be used. Well, we promise that the survey won’t sit on the shelf. We will use the results to correct problems, to get ideas for future publications and articles, to fine-tune existing services. We appreciate the time you took to respond to the survey and will use your comments and suggestions to plan for the future.
The survey may be done, but we still like to hear from you! If you have questions regarding your Forum membership, suggestions on how we can serve you more effectively, or information that will be useful to other members, please contact the Forum Office:
phone (202) 588-6296
fax (202) 588-6474
May/June 2006#ForumBenefit #ForumNews