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Professional Development & Best Practices, Key Drivers for Members

Jul 3, 2019

Colorado Nonprofit Association fielded the 2019 Nonprofit Member Survey during Member Appreciation Month in May. All nonprofit members - staff, volunteer and board members - were encouraged to complete the survey to share their input, motivations, values and more. The Member Survey was an important step out of many in listening to our members, and we greatly appreciate those who took the time to complete the survey. We have dedicated, thoughtful members and it showed throughout the responses.

Our Lessons Learned

We learned invaluable information from the survey results that has already started conversations among our staff and board about where to focus our efforts and how we can further support all regions, organizations, and nonprofit professionals. Here are a few lessons learned from the survey:

  • Members believe, “Increasing the sustainability of the nonprofit sector by providing professional development, access to best practice knowledge and current trend information,” as the primary role of the Association for Colorado’s nonprofit sector.
  • Members are motivated by and value information on best practices and professional development, as well as want more professional development specific to topics, audience or experience level.
  • Regions outside of the Front Range value online or on-demand programs or services, but also want more in-person trainings, events or webinars.
  • Although the Member News Bulletin and Professional Development are the most frequently used programs/services, many members do not use their member benefits due to a lack of time to both take advantage of and learn about them. 
  • We also heard from many members that they aren’t aware of all the benefits available to them. (In response to hearing this, we've created an easier way to schedule a time to meet with our Director of Membership Services, Gerry Rasel, or register for an upcoming Member Benefit Review to learn about member benefits.)

Find the complete survey findings below.

Our Next Steps

We still need to dig deeper into our members' needs, perceptions, and challenges before we make any significant changes to our work. We want to ensure any decisions we make are based on a comprehensive analysis of our members and their needs. That said, you won't see any immediate changes as a result of the member survey alone, but we will be working to collect more data as a follow-up. 

  • Conduct focus groups and interviews with members across the state to better understand why they are members, how they are engaging with our different programs and what is needed to further build the capacity of nonprofits in all regions.
  • Analyze the data alongside additional data collected throughout the years to give us a better overall understanding of engagement levels, program use, and impact.
  • Overall learning from all data collected – member survey, focus groups, interviews, database records, and past program evaluations – to help us make decisions to move the nonprofit community and the Association forward.

How We'll Use This Information

We'll be using the data collected from the survey, along with data collected from the above, to inform our decisions. 

  • Set priorities– Focus our efforts on the program areas and services that our members need the most.
  • Allocate resources – Adjust the amount of money and staff time – whether increasing, decreasing or leaving as is - towards certain programs, services or strategies.
  • Refine programs – Improving or changing programs which may entail changing structures, strategies, processes, frequency or methods.

When You'll Hear From Us Next

At the end of the year, we’ll let our members know of any changes or improvements as a direct result of the member feedback collected this year.

If you have any questions about our strategic learning efforts (a.k.a. evaluation-as-learning efforts) or just want to share additional feedback, please reach out to Melanie Tsuchida.

Complete Survey Findings

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