Feedback is an effective and essential way of developing and achieving your mission.
A Stanford Social Innovation Review study from 2019 reports that although nearly 90% of responding non-profits claimed that gathering feedback was a top priority, only 13% were actually using it as a source of insight to improve operations.
Knowing that member feedback should be a priority isn’t enough. Collecting and acting upon these observations can better your organization. They can connect you with potential and current members, and help everyone feel included and heard in the process.
Whether you use social media, in-person events, or online survey tools, collecting helpful member feedback has never been easier.
Nonprofits need to be committed to learning about their community in order to understand how to help their intended audience. Collecting personal stories will remind your organization why your mission matters and how to stay on track.
Personal anecdotes are also a great way to spread your organization’s message. See if community members are willing to publicly share their stories in support of your mission. Use these stories in your newsletters, on your social media channels, and on promotional materials you use to garner attention.
Feedback on Renewal Forms
A simple way to collect member feedback is to include a section for it on membership renewal forms. Whether sent via email or snail mail, forms that your clientele are going to fill out anyway provide a perfect opportunity to collect additional comments without too much inconvenience.
Allow Anonymous Feedback
To elicit candid and honest responses, you could enable the option to submit feedback anonymously. This can be done through your surveys, forms, and website. Customers, members, clients, and staff could feel more confident when given the option to remain anonymous. It may eliminate any possible repercussions or direct confrontation.
Weekly or Monthly Survey Questions
If you send out a newsletter via email, make a spotlight section for a question or survey of the week linking to a quick questionnaire on SurveyMonkey or through another professional online feedback tool. Each week or month, your organization can ask different questions that relate to your newsletter’s particular focus, and you’ll be reaching your ideal audience via the newsletter’s email list.
Social Media Engagement
Having a social media presence is important to achieve a wide audience reach and engagement. You can also use these sites to gather great feedback and monitor comments and reviews left by your community.
Oftentimes unprompted feedback will bring up issues that have gone unnoticed, so monitoring these types of comments can be an excellent opportunity to grow and improve your organization.
Use Facebook or Instagram to engage with your audience by asking questions and prompting client responses. Twitter even has a poll tool that can be utilized for quick and simple surveys.
Although the internet has made it easier than ever to collect data, nothing says you care more than communicating face-to-face at an in-person event. Use your fundraising events, annual conferences, and regional or local chapter meetings to meet current or potential members of your association and see where they stand on current issues or new ideas.
If you end up making changes or altering your operations based on member feedback, let everyone know! Once people understand that you aren’t simply collecting feedback without acting on it, it will encourage everyone to submit their notes with the understanding that they can make a difference.
Continue to Encourage Feedback
Remember, encouraging your members and donors to give their feedback on your practices, services, and operations shows that you truly value the relationship you have with them. When someone believes their input to be invaluable then they are more likely to give it, and the more feedback your association gets the more improved your efforts may be.