2014 Membership Survey Results

In 2013 we polled our members to find out what's working and where we can improve. Take a look at what we learned.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
April 04, 2014

At the end of 2013, we invited our members to participate in a membership survey. We wanted to find out about members’ impressions of our courses and activities, and their overall experiences with our organization. We compared these responses with survey data from 2011 to understand both how we’ve grown and changed, and where we still have opportunities to improve. 

Over 2,000 people responded to our request. It translated to a response rate of 26%, which may seem low at first glance, but is 5-times greater than the in industry average of 2-5%. We were pleased to get so much feedback. 

On a very high level, the member survey showed us two things:

  1. The Mountaineers organization is highly valued by a majority of members, with satisfaction levels and perceptions markedly improving in recent years.
  2. There are opportunities to better serve our members through improvements in course offerings, communications, and technology.

The most exciting thing to come out of this survey is an overall improvement in member satisfaction. Compared with three years ago, members today indicate they are 20% more satisfied with The Mountaineers than they were in 2011

A few more fun statistics:

  • Our members are significantly more tech savvy this year than 3 years ago, with 72% of our members owning smartphones, vs. 47% in 2011.
  • In 2011, 11.6% of people indicated they “definitely would not” or “would not” renew. Today only 1.9% of people indicated they do not plan to renew.
  • Of the 20 or so members who indicated they were “extremely unsatisfied” with The Mountaineers, 100% of them indicated they would “definitely renew” their membership. Our members are certainly passionate.
  • Today’s members more likely to perceive Mountaineers as active, high-quality, fun, helpful/courteous, and friendly/welcoming and less likely to perceive Mountaineers as stand-offish/cliquish and intimidating/elitist
  • Members felt we did not have enough room in our courses/classes and that we could do a better job of making our members feel valued.

At the end of our survey we asked “Do you have anything else you want to say about The Mountaineers?” In most surveys, 0.005% of people fill this out. Well, not at The Mountaineers! We had over 600 responses – a whopping 30% response rate. Some comments were positive, some were negative, and all were helpful insights for our organization. 

Overall, the survey validated what we’ve been working toward with our strategic plan: members agree we need better technology, better volunteer support, and more communication. We are building a new website, which launches on May 5th, we have hired a new Leadership Development Manager to help support or valued volunteers, and we’ve launched some new email communications (like the monthly events email) to help us communicate with our members more. We’re also more active on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ve recently launched Pinterest and Instagram accounts. We will continue our efforts to effectively communicate with our members and to provide everyone with enough support, and we feel the new website will greatly help in these efforts. 

Thanks for your fantastic support of our organization and for the thoughtful feedback you took the time to share with us! We hope you are as excited about the future as we are. 

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Stefanie Meier
Stefanie Meier says:
Mon, May 5, 2014 11:26 AM

It would be more useful to see the actual surveys (or listing of answers to questions and actual comments) instead of someone's interpretation of them. Could this information be provided?

Kristina Ciari
Kristina Ciari says:
Mon, May 5, 2014 12:52 PM

What sorts of information are you looking for? We have the comments broken our by category: course & activities, branches, etc.