Take Our 2020 Member & Volunteer Survey

Every two years we poll our community to find out what's working and where we can improve. Read this blog to find out how you can participate, and what we learned from past surveys.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
January 12, 2020
Take Our 2020 Member & Volunteer Survey
Erin Cunningham in the Baker backcountry. Photo by Todd Sweatland.

Every two years, we invited our current, past, and future members and volunteers to participate in a community survey. We want learn about your perceptions, activities, and experiences with The Mountaineers. We compare these responses with survey data from previous years to track patterns to find out what's working and identify opportunities to improve

Every year we have a high response rate, and we need your help to keep that up! You should have received an email from us via Survey Gizmo on January 12, but we know emails are put through the gauntlet to get to your inbox. Just in case, here's a button to get you on your way:

Take Survey

The survey will be open until midnight on February 2, 2020. We want your feedback whether you are a current, future, or past member or volunteer with The Mountaineers, part of the greater outdoor community, or just someone who found this blog on the Google machine. Please take 8-12 minutes to offer your feedback. 

Past Survey Results

We started conducting membership trackers in the late 90s, and made the process more formal with an org-wide survey in 2011. We followed it up with very similar surveys in 2014, 2016, and 2018 to help us understand changes over time. We also launched a special Volunteer survey in 2015 with the intent of running it on alternative years to the member survey, but in the end it made the most sense to combine it, which we did for the first time in 2018.

We spend lots of time analyzing the results and your feedback really does impact our decisions around where to invest resources.


Based on the full 2014 Membership Survey Results, we invested in a new Leadership Development Manager position to support volunteers, hired a Communications Specialist to improve our communications support for conservation and branches, and got approval for an additional investment in technology from the board. 

Our 2015 Volunteer Survey showed that our volunteers were generally satisfied, but that the admin work associated with volunteering was draining. Due in part to these responses, we created the Progressive Climbing Education process and added additional staff support for our volunteers. Supporting volunteers remains a critical priority for The Mountaineers, and will be called out as an investment area in our soon to be released Vision 2022 Strategic Plan.

In the 2016 Membership Survey, we learned that the the majority of members maintained the marked improvement in satisfaction as seen in the 2014 survey, and that we have opportunities to better serve our members through continued focus on diversity, improving processes and transparency to remove "red tape", and increasing course and activity offerings to give people even more opportunities to explore the outdoors, improve skills, and protect the places where we play. Overall, the 2016 survey (see full results) validated what we’ve been working toward with our strategic plan: building a more diverse community, continuing to improve our website technology, offering better volunteer support, and creating a welcoming space with lots of opportunity to get outside and connect.

Our combined 2018 Member & Volunteer Survey identified key factors to renewal as volunteering and course participation, that volunteers continue to place a high value on personal leadership development, and that members want more! As we grow, we've experienced difficulty serving all of the students who want to participate in our programs. Our volunteers lead 100% of our programs, and they are our super power. In order to serve a growing interest in outdoor recreation, we must work to support and grow our coalition of volunteers and work with our local land managers to assure we are recreating responsibly.

Overall, the colletive surveys have driven and validated the top priorities for our Vision 2022 Strategic Plan: to LEAD innovation in outdoor education, ENGAGE future Mountaineers, and ADVOCATE fiercely for our wild places. It also showed that one of our biggest opportunity area lies in being more welcoming to people who come to us with outside experience. We've been working on this, and still have a long road ahead, but you can keep up on our latest effort on the Equity & Inclusion Committee page

We appreciate the thoughtful feedback shared with us during this process. We hope you are as excited about the future as we are!




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