August 27, 2015

Why We Ask You to Respond to Surveys: The impact of your feedback

community reportWe recently sent out an email asking our community to respond to our 2015 Community Survey. Many of you probably thought, “Another survey? I thought I just completed one; how is there another?”

It may be true that you recently participated in an NTEN survey—and, yes, here is one more. This annual survey is a bit different, and here’s why:

In last year’s Community Report, research ranked as the second most valuable NTEN resource to our community (ranking not far behind the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC)). Listening to your feedback, we’ve worked with our newly-formed research committee over the past year to secure several partnerships to produce new research. This year for the first time, we’ve published the Digital Outlook Report and the Digital Adoption Report, and have another new report planned for this fall, in addition to publishing many of our longtime annual research reports (including the Community, Tech Staffing and Investments, and Nonprofit Benchmarks Reports).

We use the input from both our Community Report and our Tech Staffing & Investments Report to inform our strategic outlook to evaluate how we are meeting our broad mission and the impact of our work.

Your survey responses directly influence our programming.

Respondents to the 2014 Community Report emphasized “integration” as a key challenge their organizations are facing: the challenge of putting it all together and integrating data, channels, systems, etc., across departments. During the past year, we’ve held local NTEN Labs to address this challenge, with topics such as project management, data-informed decision making, and campaign planning.

Your feedback directly influences our member benefits and services.

We also use the community feedback we receive to shape the types of resources and Member benefits we offer. In recent years, the Executive Directors/CEOs  category has been a growing constituency within our Membership community. We continue to offer and expand the range of contributors to our quarterly NTEN: Change journal, geared towards nonprofit leaders, as a resource for this increasing part of our audience. Our Leading Change Summit is another program we’re offering this year to provide professional development opportunities for Executive Directors/CEOs, as well as other staff in technology decision-making roles.

Finding and keeping skilled staff was another key challenge area reported by our community. We launched the Nonprofit Job Board last fall, with discounted job postings for Members, as a dedicated site for nonprofit employers and jobseekers to secure opportunities. The May edition of Connect monthly, “Inside the Nonprofit,” included articles addressing common internal organizational issues, including finding and retaining staff members.

Your priorities directly shaped the website redesign.

Our Members reported the relevance of NTEN resources/information reported as key value of Membership. A key consideration we kept in mind throughout our website redesign earlier this year was to make our digital content and resources as relevant and discoverable as possible, with a new content architecture to emphasize key issue areas.

Know that those 10-15 minutes you spend sharing your feedback mean a lot to us—and to the work we do. There’s still time to give us your opinion and receive a big “THANK YOU” in advance from all of us. Your input truly makes an impact for NTEN and our community.

Megan Keane
Megan is a long-time San Francisco bay area resident with an extensive nonprofit background in community management, social media, and volunteer management. She's a problem solver and network builder passionate about connecting with people both on and offline. As NTEN's Membership Director, Megan supports the NTEN community, helping others connect, learn, and make the most of technology, and has spoken internationally on nonprofit technology. While she's not online, Megan can be found teaching or practicing yoga, hiking, or curling up with a good book. She's also a self-professed penguin nutcase, er, enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter: @penguinasana