In January 2012, 85 members completed our member survey.
Firstly, I'd like to thank each of you who took the time to complete the survey
- your comments and opinions were instrumental in assisting the board in making
decisions about moving forward with a few key issues that were on the
Amongst the issues the board was seeking advice: Future directions for the
AWAre magazine; whether membership should be opened up to allow men to join;
and a potential adjustment to our name.
Whilst 85 members is just under 50% of our membership and thus, may not be 100%
representative, it does give us a good snapshot of who our members are and what
The survey asked questions covering demographics, reasons for joining and
maintaining members, and opinions on future directions.
A quick run through for of our membership demographics:
Reasons for joining and member activity:
The majority of survey respondents are 25-25 years old and have been
members for2-5 years.
Nearly 35% of our survey respondents find the AWA less than 6 months
from arriving to Melbourne; whislt nearly 20% weight 2-5 and another
20% 5+ years before joining
Neighbors and colleagues are the #1 way people find out about the AWA.
79% of survey respondents have no plans to move in the near term.
60% of our members currently work or go to school and 37% do not.
The majority of our members have young children, though another quarter
have adult children and another quarter have none.
80% of our members are currently married (~57% to Aussies) and nearly
1/2 of us came to Australia to be here with an Australian.
New members were mainly interested in joining the AWA for our activity
groups, to meet other Americans and to celebrate American holidays.
For those that renewed their membership this year, whilst activity
groups and American connections remained important, the friendships
that they'd created and the connection to volunteering (especially at
the RCH) grew in importance.
On a positively note 77.5% of our membership intends to rejoin in
August 2012 and the majority of those that are unlikely to continue are
so placed because they are planning to move.
AWAre magazine: Only 5% felt that we should maintain the magazine as it
is, with the others split in results and many comments around combining
the options (i.e., bi-annual issues + more robust Stars & Stripes)
Allowing men to join: Responses to this were passionate, as expected!
Whilst nearly 50% are 'extremely supportive' nearly 35% are either
'extremely unsupportive' or 'unsupportive'
Name change: Whilst 50% are supportive, another 25% are extremely un -
After weighing in member opinion, the board has decided to make the following
For now, the AWAre magazine will cease being produced 6x a year and
will rather be reduced to 2 issues per year. It is planned for these to
be printed ~April and October and will include a member directory
included in them.
In conjunction with this decision, more information will be fed to our
membership through Stars & Stripes e-newsletter. The new website
allows us to create these 'news' articles - which means the data will
also be available at all times on the website.
For now, membership will remain closed to men. Though there was
considerable interest the idea of allowing men to join (nearly half
were 'extremely supportive') because 1/3 of the membership were
unsupportive of the idea the board has decided to shelve the idea and
potentially revisit it at a later date.
For now, the AWA will remain the American Women's Auxiliary. Whilst
>%50 supported the idea over 25% were unsupportive. Thus, this too,
will be set aside for the moment.
For those interested, you can download the full compilation of survey
results at the bottom of this article.
Please note that I have chosen to include the full comments provided on the
survey - partly to show the breadth of opinions across our membership as well
to potentially act as thought starters. It's interesting that some feel they
can't get involved because fundraising meetings are 'all held at night' when
others use the same excuse because they are 'all held during the day'!
You will note that many comments are very favourable and others show clear
areas where we can make improvements. The upshot of a survey like this is that
it gets people involved in the dialogue and to (hopefully!) assist the board to
make better decisions
If the survey has sparked an idea, comment and/or encouraged you to get more
involved, please let me know
You never know where you next great fundraiser or activity group idea will come