We appreciated the 29% response rate to our request to participate in the survey. In addition, we found that respondents have an overall similar profile to the overall AOCS membership demographics. In particular, demographics from the respondents were:
- Gender : 73% male: 27% female
- Location: 41% USA: 59% non-USA
- Job Function: Process and Manufacturing, Analysis, and Nutrition
So that’s the basic statistics. Now on to the survey structure and findings.
The survey was segmented into 5 sections, the last being used to cross tabulate the data. In this posting, I’ll focus on the first section (Membership).
Section 1: Focused on membership. Why people join, why they renew, and if they feel “engaged” with AOCS.
The results were that no single service is the driving item for people to join (that is good). Which tells me that it is important to emphasize the variety of benefits available to members and prospective members.
The top three responses as to why people join were:
- To network with peers and colleagues (60%)
- To access industry news and trends (57%)
- To affiliate with a professional organization (46%)
And the best recruitment tool is “a colleague.” So look for the just mailed Member-Get-A-Member campaign brochure and help us grow. And view the Member-Get-A-Member webpage for recruiting tips and program rewards. We do need your help to grow the society and to keep it one of the strongest professional organizations in the world.
As to why people renew their membership, we found the responses aligned with why people join AOCS. To network, affiliate with a professional organization, and access industry news.
We saw similar results in the 2010 membership survey. Which motivate us to change our committee structure. We now have three Value Centers, each aligning with Networking, Content, and Technical Services. Curious about the new structure? It is outlined on the AOCS website section “About Us”.
And then we asked about how “involved you feel in AOCS as an Organization”. The responses to this question are eye-opening. 45% feel “mildly involved”! Why? Most people noted “insufficient time to participate” or “I don’t know how to become involved in AOCS”.
Volunteerism is important for associations, as it ensures there is a group of committed, skilled members to serve as officers, board members, committee members and more. Over the next year staff will design a strategy to formalize our volunteer program. One of the goals is to show you all ways you can be involved with your Society.
In the meantime – YouCan!
Check out the video, view the webpage, and connect with your professional society. Not being biased (but really I am), all those who have come into direct contact with the Society have been impressed with the earnestness, sincerity, and friendliness of the people in it. These people are obviously enjoying their contribution to Society endeavor. My wish is that those 45% who feel “mildly involved” become "fully involved" (connected) with their professional Society.
I thank everyone who participated in the survey. Know that the information is being used to further your Society.
In the following posts, I’ll discuss the other 3 sections of the survey.
Section 2: AOCS Programs and Services
Section 3: Communications
Section 4: Publications and Media Use