Surveying our Members – Thank you for participating!

by Daniel Billingsley, Vice President of External Affairs

Over the weekend, I took a quick road trip to Dallas. While there, I saw the exhibition about the First Ladies at the George W. Bush Presidential Library (I’m a history geek after all). While in Dallas, I took no fewer than five surveys. One was about the exhibition, another about the library, two were about my hotel stay (they REALLY want to know how you liked the hotel) and the last was a satisfaction survey online about a recent customer service experience. They were quick and easy. I know that some people find surveys a bit annoying. However, I’m a true survey-filler-outer. I don’t even need a coupon for a free Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse to do it.

So why do I like surveys so much? Probably because my graduate studies in marketing were all about market research, focus groups, interviews and surveys. I know it’s important when companies get feedback from customers. It helps them improve service, educate people, better market products to the right individuals and so much more.

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has been sending out a few surveys recently. We’ve also hosted focus groups. If you’ve ever been to a training event, you’ve probably filled out a quick survey at the end. We need this information and feedback and we use it! It helps us determine our outcomes and impact, evaluate our programs and gives our members a chance to provide feedback that helps us improve what we can do for you.

Every other year, we put out one of the most important surveys for the Oklahoma nonprofit sector – our salary survey. The data gathered does more than just tell us we could all use a little raise. Number one, it helps set benchmarks on salaries for executives and leadership – a must to ensure that executive compensation is in line with industry standards. Secondly, it helps organizations understand the climate in the sector with regard to hiring good employees – offering competitive salary and benefits packages. Most of all, it helps us determine if salaries are moving higher to be more competitive with jobs in the private, for-profit sector.

We know that nonprofit salaries tend to be lower than private, for-profit sector positions. However, funders, board members, philanthropists, policy makers and the public need to understand that salaries in the charitable sector must provide adequate wages to ensure we have the best and brightest individuals to do the hard work every day to improve our communities.

This salary survey might be the most important survey your organization takes this year.

We encourage you to complete the survey soon. Help us gather this incredibly important data to inform our sector and those that support our sector of the value of their contributions to underwrite our skilled and educated workforce. While it isn’t a simple “hotels dot com smiley or frowny face one touch survey,” this data collected will assist boards of directors and executives to establish parameters for better compensation, as well as manage expectations for our philanthropists and donors.

So take the survey today. We can’t offer you a free appetizer, but we promise you some great data that you and your organization can use.

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Marnie Taylor