What We Learned From the 2017 YNPN Portland Member Survey
This spring YNPN Portland conducted a member survey to better understand our community’s needs, how well we’re serving those needs, and what areas we should focus on as we continue to develop as an organization. If you are one of the 116 people who participated in the survey, thank you for your time and support.
Now that we’ve completed the survey and reflected on the results, we wanted to take the time to circle back with you and share the highlights of our findings.
(1) Who are our members?
The first thing we looked at was who currently makes up our community.
The survey results revealed some characteristics that are widely shared among our community. Though understanding this is something that can help guide our work, we also want to think critically about the ways in which our community can benefit from greater diversity.
Most YNPN Portland community members (75% to 100%):
- Currently work for a nonprofit organization
- Have at least three years of experience in the nonprofit sector
- Got involved with YNPN Portland because they were looking for professional development opportunities
- Are aged between 25 and 39
- Identify as white and female
- Primarily stay in touch with YNPN Portland via email
YNPN Portland community members are roughly split in some areas:
- 44% are involved with other professional organizations, 56% are not
- 45% have more than 5 years of nonprofit experience, 55% have less
- 52% identify as YNPN members, 34% are not sure, 14% do not
Some YNPN Portland community members (10-30%):
- Identify as black, Latino, Asian, Native American, or LGBTQ+
- Live outside Portland city limits
- Are actively job seeking
- Serve on a nonprofit board
- Work in the public or private sector
Our thoughts from this part of the survey:
Digital engagement is meaningful to our members - Because of busy schedules, limited financial resources, and geographic spread, many of our members want to come to YNPN Portland for online resources and connections to other organizations.
Our community has valuable nonprofit experience - Many of you have been working in the sector for years. We want to help you continue to grow, and we also want to empower our community members to share their experiences with each other.
We have work to do to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within our community - Though many of us in the nonprofit sector are fighting for social justice, we still find systems of exclusion in our own communities. We hope that our network of emerging leaders can advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in Portland, but we need to start with ourselves.
(2) What is our community looking for?
In the second part of the survey, we looked at what our community members hope to get out of YNPN Portland membership and how well we’re meeting those needs.
We found that some membership benefits are consistently rated highly, while other things that are part of our mission don’t draw as much interest. Again, we hope to use this information to guide our work, but we also want to think about it critically. Some things that are less popular are still worth doing!
Most popular membership benefits:
Professional development trainings
Opportunities to develop a professional network, especially with others in similar roles
Least popular membership benefits:
Participation in a mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee
Volunteering with YNPN Portland
Most requested event topics:
Equity, diversity, and inclusion
Least requested event topics:
Interviewing and resume-building
Our thoughts from this part of the survey:
Our mission to provide skills training and access to professional networks is meeting a real need for emerging nonprofit leaders - These services are both the most highly requested and most highly rated elements of our mission. Events that provide training and networking should continue to be a high priority, and we should also think about other ways to meet those needs.
Services that require a greater investment of time and energy are less popular - We also try to promote professional development through opportunities for leadership, such as volunteering on a YNPN Portland committee or the board. Mentorship programs are another important tool for professional development. However, we should anticipate that programs that require more commitment from participants will take more work to sustain.
Supporting nonprofit advocacy should be a continuing focus - As emerging nonprofit leaders, we recognize that navigating the question of how organizations can effectively advocate for their missions in the political arena is tricky. We also believe it is a key competency that we should work to develop in our community, especially during this historical moment.
Again, thank you to all who participated and gave us your feedback. Our goal is to continue to learn from checking in with our community in different ways, so please feel free to contact us with any thoughts by emailing [email protected] or commenting on our social channels.