In January, we sent out a survey to all our sponsors and donors with two main objectives; to gain feedback as to how the Charity is operating from their perspective and to elicit any ideas they might have.
83 invitations were sent out and 31 responses were received (a 37% response rate). The feedback has provided us with a wealth of information and really helps us to understand what our sponsors and donors value and where we can focus our efforts in terms of change and/or future strategy.
The overall message is that our sponsors and donors are happy with the way that the Charity is being run and that they understand the limitations of such a small team of volunteer staff. The result is an endorsement that the Trustee & Management Team is managing the Charity appropriately and the ethos of the Charity – some 20 years after it was founded – is still highly-appropriate and aligns with the wishes and aspirations of the sponsors and donors.
The results of the Survey were discussed at the Trustee & Management Team meeting in June. Some of the (many) findings are as follows:
- 87% of respondents said that they got involved with the Charity as a direct result of being a friend/colleague of one of the founders/trustees/directors of the Charity. This shows the wonderful personal nature of the Charity – reflecting its heritage as a family charity – and this is a great strength. However, it also indicates the challenges facing the Trustee team in terms of growing and sustaining the Charity as it’s not possible to rely entirely on organic growth. We’re looking at how we can widen the profile of the Charity.
- Over half of respondents (51%) got involved with the Charity as they wanted to provide education for deprived children. This is a terrific alignment with our mission statement.
- 87% of respondents felt that they received enough information and knowledge about the Charity’s objectives, mission and vision. For a small charity run entirely by volunteers, this is a massive achievement and reflects the long hours spent by the Trustee team. Nonetheless, we’ll be looking at how we can further optimise communications and, importantly, reflect the wide-range of mechanisms (and frequency) by which our support base wishes to be contacted.
- 83% felt that the content of the communications is correct and 87% felt that the combined frequency and format were appropriate.
- Around 30% of respondents expressed an interest in shorter-term commitments (i.e. a shorter duration than the 10-year commitment). We are looking at options to address this.
- 42% of respondents were not aware of the Charity’s website (www.jmbeducationalfund.org.uk) but said that they would now look at it.
- One respondent asked whether it was possible to get a copy of the Charity’s Accounts and Trustees’ report. In fact, these are public documents as we need to make these available to The Charity Commission in any case but, going forwards, it’s prompted us to actively indicate when these are available and how to access them.
Whilst the survey has been a useful vehicle to gain feedback, we’re always very keen to receive comments, so please do feel free to contact us with any suggestions, comments or concerns.