Exploring the gospel principles of earth stewardship

Five Things We Learned from Our Recent Survey

The survey results are in. Forty-three individuals responded to the survey questions and over forty additional comments and observations were sent in.  Surveys came in from as far away as Australia and Germany.   Five concepts came out of the survey that could improve LDSES and assist members in their personal growth and community efforts toward stewardship:

1) LDSES members want activities and association with other members. Two-thirds of all respondents have never attended an LDSES activity and a third of all respondents live in areas where no other LDSES members live in close proximity. Members say they would attend activities that have informative leaders, are close in proximity and provide them the opportunity to associate with others who share their views. Half of the respondents who have not joined listed no other members or social activities in their area as the main reason for not joining. Members are flexible as to activities. Firesides, hikes, lectures, conservation projects, clean-ups and almost any educational activity look attractive to members.

The majority of LDSES members live in Utah and a high percentage of our Utah members live on the Wasatch Front. Efforts are needed to help members, regardless of their geographic location, to gather together for activities and share common views.

LDSES has grown and the time has come for LDSES to consider forming local chapters. Local chapters can provide the association identified by members as important as well as address local issues relevant to a region. Local chapters allow for individuals to conduct local outreach and chapter activities can be tailored to local interests and issues.

Informational packets will be developed by LDSES to assist members and chapters in their outreach efforts. Public outreach information for use at community activities such as farmer’s markets will be made available. Materials for firesides and other educational events will be developed.

2) Just less than half of the respondents have never used, or have occasionally used, LDSES resources. Has LDSES provided its members with resources to start their journey in stewardship or helped members enhance their Primary lessons that happen to focus on stewardship? The answer appears to be: there is work yet to be done. For a third of the members, geographic location makes the website and social media their prime resources for information.

The need for relevant, useful and coordinated resources will require the assistance of individuals having the desire to share their expertise and talents.

Social media is overwhelming the most popular method of communication according to the survey. In many cases, social media is the only contact a member has with LDSES and/or other members. However, less than 25% of Facebook users are members. Connecting Facebook users to the website and more importantly, to other members, enriches the individual and the Organization.

With the help of members, LDSES is committed to making the website a premier location for educational information, outreach material, event packets, fireside suggestions, ideas to enhance Church curriculum and Church activities and links to multi-media both in and out of the Church.

 3) Members indicated that they volunteer with an organization because they are concerned about the environment and stewardship and that they want to do something for a cause that is important to them. Is LDSES giving members who want to volunteer and become involved the opportunity, the guidance and the encouragement to do so? Perhaps the answer is yes in the Wasatch Front, but elsewhere the answer is somewhat problematic. Members indicated in the survey what motivates them to volunteer. Respondents enjoy volunteering when others are at their side.

What is the best way to put that enthusiasm to good use? One way is by increasing the opportunities to volunteer on local and relevant issues. Forming local groups encourages activities of local interest and the support of fellow volunteers.

 4) Respondents overwhelmingly support LDSES efforts in working with the Church to promote and encourage stewardship. In addition, almost 80% of the respondents indicated that working with political and religious leaders was an important LDSES communication strategy. That being said, working with religious and political leaders can, and should, also be done at the local level. These types of efforts require information and members who possess the interest and determination to engage in these efforts. LDSES can provide this information.

 5) Many respondents were unaware that LDSES accepted donations and many were not sure what donations would be used for.   Packets for public outreach, advertising and educational materials require financial resources. Should LDSES have dues? Should LDSES have sustaining and non-sustaining memberships? What about grants and fundraising?

The survey made it clear that most people do not like to continually be asked for donations. The next step here is to hear from you, the members, on how you feel about donations after you have now seen LDSES’s future plans.

 To view the complete survey results click here: LDSES Survey Results

To view a Power Point presentation on the survey click here: Survey Presentation