membership value Survey Executive summary
- An online survey was distributed to St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce members to assess their perceptions about the value of Chamber membership in February-March 2022.
- This report includes information from 426 completed surveys, mostly representing long-time organizations in the St. Cloud area who intend to renew their Chamber membership.
- The results are based on an 88% cooperation rate and a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7%.
- The largest participant groups were professionals (23%), CEOs/presidents (18%), and vice presidents/department heads (15%). Approximately 56% of participants were women and 96% were white.
- When comparing results longitudinally, we find:
- More members than in previous years report that their ideas are used and that they are encouraged to talk to staff.
- Consistent with previous years, about 80% of members are satisfied while the rest of the members are neutral and a very small majority are dissatisfied. The same pattern is true for members feeling that their membership is good for business, networking, and worth the investment.
- It is worth noting that data for this study was collected in early 2022, nearing the two-year mark of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated social and organizational disruptions. These disruptions have no doubt had an impact on many of the Chamber’s programs and member experiences, as has occurred for other community organizations. However, despite pandemic-related disruptions and uncertainty, results from this year’s member value survey were comparable to previous surveys.
- Overall satisfaction was very strong and members continue to value their membership for their organization/business. Nearly eight out of ten members agreed or strongly agreed that they were satisfied with the Chamber and that membership is good for their business/organization.
- All advocacy programs are also highly valued 1) Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (91%), 2) Legislative Updates (85%), 3) Candidate Forums (82%), 4) Government Affairs Meeting (79%), 5) Evening at the Capital (73%).
- The Chamber is doing well in advocating for business in Central Minnesota (80%), promoting a pro-business legislative agenda (70%), building the regional economy (70%), promoting equity of opportunity in business practices and supporting an inclusive business community (60%).
- The Chamber is doing well with the following promotion/recognition/networking programs: Business Referrals to Members (95%), Business After Hours (90%), Sauk Rapid Chamber (90%), Waite Park Chamber (89%), Chamber Connection (89%), Business Award Luncheon (84%), NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders (83%), St. Cloud Business Showcase (82%), Central MN Forum Show (75%), Star Celebration (68%), Chamber Open (61%).
- The chamber is doing well with networking, advertising, and visibility (89%).
- Members see educational programs as important: Business Training Seminars (90%), St. Cloud Area Leadership (89%), NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders (88%), Unite for Success (81%), Executive Dialogue Groups (81%).
- The Chamber is doing well with Quality Training at Affordable Price (83%) and Employee Retention (67%).
COMMUNICATION AND PUBLICATIONS
- Members selected as important communication outlets: Business Central Magazine (83%), Membership Directory (82%), Chamber Edge (78%), and Bottom Line (53%).
- The Chamber is doing well achieving communication goals with Activity Information (95%), Business News (91%), Connect Members (90%), Encouraging members to do business with each other (87%).
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
- This year’s study incorporated a new section assessing the Chamber’s work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Results indicate that most members (about two thirds) support these efforts. Approximately 50% of participants strongly support attracting minority-owned businesses and employees of color. Approximately 40% strongly support the Chamber coordinating with other local DEI efforts and providing DEI educational programming.
FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH OVERALL SATISFACTION
- Factors that were more strongly associated with the overall satisfaction scale created for this study included: members feeling encouraged to talk to Chamber staff; participation in Chamber Connection; and perceptions that the Chamber was advocating well for Central Minnesota businesses; providing quality and affordable training; providing opportunities for networking, advertising, and visibility; and encouraging members to do business with each other.