By Jennie Jones Scherbinski
Every few years, it is important for an organization to review and evaluate its programs. The LAS Board of Trustees annually assesses the programs we offer, but it is vital that we get input from our constituents to ensure that we are meeting your needs. The results from our recent program survey will serve as the guidelines for LAS’s strategic planning and we wanted to share some of the big takeaways from this effort. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. I want you to know that we take all of your feedback to heart and are working hard to incorporate all the comments we received into our programs. You can review the full results on our website and here are some of the big takeaways from the survey.
First, a little bit about our monthly meetings. Based on your responses, many of you are ready to get back to our in-person meetings. Our speakers are scheduled in advance and we will be continuing with the webinar only format through May. After that, we are planning to take our customary summer break, but when we return, we are planning to offer our meetings in a hybrid format, meaning we will offer both a virtual and in-person option for attendance. Our webinars have received a lot of positive feedback and are able to reach audience members who would otherwise not be able to attend. There was a lot of interest in more local topics and we have a long list of recommended topics that we will be working on for our next fiscal year. We are also exploring some additional programs and social events to engage our members for this summer, so stay tuned!
The program section of the survey allowed us to gauge how well we are doing at communicating our programs, as well as, what areas we should be focusing our efforts on. The good news is that you want us to prioritize all the areas of interest with a specific focus on local efforts. This is true for our advocacy and conservation efforts and our field trip programs. We are actively working to increase field trip availability and we do actively manage the waitlists. Members receive first notification of upcoming field trips on our bi-weekly emails and we ask anyone who is not able to attend to please notify us as soon as possible so that we may fill your space. Registration limits are determined by the field trip leaders based on parking availability, group management, and other variables. We are excited to have some new leaders joining us this spring and invite anyone who is interested in helping to lead walks to reach out to our Field Trips Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also have additional education opportunities coming up including our Bird Drawing Workshops and the Birds of Truckee Meadows Workshops. We always welcome new ideas for programs and any volunteers who are interested in helping us make them happen.
We also received a number of comments that there is still some confusion about the difference between Lahontan Audubon Society and National Audubon Society membership. Lahontan Audubon Society is an independent 501(c)(3). We are part of the network of Audubon Chapters across the country and receive some support from National Audubon, however, the majority of our programs are funded by local members and donors. As a member of Lahontan Audubon, you receive priority notification of our events and The Pelican newsletter. We are also beginning to offer some special members only programs. If you have any questions about your membership, you can always contact us.
Finally, our Development Coordinator, Diane Wong-Kone took the results of the comments section and developed this wordcloud (below). The larger a word appears, the more it was mentioned in our comments section. You may note some of the largest words birds, local, people, and learning. This really reflects who we are as an organization, a community of people coming together to learn and support birds in our local area.