How to prepare for the ALA member survey so your voice is heard

Posted On: Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Don’t hit the “unsubscribe” button just yet from that distribution list! We need to reach you.
Coming in January, all American Legion Auxiliary members will receive an email invitation to share their opinions with ALA National Headquarters through a member survey. Think of it as your important duty as a member to make your voice heard. Your feedback will help us improve the organization not only at the national level, but at the unit/local level as well — impacting how all of us as members serve the ALA’s mission.
The goal of this survey is to establish a baseline of who our members are and how they feel about the organization. The last member survey was conducted in 2014-2015, so it’s time to update the information. 
“The more we know about our current membership, the more we can help attract new volunteers and members and better meet the needs of current members,” said ALA National Headquarters’ Executive Director Kelly Circle. “We need you — the members — to tell us what you love and what you don’t love. 
We hear from some individuals on certain occasions, but the survey will give us a better picture of the members overall.”
Here are some tips on how you can prepare for the ALA survey:
Make sure we have an updated address and email on file for you. The survey will be disseminated via the contact information in the ALAMIS member database at National Headquarters. Members can access the MyAuxiliary member portal with their member ID to make sure everything looks correct in the database. Members also can email for inquiries.
Auxiliary-related email comes from various ALA places, not just National. Your unit, district/county, and department (state) all may be sending you information like newsletters, announcements, and other pertinent materials related to your membership. If you must unsubscribe from one of these lists, please make sure it’s not an ALA National Headquarters account. 
Tired of email and ready to shut it down? If you decide to unsubscribe from an ALA distribution list, please make sure you’re getting your news somewhere else, like our social media channels, Auxiliary magazine, and other ALA media so you don’t miss out on anything.
Help us spread the word. It’s greatly important that all members’ voices are heard. Units can help get that message to the masses by asking their fellow members, “Have you taken the survey yet?” during unit meetings. Someone could even bring a laptop to one of these meetings to make sure our members without Internet can participate right then, right there. 
Surveying members is not unique to the Auxiliary. Organizations have used surveys for years to learn more about their members/customers and improve their experience. Many organizations conduct large member surveys every three to five years to evaluate progress on initiatives, member demographics, etc.
How the survey information will be used
“First things first, we will not be looking at individual data,” Circle said. “Yes, the survey will ask for your member number, but that is to verify you are a member.”
The results will show overall trends with membership. For example, are we meeting the needs of our members? If not, how can we better meet those needs? The survey is not just for national purposes. The cumulative data collected will be shared with departments and units. Individual member responses will be kept with our third party survey company. Staff and volunteer leadership will not have access to this information. Please remember: While all responses are anonymous, real people are reading the responses and will be able to process the information more effectively if responses are professional and courteous. Together, improvements can be made at all levels. 
The information will help tailor programs and training offered, improve member benefits, re-examine recruiting plans, design a marketing strategy, and develop diversity, equity, and inclusion training and awareness programs.
National Headquarters also hopes to get a better understanding of why people join, stay, and leave the ALA. In learning this, National can look for ways to reduce the membership decline. It will allow the organization to learn what works and what doesn’t.
The survey questions are uncomplicated and should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. In the end, your answers will help us all better serve our mission. Stay tuned to ALA media for the latest updates.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.