BAOC Member Survey

October, 1997

Table of Contents

Purpose & Objectives *

Summary of Findings *

What Attracts People to Orienteering? *

How do members learn about the BAOC? *

Friendliness *

Member Orienteering Ability and Preferred Courses *

Course Difficulty and Transitioning *

Event Preferences *

Type of Event *

Suggested Kidsí Events *

Event Attendance *

Deterrents to Event Attendance *

Event Frequency *

Current attendance *

Desired Event Frequency *

Reasons for not Volunteering *

Mapping *

Suggested Parks *

Demographics *

Income & Education *

Occupation *

Gender *

Other Comments *

Appendix 15

Responses to open-ended questions

Comments & Suggestions

 

BAOC Member Survey

October, 1997

 

Purpose & Objectives

The response to the club's first member survey was phenomenal: 188 completed questionnaires out of approximately 350 mailed, a response rate of over 50% (the average for a mail survey is 20-30%). I believe this is a direct reflection of the loyalty and enthusiasm that members have for the BAOC.

The purpose of the survey was primarily to get feedback to help the club better market itself and plan events, and secondly to get member demographic data for attracting corporate sponsorship.

Specific objectives were to determine:

Summary of Findings

"Keep up the good work!"

"This is an excellent survey and the newsletter is the most impressive small group Iíve ever seen."

"Generally the club is well run, holds good events. Encouraging a higher level of volunteering is important (but probably difficult)."

 

What Attracts People to Orienteering?

A large majority of respondents say they first got into orienteering because they like to run or hike, or like the outdoors. 80% also mention maps as an attraction, and another two-thirds like the intellectual challenge. Other reasons given were that the sport is kid-friendly, or that members learned it in the military.

What first attracted you to Orienteering? Pct of Pct of

Variable Count Responses Cases

Like to run/hike Q1A 158 24.9 84.9

Like outdoors Q1E 158 24.9 84.9

Like maps Q1B 149 23.5 80.1

Like intellectual challenge Q1D 124 19.6 66.7

Other Q1C 24 3.8 12.9

Like other club members Q1F 21 3.3 11.3

------- ----- -----

Total responses 634 100.0 340.9

2 missing cases; 186 valid cases

Members' personal goals for orienteering center primarily around recreation and self-improvement, specifically:

    1. Become a better navigator
    2. Improve fitness
    3. Compete with self
    4. Have a nice walk in the woods.

These top four goals were given by 38% or more of the respondents. Taken with the key attractants mentioned above, they can form the basis of target messages for advertising and promotion.

Another smaller segment of the membership (just under 20%) values the competitive aspects of the sport, including competing with others and working to improve national or club rankings.

What are your personal orienteering goals? Pct of Pct of

Variable Count Responses Cases

Become better navigator Q4G 124 21.1 67.8

Improve fitness Q4H 95 16.2 51.9

Compete with self Q4M 72 12.2 39.3

Have a nice map-guided walk in woods Q4F 71 12.1 38.8

Learn something new Q4L 35 6.0 19.1

Compete in sport Q4I 34 5.8 18.6

Other Q4E 29 4.9 15.8

Meet new people Q4J 28 4.8 15.3

Improve BAOC rank Q4A 26 4.4 14.2

Socialize Q4K 22 3.7 12.0

Move up to Advanced Q4D 19 3.2 10.4

Move up to Orange Q4C 17 2.9 9.3

Improve nat'l rank Q4B 16 2.7 8.7

------- ----- -----

Total responses 588 100.0 321.3

 

How do members learn about the BAOC?

A main objective of the survey was to get a better idea of how people learn about the BAOC, so the club can better focus its marketing efforts. Based on the results, people learn about the club primarily through word of mouth or newspapers and magazines. Top publications mentioned were the Mercury News and Chronicle (A list of specific publications cited is in the appendix.)

The Website has also proved useful in attracting new members, at least 20 so far. Other responses included being introduced to Oíing through a relative or in the military.

Of all PR methods, the Great Outdoors Adventure Fair appears to attract the fewest members, so the club may want to reconsider whether participating in this event is worth the effort.

Because numerous people said they first learned about Orienteering or BAOC through the military, the club may want to explore doing PR in organizations or publications affiliated with the military or veteransí affairs, including Web sites.

 

Where did you first learn about the BAOC? Pct of Pct of

Variable Count Responses Cases

Friend Q2A 60 30.9 33.1

Newspaper/Magazine Q2B 57 29.4 31.5

Other Q2C 44 22.7 24.3

Website Q2D 20 10.3 11.0

REI Clinic Q2E 10 5.2 5.5

Great Outdoor Adventure Fair Q2F 3 1.5 1.7

------- ----- -----

Total responses 194 100.0 107.2

7 missing cases; 181 valid cases

Friendliness

There has been concern among BAOC leadership that some members feel the club is cliquish. The survey results confirm this: 21% of respondents say they feel the club is "rather cliquish" and itís hard to get to know other members. On the other hand, 23% say they feel the club is "very friendly"! The rest report the club is "average" in friendliness. There donít appear to be any clear factors that differentiate one group from the other.

Chi-square analyses were run to see if there were significant differences in answers to this question based on: orienteering ability or preferred course, gender, income, education or frequency of event attendance. None of those attributes mattered, so it appears that other, perhaps psychographic, factors may make a difference. Itís probably human nature that some members may find the club cliquish no matter what.

[Image File Missing, cannot find it on the website]

Member Orienteering Ability and Preferred Courses

The responses to these questions who that the club membership represents the full range of orienteering ability and preferred courses, from Beginner to Advanced, White course to Blue.

Membersí reported orienteering ability is fairly evenly distributed across Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels, though somewhat weighted towards Beginners.

Orienteering Ability

Freq.

%

BEGINNER

17

9%

ADV. BEGINNER

52

28%

INTERMEDIATE

43

23%

ADV. INTERMEDIATE

29

15%

ADVANCED

45

24%

No Answer

2

1%

Total

188

188

100.0%

The most popular course is Orange, followed closely by Green and Yellow. The true popularity of the White and Yellow courses is probably underrepresented because many people who do them are new to orienteering and not likely to be club members.

It is interesting to note that a number of orienteers who consider themselves Intermediate prefer advanced courses. These people may be runners who need to work on navigation skills but enjoy the longer length of the advanced courses.

When resources donít allow for a full event with all six standard courses, the club should focus on having at least a Yellow, Orange, Green and perhaps White, as these are the most popular.

Preferred Course by Orienteering Ability

Total

No Answer

White

Yellow

Orange

Brown

Green

Red

Blue

BEGINNER

3

4

10

17

9%

ADV. BEGINNER

2

1

26

24

52 28%

INTERMEDIATE

2

2

18

7

9

4

1

43 23%

ADV. INTERMEDIATE

0

1

4

15

7

2

29

15%

ADVANCED

0

2

15

16

12

45

24%

No Answer

2

2

1%

Total

8

5

38

43

13

39

27

15

188

4%

3%

20%

23%

7%

21%

14%

8%

100.0%

 

Course Difficulty and Transitioning

One of the key objectives of the survey was to validate (or not) the perception that the Orange courses are too difficult, and that the transition from beginning and intermediate courses to more advanced ones is too difficult.

According to these responses the Orange courses are generally an appropriate level of difficulty for both technical and physical effort required. On the other hand, almost one third of respondents who do the Advanced courses (Green through Blue) report that they are too physically demanding. This finding should be taken into consideration by course setters, who may want to minimize hill climb and/or length on advanced courses to promote participation and enjoyment.

Perceived Difficulty of Orange and Advanced Courses -- Technical Ability and Physical Effort Required

 

Orange

Advanced

 

Technical

Physical

Technical

Physical

Valid Responses

Count

%

Count

%

Count

%

Count

%

Too Easy

3

3%

0

0%

14

16%

1

1%

About Right

73

80%

73

80%

73

80%

62

68%

Too Difficult

10

11%

14

15%

1

1%

25

28%

No Opinion

5

6%

5

5%

3

3%

3

3%

Subtotal

91

100%

92

100%

91

100%

91

100%

No Answer

97

 

96

 

97

 

97

 

Total

188

 

188

 

188

 

188

 

The transition from Orange to Advanced courses could be easier: 24 members reported they found it difficult. Itís not clear if the difficulty is due to increased physical or navigational demands, or both. Physical difficulty is probably partially to blame, because 25 of the advanced orienteers say the advanced courses are too difficult for them also. Minimizing hill climb/length as mentioned above may help ease the physical transition from Orange to Advanced. Offering continued practice sessions and training tips in the Bulletin may help members get the navigation skills needed to move to advanced. Indeed, Training and Practice Sessions ranked high on the list of desired events.

Transition between Courses

Valid Responses

White->Yellow

Yellow ->Orange

Orange->Brwn/Grn

 

Count

% Valid

Count

% Valid

Count

%Valid

Easy

74

81%

28

31%

11

16%

Neither Easy nor Difficult

15

17%

39

43%

32

48%

Difficult

2

2%

23

26%

24

36%

Subtotal

91

100%

90

100%

67

100%

Not Applicable/
No Answer

97

 

98

 

121

 

Total

188

 

188

 

188

 

 

Event Preferences

Type of Event

Members were presented with a list of different orienteering events and asked for each if they would want more, the same amount, or fewer events of that type. Ranking the results in order of descending mean shows the relative popularity of each type of event. Preferred events cluster into four groups, based on similar means:

Local 1-day meets are clearly most popular: 86% of respondents expressed an opinion on this type of event, and it received the highest ranking (the mean closest to 1). The second most popular type of event is kidís activities. Because only 65 people responded to that question, this ranking indicates there is a subset of members, probably parents, for whom childrenís activities are very desirable. Training is the third activity that club members would like most.

Event Type Preference (excluding 'no opinion' responses)

1=More 2=Same 3=Fewer

 

Event

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

Want Most

Local 1 day (B meet)

162

1.52

.50

Other kid's activities

65

1.55

.53

Training

104

1.57

.55

Want Somewhat More

Start-O

89

1.72

.52

Social events

94

1.77

.59

Scout-O

92

1.77

.52

Wed. evening practice

101

1.77

.53

Want About the Same

Come & Try It

118

1.86

.59

Nat'l 2 day (A meet)

117

1.89

.41

Want Somewhat Fewer

Night events

112

2.07

.64

Sprint-O

89

2.11

.53

Relay tournament

94

2.13

.55

Street or Campus

141

2.21

.60

Suggested Kidsí Events

Kidsí events are popular and members suggested a wide variety of childrenís activities the club could do. Suggestions included: compass give-aways, coloring maps, terrain appreciation walks, skill workshops and games. A complete list of suggestions is included in the appendix.

Event Attendance

Knowing how far members are willing to travel can help the club plan events to get more attendance. Respondents were asked how far they would go, in terms of elapsed travel time, to get to three types of events: 1 day local (B meet), 2 day local and 2 day national (A meet).

Beginning/Intermediate and Advanced orienteers showed significant differences in how far they would want to travel. In general, advanced members are willing to travel farther. [a Chi-square analysis showing each questionís result by orienteering ability is included in the appendix].

How Far Willing to Travel - All Responses included in Cum. %

 

1 Day Local

2 Day Local

2 Day Natíl

 

Count

%

% of Total

Count

%

% of Total

Count

%

% of Total

Less than 30 MIN

3

1.6

98.4

3

1.6

70.7

2

1.1

63.3

30 - 59 MIN

81

43.1

96.8

25

13.3

69.1

14

8.0

62.2

60 - 89 MIN

60

31.9

53.7

36

19.1

55.8

18

9.6

54.2

90 - 120 MIN

29

15.4

21.8

34

18.1

36.7

25

13.3

44.6

More than 120 MIN

12

6.4

6.4

35

18.6

18.6

59

31.4

31.4

Response Total

185

   

133

   

119

   

No answer/No opinion

3

1.6

100.0

55

29.3

100.0

69

36.7

100.0

Total

188

   

188

   

188

   

For example, for a 1-day local event only 11% of Beginning/Intermediate respondents are willing to travel 90 minutes or more, compared with 40% of Advanced respondents. For a 2-day local meet longer travel times are more acceptable; 36% of Beginners/Intermediates would travel over 90 minutes, vs. 65% of Advanced respondents.

Put in other words, 96% of members are willing to attend local events within an hourís drive. Add another Ĺ hour to the travel time, and attendance, especially among Beginning/Intermediate orienteers, can be expected to drop quite a bit.

Deterrents to Event Attendance

It appears that the main way the club can influence members to attend more events is to hold them closer to where they live. Other than that, the other reasons members donít attend more events are beyond the control of the BAOC -- family, work and other sport commitments, mostly. Cost does not appear to be a deterrent among members, though itís possible that it may be for non-members who want to try out Orienteering for the first time.

One way to attract new members might be to offer a "Try it for free" coupon in conjunction with PR ads and articles. That would be a nice risk-free incentive for non-members who might be concerned about paying for something theyíre not going to like.

What keeps you from more events?

Pct of Pct of

Variable Count Responses Cases

Family commitments Q11J 87 22.4 49.4

Events too far Q11D 86 22.2 48.9

Work commitments Q11K 49 12.6 27.8

Other sports Q11L 49 12.6 27.8

Other Q11F 31 8.0 17.6

Poison oak, etc. Q11G 27 7.0 15.3

Takes too much time Q11E 26 6.7 14.8

Terrain too steep Q11H 15 3.9 8.5

Too physical Q11O 6 1.5 3.4

Remote starts Q11P 5 1.3 2.8

Poor toilet facilities Q11B 2 .5 1.1

No car/don't drive Q11I 3 .8 1.7

Concern re: wild animals Q11N 2 .5 1.1

Too costly Q11A 0 0.0 0.0

Parking is a problem Q11C 0 0.0 0.0

Concern about getting lost Q11M 0 0.0 0.0

Donít like Orienteering Q11M 0 0.0 0.0

------- ----- -----

Total responses 388 100.0 220.5

12 missing cases; 176 valid cases

 

Event Frequency

Current attendance

Members fall into 4 distinct segments when it comes to event attendance. Just over a quarter (27%) of respondents are dedicated "Oí Heads" who attend at least once a month. "Enthusiasts" (30% of respondents) attend regularly but less frequently, only every 2-3 months. The "Occasionals" " (20% of respondents) attend events 2 to 3 times per year. Finally, the 20% of "Supporters" attend only once or twice a year if at all. Many of this group are former members who have moved, or others outside the area who still receive the Bulletin.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the "O-Heads" who attend the most events are Advanced orienteers. Beginning/Intermediate members donít attend as often.

[Image File Missing, cannot find it on the website]

[Image File Missing, cannot find it on the website]

 

Desired Event Frequency

Even among members who donít attend frequently, enthusiasm for having lots of events is high. Nearly two-thirds of respondents would like to have events two or three times each month. With so many people indicating theyíd be willing to volunteer (as indicated in the next section), that many events may be possible!

[Image File Missing, cannot find it on the website]

 

Reasons for not Volunteering

The number one reason for not volunteering, cited by 37% of respondents, is that they havenít been asked! Nearly as many people said they didnít know how or were lazy. This is good news, as it means that club can probably get some Ďnew bloodí into the volunteer pool simply by calling people and asking politely for their help.

70 people said they would be interested in volunteering, mostly for starts/finishes and registration (a list of volunteer names and phone numbers is in the appendix.) Several people commented that although they would be glad to help, they didnít know how (for example, to record starts/finishes).

New or less advanced members may be willing to help but not know what to do, as evidenced by comments such as:

 

"Don't know what 'control pickup' means"

"Not yet qualified to do vetter or course setter"

"It is hard enough to find the time to participate, let alone help out. Plus people at events seem to look down upon the casual orienteer."

Friendly offers of encouragement and advice would probably go far in converting them to enthusiastic new volunteers.

Reasons for Not Volunteering

Pct of Pct of

Variable Count Responses Cases

Wasn't asked Q15A 40 19.0 37.4

Other Q15D 37 17.6 34.6

Don't know how Q15B 32 15.2 29.9

Takes too much time Q15C 26 12.4 24.3

Laziness Q15H 26 12.4 24.3

Job takes too much time Q15F 25 11.9 23.4

Live too far Q15E 21 10.0 19.6

Criticism/lack of appreciation Q15G 3 1.4 2.8

------- ----- -----

Total responses 210 100.0 196.3

81 missing cases; 107 valid cases

 

Volunteer Interest

Pct of Pct of

Dichotomy label Name Count Responses Cases

Registration Q16D 56 25.8 62.2

Starts/Finishes Q16F 53 24.4 58.9

Vetter Q16C 38 17.5 42.2

Control pickup Q16E 37 17.1 41.1

Course setter Q16B 22 10.1 24.4

Event director Q16A 11 5.1 12.2

------- ----- -----

Total responses 217 100.0 241.1

98 missing cases; 90 valid cases

Mapping

Another key objective of the survey was to get member feedback on how the club should spend its mapping money ,which is the largest budget item. The top choice overall is "Updating Maps to IOF Standard", followed by "Map new parks in the Bay Area".

How should the BAOC spend itís mapping money?

1=Strongly Agree, 2=Agree, 3=Neutral, 4=Disagree, 5=Strongly Disagree

 

Valid Reponses

No Answer

Mean

Update maps to IOF standard

164

27

2.07

Map new parks in Bay Area

164

23

2.35

Map parks farther away, but better terrain

164

24

2.62

Map smaller, local parks for Come & Try It events

165

24

2.64

Perhaps predictably, responses to this question differed depending on whether respondents were beginning/intermediate or advanced orienteers. Beginner/Intermediate responses were more clustered around Ďneutralí. Less experienced or less active orienteers may feel they donít know enough about mapping to give a knowledgeable answer.

The large standard deviation on responses to this question indicates thereís not a clear consensus.

 

Beginner/Intermediate

Advanced

 

Rank

N

Mean

Std Dev.

Rank

N

Mean

Std Dev.

New parks in Bay Area

1

93

2.29

.90

3

71

2.42

.97

Farther, but better terrain

4

93

2.97

1.04

2

71

2.15

.95

Small, local for Come & Try

3

93

2.61

.97

4

72

2.67

.99

Update to IOF standard

2

91

2.30

.91

1

70

1.79

.74

1=Strongly Agree 2=Agree 3=Neutral 4=Disagree 5=Strongly Disagree

 

Suggested Parks

The parks that respondents suggested the club map are, literally, all over the map. Parks mentioned by multiple persons include: Point Reyes, Henry Cowell, Angel Island and Butano. A complete list of suggested parks is included in the appendix.

Demographics

Income & Education

Corporate sponsors take note! BAOC members are in general a well educated and financially well off bunch. 93% of respondents hold at least a Bachelorís degree, and a whopping 23% have doctorates or post-doc training. Their median household income is $65,000 to $94,999.

Education

   

Frequency

Percent

Valid

HIGH SCHOOL

12

6.4

 

BACHELORS

65

34.6

 

MASTERS

63

33.5

 

DOCTORATE

27

14.4

 

POST DOC TRNG

16

8.5

 

Subtotal

183

97.3

N/A

No Answer

5

2.7

 

Total

5

2.7

Total

 

188

100.0

 

Household Income

   

Frequency

Percent

Valid

UNDER 25,000

11

5.9

 

25,000 - 44,999

11

5.9

 

45,000 - 64,999

31

16.5

 

65,000 - 94,999

47

25.0

 

95,000 - 125,000

30

16.0

 

125,000 OR MORE

35

18.6

 

Subtotal

165

87.8

N/A

No Answer

23

12.2

 

Total

23

12.2

Total

 

188

100.0

Occupation

Membersí reported occupations are predominantly in high-tech and professions. Commonly given titles include: software programmer or developer, engineer, lawyer, and manager. A complete list of respondentsí occupations is in the appendix.

Gender

Club membership appears to be two-thirds male and one-third female. Gender was not asked on the questionnaire, but was determined from the respondentís name where possible. 101 responses were classified this way.

 

Other Comments

Members were encouraged to write any additional comments or suggestions they might have. Some of their comments were general in nature, while others referred to specific questions on the survey.

General comments included:

"Keep up the good work!"

"This is an excellent survey and the newsletter is the most impressive small group Iíve ever seen."

"Generally the club is well run, holds good events. Encouraging a higher level of volunteering is important (but probably difficult)."

Comments related to questions on the survey included:

"It would help to see descriptions of tasks and whether I could run a course as well that day (i.e. schedule and time commitments)"

"More training to move from advanced beginner to intermediate. Example: we donít know how to pace."

"I would be willing to travel farther for 1 day rogaines as they meet my rule of thumb, which is Total Driving <=Hours Spent Orienteering"

A complete list of comments and suggestions is in the appendix.