In February of this year World Lighthouse Society members with email addresses were sent a message from our chairman, Jürgen Tronicke, asking them to participate in a brief online survey. The intent of the survey was to invite members’ opinions about the work and the future way of our Society. The following is quoted from Jürgen’s message:
“After fifteen years in existence, it is time for not only a look back, but also for a look forward. The objective is to identify how the World Lighthouse Society should be continued in the future and what expectations you, as the members, have of our work.
It is a matter of bringing the Society forward in a modern and successful way and to bring it in line with the future.
The Society can only be as good as our members and their engagement in the Society. Therefore any advice or ideas and especially your opinion is most important to us. So I warmly ask you to please take your time to answer the survey by clicking on the provided link. Your help will be for the benefit of our Society.”
The survey also offered members the chance to actively take part in the work of the Society. Members who chose to respond to this portion of the survey, were asked to provide their contact information. Otherwise survey responses were anonymous.
After a sufficient period of time was given for responses to be received, the survey responses were evaluated. What follows below is a breakdown of the data collected from the survey.
A total of 203 Society members were asked to participate in the survey. Of that total, 76 (35% of those contacted) responded by answering all or part of the survey.
Question 1: Do you wish the Society to continue to be a web based organisation? 74 (97% of responses) indicated they would like to see the Society continue as a web based organisation; no one indicated they did not wish to see the Society continue as a web based organisation; 2 (3%) did not respond to the question.
Question 2: Do you think the Society should have regional branches? 50 (66% of responses) indicated they would like the Society to have regional branches; 21 (28%) indicated they would not like to have regional branches; 5 (6%) did not respond to the question.
Survey participants were then asked to indicate if they are able and willing to offer help with a list of tasks by ticking those tasks they were interested in.
- 9 members indicated they would be interested in participating in a “Way Forward” committee or working group.
- 17 members indicated they would be willing to contribute articles to the Newsletter.
- 4 members indicated they would help with actively recruiting new members.
- 1 member indicated they would be willing to serve as the Society’s Publicity Officer.
- 3 members indicated they would be willing to organise a branch of the WLS in their region.
- 2 members indicated they would be willing to serve as the Society’s Administrative Officer.
- 6 members indicated they would be willing to join the Editorial (Newsletter) Team.
Respondents were then given the opportunity to state in a few words their vision of the Society’s next five years. 58 people responded to this portion of the survey. Summarizing them for the purpose of this article is difficult. For the most part respondents indicated they would like the Society to continue its existence. The responses we received varied and many offered wonderful suggestions as to how the Society should continue. It is planned to share these responses with a Way Forward Working Group where they will be reviewed and help the Society move forward for at least the next 5 years.
That sounds like wonderful news for the future of the World Lighthouse Society. However, in the months since the survey was opened, we have tried to contact those members who responded they were interested in helping the Society in one way or another. For example, of the 6 members who indicated they would be interested in serving on the Editorial Team, only 2 responded to repeated emails. Those who indicated they would be interested in serving as the Administrative Officer have either not responded to emails or have had a change of heart since completing the survey. Although the initial responses we received from the survey were positive and gave us hope, it now appears that although people mean well, precious few are willing to follow through when it comes to helping the Society move forward, or continue to exist at all.
With the exception of members who volunteered for the Way Forward Working Group, we have not yet contacted any individuals who indicated in their responses to the survey that they would be willing to help the Society in other ways. We believed it was important to start out with volunteers for the Editorial Team and the Administrative Officer. Although our initial attempts in those areas were not as fruitful as we had hoped, causing us to wonder if we should continue at all, we have been a little more successful with volunteers for the Way Forward Working Group. Currently, 5 people have responded to our emails and we hope to start group discussions about the future of our Society soon.
However, we still need your help and have decided to make one more appeal to our members here. If you did not respond to the online survey and would like to, you can still access the survey by going to the following link:
Or you can send your responses to me at the address below. If you are a member who already responded to the survey and indicated you were interested in helping the Society with one of the tasks listed above, and you are still interested in helping the Society, please contact me as soon as possible.
1 Ironstone Drive
Reading PA 19606