Member Survey 2017 Results Report

A representation of words used by survey takers in the shape of a tree. The most common words were work, chapter, isa, like, opportunities, great, offered, tree, see, arborist, classes, thank, and also.The 2017 Member's Survey was distributed by email to all members last September. 15% of the membership filled out at least some of the questions on the survey. The majority of those surveyed are happy with PNW-ISA's service over the past year. Overall, these members are most concerned about classes and workshops.

All graphs are available as a larger size - click on the image to view.

1. Of which organizations are you currently a member?

90% of surveyed members are a part of both the ISA and PNW-ISA. 7% belong to PNW-ISA only, and another 3% only belong to ISA. One respondent didn't know which organizations they belonged to.

2. Which professional group best describes you?

A wide variety of answers here. The largest groups were Municipal and Consultant. The largest write-in group were respondents that identified as "Retired." There were nine respondents that wrote in unique responses, such as landscape architect, student, and interested citizen.

A pie chart displaying professional group distribution among members surveyed. Consultant 25%, Commercial 17%, Tree Climber/Worker 7%, Utility 6%, Education 5%, State/Federal 3%, Miscellaneous 3%, Retired 3%, Nonprofit 2%, Multiple answers 1%.

3. Where do you live?

For this question, I found it interesting to compare survey answers to overall membership distribution. For purposes of comparison, all members that live outside the Pacific Northwest region are not on either of these graphs.

Surveyed and Members Province/States Distribution

A chart showing all member locations. The distribution is similar to the surveyed members. Washington 37%, British Columbia 27%, Oregon 26%, Idaho 8%, Alaska 2%.
All members per per province/state
A pie chart showing the distrubution of surveyed members across the region. Washington 41%, British Columbia 25%, Oregon 24%, Idaho 7%, Alaska 3%.
Surveyed members per province/state

The survey allowed members to select not only their province/state, but also their local area. Tap the title below to see the local distribution within each province/state.

Surveyed Member Local Areas

4. How satisfied are you with the value for the money of your PNW-ISA Chapter membership?

This question included a clarifying note that this was only about chapter membership, not ISA membership.

About 60% of those surveyed are either extremely satisfied or very satisfied. Almost all comments submitted by the less satisfied 40% were about classes, usually expressing a desire for more in their area. This suggests that our ongoing focus on offering education opportunities to our members should remain one of our foremost priorities!

5. How likely is it that you would recommend PNW-ISA membership to a friend or colleague?

The comments of those less likely to recommend a membership were similar to 4, requesting more classes in more places.

6. What is your preferred way to receive communications from PNW-ISA for the types of information listed?

The survey offered five options: Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, PNW-ISA Website, and Twitter across five topics: Classes and Workshops; Competitions; General, Local, and Regional News; Jobs; and Trends and Issues.

Surveyed members indicated an overwhelming preference for email, averaging an 82% across all categories except Jobs. For Jobs, the preference was instead 70% PNW-ISA website, 30% LinkedIn. Twitter was the least preferred with 0-3 votes in every category. Facebook was nearly as low, with all categories receiving single digit votes.

This is one question where the way the survey was offered may have skewed the results. The survey was distributed by email, after all!

7. In 2017, which of the listed PNW-ISA programs and services have you participated in or used?

The top two responses, classes and the ATC, received more than double the next highest response.

8. Would you like to increase your opportunities to network with other PNW-ISA members?

The large "not sure" response suggests that these members would need more information about how networking opportunities would work before making a decision.

9. Rank ALL of the following methods of connecting with PNW-ISA members, most to least preferred.

There were seven options offered:

  • Chapter conference, classes & workshops
  • Chapter membership directory
  • Chapter newsletter
  • Chapter website
  • Local or regional social and/or cultural events
  • Social media – for example, industry related chat boards, Chapter’s LinkedIn and Facebook pages
  • Virtual events - such as webinars and web conferencing (Skype, Zoom)

These answers are difficult to analyze properly, let alone display on a graph. We can get a rough idea of overall preferences, however. Here is the most popular preference orders. I've included the top two when the difference is 10% or less.

  1. Chapter conference etc. 59%
  2. Social/cultural events, 28%
    • Chapter newsletter, 21%
  3. Chapter newsletter, 25%
    • Chapter website, 20%
  4. Chapter website, 48%
  5. Chapter website, 23%,
    • Social/cultural events 18%
  6. Social media, 22%
    • Virtual events, 21%
  7. Membership directory, 27%
    • Social media, 26%

The most obvious conclusions to pull from this data is that the conference and classes are quite popular ways for members to connect. Social and cultural events also appeal to surveyed members. The newsletter ranks just below that, shortly followed by the website. Virtual events, social media, and the membership directory are near the bottom.

Because of how the question was written, it isn't clear whether members ranked these methods by how they feel about them in their current state, or if it's an indication of their overall connection preferences. If it's the latter, these results suggest the membership would be most interested in classes and other in-person events, and don't care about social media content.

10. Compared to a year ago, is the quality of PNW-ISA member services better, worse, or the same?

Overall, the members surveyed appear to either not use PNW-ISA services enough to form an opinion, or think they're the same as they were in the fall of 2016. It is heartening to see that few thought any service had worsened.

11. PNW-ISA members have noted the following services as important to them. If PNW-ISA had these to offer members, how might you participate?

The survey listed the following possible services:

  • Board advisory committees
  • Events for young people during the Chapter Annual Training Conference Field Day
  • Internship, mentorship or apprenticeship opportunities
  • Local area networks (member groups)
  • Online clearinghouse of industry resources
  • Regional tree species profile database
  • Speakers directory

Surveyed members were most interested in the regional tree species profile database. The board advisory committees elicited the least interest.

The survey also offered four possible ways to interact with the proposed service: Attend/Sign Up, Use, Sponsor, and Volunteer. The distribution here seems to reflect the type of service. For example, most surveyed members intend to use the tree database, but most of those interested in events for young people during the Chapter Annual Training Conference Field Day want to volunteer.

12. Annual Training Conference 2018

The survey asked the following:

The PNW-ISA will be offering its members a unique Annual Training Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from September 30 - October 3, 2018.  Being held in conjunction with Tree Canada's Canadian Urban Forest Conference (CUFC) and the Urban Tree Diversity Conference (UTD), this International Urban Forestry Congress (IUFC) is titled, 'The Urban Forest - Diverse in Nature'. It is the goal of the partners to provide a forum for practicing arborists and urban foresters, green space planners and designers, policy makers, researchers and educators to share their unique insights into arboriculture and urban forestry. The power of diversity in urban forestry will be explored; diversity of trees and forests, diversity of people and communities, and diversities of management practices.

By learning from one another's knowledge and experiences, we will all be better able to shape the world’s urban forests. The event will highlight excellent international presenters, as well as talented experts from the Pacific Northwest coast region of North America. CUFC brings together leading experts from across the country, allowing for dialogue among professionals, community groups, and practitioners on innovative strategies, policies, technologies, research, and best management practices. UTD3 is an international conference that addresses research on urban tree diversity and its crucial implications for urban foresters and society, in achieving resilient, vibrant, and productive urban forests.For PNW-ISA members, our goal is to collaborate with CUFC and UTD3 to bring together international, national, and regional speakers related to arboriculture and urban forestry in a new chapter conference format.

How likely will you attend?

That we already had a 37% planned attendance rate back in October, right after last year's ATC, is a good indication that the yearly conference is a popular event among our members. Hopefully the 40% of uncertain responses can move to "yes" when they find out more about this year's amazing opportunity!

13. Message to PNW-ISA

The final question was written thusly:

The PNW-ISA is only as strong as its members make it.  Let the staff and Board of Directors of your Chapter know what you are thinking!  Please take a moment to write your thoughts below.  You can also contact the PNW-ISA Staff and Board directly.

It can be difficult to analyze free-text answers like these. However, you can get an overall idea of what was written. The larger the word, the more often it was used:

A representation of words used by survey takers in the shape of a tree. The most common words were work, chapter, isa, like, opportunities, great, offered, tree, see, arborist, classes, thank, and also.
Words used by survey takers for the free answer question at the end of the survey.


If those members that filled out the survey are indicative of the feelings of the membership as a whole, our members find PNW-ISA's services acceptable or good. When considering this survey information, it is important to keep in mind that only 15% of our members participated in the survey, and there were many that did not complete every question. That said, we can only act on the feedback we are given; we will take the information this survey provides us into account while making future plans.

Article By:

Dash Buck
Learn more about Dash Buck.