Chapter Resources

Do you know what's on your members' minds?

Like many chapters, the San Diego GCSA has used surveys to solicit member feedback. However, we were struggling to get membership to complete the surveys. The board of directors brainstormed ideas on how to better obtain member feedback.

Recently, I attended a San Marcos Chamber of Commerce meeting and learned about an idea we could use. (As chapter executive director, I represent the San Diego GCSA at the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheons). At the meeting, the Chamber of Commerce started a “secret win” survey. This unique concept offers members incentive to complete the survey. Realizing it was something our chapter could easily adopt, I sought the board’s approval, and then incorporated it into the San Diego GCSA’s monthly meetings and events.

The survey

As part of monthly meetings in San Diego, we request attendees to provide us with completed surveys before the meetings adjourn. The survey questions are typically a minimum of five questions and no more than 10 per survey. The survey questions vary per meeting, based on the meeting agenda and audience.

To help encourage our members to complete the surveys, we use “yes” or “no” questions or questions that can be “checked” or “circled”. This takes less time and yields more responses.

We staple one part of a two-part ticket to each survey. The second part of the ticket is placed in a fish bowl. All surveys must be complete in order to be eligible for the prize drawing. Once collected, we pull one ticket from the bowl. One winner takes all!

Incentives to complete the survey – the new strategy

To entice our membership to respond to participate in the surveys, we now offer an opportunity to win a great raffle prize, typically donated at no cost. Items donated might be: dinner certificate for two, 19th-hole goody basket with beer and chips, movie passes with Cold Stone Creamery gift certificates, etc. By only offering one prize, it is quickly turning into a competition to see who can win. Everyone knows someone to call for sponsorship and it typically only takes one phone call to obtain the raffle prize.

For those who wish to make further comments on the survey, there is an area on the form where members can either write their thoughts, or detail their name, phone number or email address, so the chapter can follow up with them one-on-one. We really want to hear what the members have to say and want to try to make the meetings geared to what they want and need.

Response to members

A synopsis of all comments is included in the next chapter newsletter we publish. This serves as a report card for the membership, especially those that didn’t attend. It reviews what they missed and what the membership in attendance thought of the meeting and topic.

The raffle has been a huge success. We are getting the data we need, and one lucky member wins something fun for coming to the meeting. It’s definitely a win-win situation for everyone.

Submitted by Brenda Warner, San Diego GCSA chapter executive

To share your chapter's success stories, please email them to Leann Cooper.

San Diego GCSA


The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is dedicated to serving its members,
advancing their profession, and enhancing the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.

© 1996 - 2013 GCSAA - Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
1421 Research Park Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049-3859
Tel. 800-472-7878 or 785-841-2240