What would you say if I told you that close to half of the people who come to YNPN-TC events feel either “not-at-all” or only “kind of” welcome? “Whoa, no way?” or “Yeah, that sounds about right.” A full 43 percent of respondents to our 2012 membership survey reported feeling less-than welcome at our programs last year, which for me, as the new membership chair at YNPN-TC, is a shocking statistic that is top on my list to address this year.
But what does it mean to really “welcome” someone? How do we solve what is very much a cultural problem within our organization? In January I convened a crack team of volunteers from across different committees within the organization try and figure out the answer to these big questions.
At this event (which I dubbed our RADICAL Welcoming Summit and pizza party, hence the silly pizza graph), we came up with a range of strategies to help people feel more welcome. These strategies cover everything from the obvious, (e.g., how people are greeted at events) to the exciting and novel, (e.g. more gifs on the website?).
I don’t want to tell you about too many of these strategies, because it might spoil the fun, but I do want to know that we the volunteers of YNPN-TC care about what you have to say. You shared with us how you’re feeling about the membership experience. We listened, and things are going to change. So look forward to these new strategies transforming how we do things both at in-person programs, but also across our online experience as well over the coming months.
Cary Lenore Walski, membership chair, YNPN-TC