With low-cost survey tools like SurveyMonkey at their fingertips and ever-present budgetary pressures, it is easy to see why some associations are foregoing market research expertise and going the DIY route where their member needs surveys are concerned.
There are a number of tools you can use to succinctly and effectively communicate to your members that they drive the association agenda. The one-page strategic plan is a great way to present your strategic plan in a succinct way to your members - the key is to make it clear that their input is being used to drive the agenda. Below is one example of a one-page member-driven strategic plan. Here is an example.
Like many folks, you probably do a lot when it comes to gathering stakeholder feedback: You see and make a point of talking to members at association events. Perhaps you make it a habit to pick up the phone or drop in on members periodically to talk to them one-on-one. Maybe you even survey or poll them internally on their satisfaction with events, programs or new issues coming down the pipe.
These are all very important tools to keep your association connected to members on an ongoing basis...but what about when it comes to your planning activities? Typically, member feedback is used as a peripheral driver of the process, if it's used at all.