Summary of the 2019 Member Survey
30th September 2019
The Partnership staff team is keen to hear members’ views about their experience and suggestions for its future development. Our annual member survey is a great opportunity to gather your feedback and take on board your views for ensuring the Partnership can be as effective as possible in working towards the shared vision of a sustainable city with a high quality of life for all.
This year some 76 member contacts responded, representing 8% of our 900+ member organisations. Respondents were generally representative of the membership in terms of size and sector. The majority of questions were similar to last year allowing some comparisons over time.
We thank all those who took the time to participate in the survey: this is greatly appreciated.
This year’s results see a slight increase in members experiencing positive engagement with the Partnership from last year, with 71% of members feeling some degree of engagement (somewhat engaged, engaged and super-engaged) and 65% of members saying their engagement has either supported, enabled or inspired them and their organisation to work towards the vision.
The main benefits of the Partnership highlighted by our members were:
- Communication: the monthly member e-newsletter is one of the Partnership’s most effective communication channels, helping members stay up to date with relevant information and communicate their organisation’s work to potential stakeholders across the city. Some 86% of respondents share e-newsletter information with others in their organisation. Do encourage colleagues to register their contact details so they get our emails directly. A third of respondents have provided the staff team with news, events or opportunities for the e-newsletter while 44% were interested to do so, but weren’t sure how. You can do this easily through our online contact form.
- Connection: through hosting events like the Green Mingle, the Partnership provides invaluable networking space for members to connect with other organisations and with other networks, such as the Bristol SDG Alliance.
“We sponsored the April Green Mingle and it was through the Partnership that […] [we] got onto the SDG Alliance”
- Collaboration: the Partnership’s third Spark Forum held last week is an example of members sharing skills and resources and working together on solutions that will create impactful change.
“Your newsletter and the Spark Forum provided an easy and fast way to communicate our project to hundreds of key partners in the city”
These member benefits mean that members who once felt ‘out on a limb’ now feel a part of a collective movement with more influence on city policies and decisions. It has also been noted by some member organisations that the Partnership provides a clear perspective on where and how they fit into the bigger picture of an environmentally sustainable Bristol, which is crucially empowering during a time of climate emergency.
“Bristol’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030 makes the work of the Partnership even more vital as we can only achieve this through collaboration and innovating together”
Barriers to Engagement
However, some respondents reported challenges to engaging with the Partnership, mainly due to:
- Lack of time: this was the biggest barrier, with 30% of the respondents who were not engaged reporting limited time to attend events, especially those from small organisations and the voluntary sector.
- Lack of understanding/information on how best to engage: 9 respondents felt they haven’t yet found out how best to engage with the Partnership and connect with other members.
- Lack of understanding on the objectives and goals of the Partnership: 7 respondents felt they didn’t understand the direction of the Partnership.
Members were asked if their business or organisation was planning to declare a climate emergency in the next 12 months. With 67% of respondents reporting that they intend to do so, are interested or are unsure, there is an opportunity for the Partnership to help encourage and enable its members to declare a climate emergency and take action in response. As a starting point, we have developed a ‘primer’ for businesses and organisations to help them consider their climate emergency response, and we also published all the acceleration actions gathered at a major Partnership gathering in March.
We invited our members to share any comments or questions they have about the Partnership. The feedback received included positive statements about the impact of the Partnership, comments about the challenge of capacity for engagement (particularly from small, voluntarily run organisations) and the desire to see more urgency from the Partnership. There was also positive feedback on the Partnership’s secretariat role for the newly created Environmental Sustainability Board. However, some felt it would be helpful for the Partnership to communicate its place in the wider city context more clearly.
“I think the Partnership’s role as secretariat of the Environmental Sustainability Board, taking a role in promoting the One City Plan and extending the reach is really positive and will inevitably lead to [the Partnership] having greater influence and impact across Bristol.”
The Partnership staff team will be reflecting on all the feedback received. Initial areas for consideration are how members can get and feel more involved with Partnership activities, even when they have limited time, and making the Partnership’s priorities clearer to members how they can engage with them. There was a desire to see greater urgency from the Partnership, and a clear opportunity for the Partnership to support members interested in responding to the climate emergency – both are areas that the team are already looking at.
We appreciate everyone’s input: having such a diversity of responses and opinions really captures the diversity of the Partnership community. Many thanks again to all the member contacts that participated in the survey this year.