Survey 07

April 4, 2012
Report to the Working Group on Survey # 7 Results
Topic- Programs in Development and
Elements of Board Structure

Last week, the Working Group discussed structural elements of the Board of the new Association and determined that although they wish to compose the founding board of core members of the Association, they also recommended allowing in the by-laws for additions of board members from other categories of membership should expertise be required in the future that could not be provided by core membership.  They also agreed with the survey results that each core program should have one vote on Association business (as opposed to pro-rating votes per core program based on budget or program size).

There was much discussion on how to balance the geographic representation of nucleo interests for this national association, and although the group rejected in both survey and conference call the idea of balancing representation by region, a number of participants on the conference call volunteered to create some recommendations the Working Group could consider on how the Association might balance regional interests.  Those recommendations will be brought to the Group at a later date, as will the evolving recommendations of the Mission and Vision Statement Group which met telephonically this week and has another call scheduled for April 6.

Thanks to everyone for spirited participation in all this work!

Results of Survey #7

There were 31 respondents to this week’s survey (as of 7:00 AM EST).

Question #1 asked respondents’ names and organizations

Question #2 asked respondents’ agreement with an overall three-tier membership structure for the Association which would include: members, programs in development and aspiring to full membership, and other individuals and organizations interested in and supportive of the association.  With a ranking of 1-5 (1= strongly agree and 5=strongly disagree) the overall ranking was 1.71, a good solid ranking of agreement.  There were a number of comments, but the only consistent theme among them was the desire to see more definition to how a “core member” program is actually defined with regard to corporate structure.

Question #3 Respondents were asked their preferences for the nomenclature of programs in development and aspiring to full membership.  Here opinions were quite split:

Aspiring Member 25.8%; Developing Member 45.2%; Junior Member 3.2%; Provisional Member 16.1%; Other (please list) 9.7%.  Comments were also widely divergent and included recommendations for using terms such as Affiliate, nucleo in planning, non-voting, auxiliary and associate.  Some of the terms preferred by a portion of the respondents were described as “condescending” by others.  Next steps will be discussed with the Working Group.

Question #4 Respondents were asked their preferences for nomenclature for the third tier of membership (that of individuals and organizations other than core membership or aspiring to full membership).  Answers to this question were less widely distributed than the previous question:  Friend of the Association 58.1%; Supporter of the Association 3.2%; Affiliate of the Association (e.g.“ Student Affiliate of the Assoc.”)  32.3%; Other (please list below) 6.5%.  Although not a supermajority, a clear majority preference was shown for the terminology “Friend.”  Several written comments were given to support this recommendation and they largely revolved around the fact that this term seemed to align with the inclusive culture the Association would be looking to achieve and also suggested that such members would likely be financially supportive of the Association and so the terminology seemed apt from that perspective as well.

Question #5 Respondents were asked their level of agreement (1=strongly agree; 5=strongly disagree) with a list of basic minimum requirements for programs to be considered to be “aspiring to core membership.”  The results showed solid agreement with all the listed requirements (the lower the number, the stronger the agreement):

  • Be open and currently serving children (1.68)
  • Be inspired by or built upon the values of El Sistema (1.32)
  • Provide programs in a manner that ensures equal access to all children regardless of ability to pay (1.23)
  • Emphasize ensemble performance as a core element of curriculum (1.29)
  • Strive to create social change through music (1.35)
  • Be based in the community the program serves (1.65).

Question # 6 Respondents were asked their opinions as to recommended board size for the Association.  Responses varied widely: Eight Members 9.7%; Ten Members 6.5%; Twelve Members 25.8%;  I do not know 29.0%;  Other  29.0%.  Comments suggested the importance of an odd number of board members in order to break tie votes and also suggested that larger numbers of board members are useful for accomplishing the work of the board.  This will be discussed fully with the Working Group.

Question #7 Last, the respondents were asked their opinions as to whether the Executive Director (paid staff) of the Association should be permitted voting membership on the board (1=strongly agree; 5=strongly disagree; the lower the number, the stronger the agreement) and respondents expressed slight disagreement with this statement:  overall ranking 3.33.  Comments suggested that the Group felt that oversight of the staff of the Association would be impaired if the Executive Director also served on the Board.

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