NISC members value being connected!
The results are in from our annual NISC Member Survey! We asked you to rate your benefits, tell us what was most important, how well our customer service team responded to your inquiries and issues, if you were satisfied and what you would like to see in the future. Being connected to others whether in person at the conference or virtually through our online social networking site, Crossroads was listed as the most important benefit of NISC membership.
Connecting to Peers
Just as older adults find value in spending time with their peers so do senior center professionals. It is inspiring, educational and sometimes just comforting to connect with others who have “been there – don’t that” and are facing the same challenges that you face daily. Our national senior center conference held in Philadelphia in 2016 in partnership with the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging was listed as the number one benefit by members. If you are able, don’t miss Senior Centers 2017. It will be held in the Chicago area in Oak Brook, IL from June 13-16, 2017. This year, NISC has partnered with the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Providers (NANASP) and the Association of Illinois Senior Centers (AISC). Find out more here.
Not everyone has the budget to attend a conference so it is not surprising to see that the Senior Center Group on NCOA Crossroads came in as the 2nd most important NISC member benefit. Crossroads is a virtual water cooler for over 2,400 senior center professionals. It’s a place where you can ask questions, find answers, or simply search in the library for needed information. One respondent said it “keeps me up-to-date with current questions and concerns of my colleagues.”
Following the conference and Crossroads, members most value “information specific to us.” Receiving strong responses were the monthly Senior Center Voice, the NISC newsletter, webinars and the Programs of Excellence Booklet (which includes 99 programming ideas). Other prominent informational tools mentioned on the survey included the Senior Center Month Marketing Kit, and the New Models Report.
The next most important benefit was National Accreditation and having the National Standards and Self-Assessment Workbook available to members free of charge. Whether you pursue National Senior Center Accreditation or not, the national standards and self-assessment workbook is a benefit for all NISC members. You can use the self-assessment process to improve your center, one standard at a time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy.
Access to Programs
The availability of such programs as the Aging Mastery Pilot Programs, Flu +You, discounts on Motion Picture Licensing, the MusicianFest Grant program, income from Cellular Recycler program were also mentioned. These benefits provide real dollar value in membership, as well as opportunities for targeting new participants.
We were pleased to learn that overall, 87% of NISC members were satisfied (very or somewhat) with their membership and 97% satisfied (very or somewhat) with the support they received from membership staff.
One member informed us that they weren’t sure if they received the Voice newsletter. If you want to check on your newsletter delivery or had a staff or email address update, please email email@example.com to answer any membership question.
How Can We Add Value?
We asked members to give us suggestions for the future that would add value to their membership. Some individuals suggested we: plan a west coast national conference, or a webinar conference, highlight senior center research, include national observations in the Voice (two months prior) as a reminder for program planning, develop networking subgroups (ex. municipal centers), explore naming conventions and negotiate a county wide MPLC license. You also suggested that we focus on increasing funding education for senior centers. Thank you for all of your suggestions! They are all now included in our 2017 internal NISC conversation. Watch the Voice for implementation of your ideas.
Members told us that Advocacy is more important now than ever and they told us that “continuing to push out timely alerts and easy steps helps.” We agree, and NISC members will continue to have updates in the Voice and through alerts. For more information go to the NCOA Public Policy Page to be connected to information on policy, Older American’s Act Funding, the Advocacy Toolkit and more.
The most common theme for adding value to your NISC membership was you’d “like to learn more” about your member benefits, that you needed reminders about benefits and one respondent suggested a NISC member benefit webinar, that could be viewed anytime. Thank you for the idea! We’ve schedule a NISC Member Benefit Webinar for June 22, 2017 from 2-3 p.m. ET., so please register today.
We will include benefit reminders in the monthly Voice, and you can always review your member benefits by accessing the NISC member resources page on ncoa.org or got to the list of NISC benefits at the bottom of this article to learn more.
Thank you all for your feedback and for helping us to imagine the possibilities!
Benefits of NISC membership
- Attend webinars for a virtual tour of what’s working at other member centers.
- Connect with other senior center professionals on the Crossroads online community senior center group.
- Get involved in our advocacy efforts to advance the field of senior centers and improve the economic security and health of the clients you serve.
- National Senior Center Accreditation discount and Peer Reviewer opportunity
- 2016 NISC Accredited Centers
- Annual Senior Center Programs of Excellence
- Senior Center Month – 2017 Information Coming Soon
- Discounted Motion Picture Licensing Agreement
- Cellular Recycling Fundraising Program
- Listing on NCOA’s map of senior center members
- PurchasingPoint® discount program
To access the following member-only resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-373-4906.
- 2016 Programs of Excellence Awards (the complete booklet of 99 submissions for members only)
- Building Excellence: Senior Center National Standards & Accreditation Manual
- New Models of Senior Centers Report
- Social Media Toolkit for Senior Centers
- Newsletters: Senior Center Voice and Aging in Stride