At the end of last season, the Dons Trust Board asked fans – both Trust members and non-members – to complete a survey. Board member Colin Dipple has been looking at the results.
Five months ago, the Dons Trust surveyed fans to gather views on DT membership, barriers to membership and what additional benefits people would like to see introduced. We invited current DT members (and lapsed members) as well as non-members to complete the survey, which was also advertised on the club and Trust websites and via social media channels.
The survey contained a mix of closed and open questions, and a total of 1,924 people responded, including over 1,500 current members and almost 400 non-members. Here I give a summary of those findings, with some comments. All the findings of the survey are on the Dons Trust Webjam, but you will need to be a member to see them.
Most of the members who responded were aged between 35 and 60; the 21–35 age group was the most under-represented. The Dons Trust Board (DTB) were aware of the lack of membership in this age range, and this survey has helped show how the problem could be addressed.
Of all the current members, 75% felt that being a part-owner of the club is the most important benefit of membership. Having a say in how the club is run came second, with 11%.
A very big majority, 91%, of current members felt that the annual membership fee of £25 (equivalent to 48p a week) is very good value. Of non-members, 66% also thought this was good value, with 20% not sure. (In that case, can those 66% please join! For the 20%, read on.)
Members were asked whether they were satisfied with the current benefits of membership: 87% said they were, and 7% said they were not. The findings in this survey will help the DTB when they consider what other benefits could be offered. For example, 56% of members would like some sort of discount at the club shop. More priority for match tickets was another new benefit, suggested by 32% of members, and a chance to meet the players was also on the list, along with receiving regular news updates.
Some members remarked that “I am not sure of my benefits”. For their benefit, here are some of the present ones:
- part-ownership of the club
- having a say in steering the club in the right direction (as the Trust holds the controlling stake in the club)
- access to Webjam (including updates from the DTB)
- priority entitlement (behind season-ticket holders) to buy tickets for all-ticket matches
- a democratic one-member, one-vote role in the Trust’s decision-making, including voting in the annual DTB elections – and the right to stand for election yourself
- knowing that your membership fee is being used to help fund the Trust and the club – over 90% of the Trust’s annual income gets passed to the club.
The main reasons non-members gave for not joining the trust were “Never thought about it”, “Not got round to it” and “What does the Trust or Board do?” We on the DTB need to provide more information about the Trust and publicise the good work it does more widely. Articles in future programmes by other DTB members will help address this shortcoming.
Most of you will know that I am at every home game, milling about near the front bar, and I am often at away games, so if you want to discuss any Board-related matters, please do come and talk to me. I – and all DTB members – would love to see more fans join the Trust.
The bigger we are, the stronger we are.
I would like to thank Tim Hanson and Tudor Jennings for their input and help with this survey.
Colin Dipple presented results from the membership survey in the August SGM to members. His full presentation is now available in the Webjam library (under the ‘resources’ tab) for members to view.
If you are a Trust member but haven’t yet registered to use Webjam please email firstname.lastname@example.org who can send you information and an invitation to join the site.