As the Kalamazoo Community Foundation
works to bring about change in the community it relies in part on information it collects in surveys from area residents, nonprofits, and donors.
In a recent survey, the
Community Foundation found that more people are saying that Kalamazoo County has a lot to offer than they were in 2012. When asked what three things they liked about living in Kalamazoo County that they would not want to lose the survey respondents also said they liked area schools and the convenience of the community. The size of the city was also cited as a plus.
Diversity, education, the people, the Kalamazoo Promise
, and schools were all cited as strengths of the community.
A number of those surveyed said they liked area parks and trails and the arts. Two said they liked the Alamo Draft House.
The survey also showed that many people are not aware of significant social issues facing many county residents. When asked to name the three most significant social issues facing residents of Kalamazoo County, one-third could name only one.
Those who responded said
poverty, homelessness and employment--in that order--are the most significant social issues facing the community.
The survey also looked at local giving. More than three-fourths of respondents (76.8 percent) indicated they had donated to a charitable organization in the past year, with the top recipients being human services (44.4 percent), religious organizations (40.8 percent) and health organizations (31.8 percent). And more than one-third (40.3 percent) gave up to $499 to charitable organizations in the past year, while 14.3 percent gave more than $2,000.
President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway says the Community Foundation will
use this information to increase our effectiveness in working with our partners, both donors and nonprofits, to better serve our customer, which is the community.”
The survey gives the Community Foundation an understanding of what the community needs. It also shows that there is an opportunity to increase awareness about significant social issues.
The 29 question survey of 400 people was conducted in Marc
h 2015, by Perspectives Consulting Group of Paw Paw.
“As a data-driven organization, we feel it is important for our planning and decision-making to be informed by community input,” says Pickett-Erway.
Source: Tom Vance, Kalamazoo Community Foundation