Web Convenings Survey Launch


Web Convenings Survey Launch

man behind desk asleep with telephone in hand

When foundations, nonprofits and other public interest organizations started shifting work online as a result of the Great Recession, The Goodman Center conducted research to see what was working, what wasn’t and why. In 2009 they released a report, “Dialing In, Logging On, Nodding Off: The True Costs of Teleconferences, Videoconferences and Webinars.” The results were sobering: virtual meetings were consistently plagued with technical problems, most meeting leaders had received no training for navigating online environments, and the fight for participation and engagement was frequently a losing battle.

Responding to these findings, The Goodman Center started offering an online class, “The Webinar on Webinars,” specifically to share best practices that make virtual meetings and trainings more engaging and productive. Between 2009 and 2020 they logged hundreds of hours online, teaching but also learning from their students as they went. And then in March of this year, like everyone else, they found themselves in a radically altered landscape – one in which virtual meetings were no longer an “option.” They were now the norm.

So they began offering The Webinar on Webinars for free to provide much-needed guidance to as many public interest professionals as possible. They also decided to update their research to better understand how technology and practices have evolved since 2009, and to capture what’s happening right now when literally the entire world has become a laboratory for observing humans attempting to work productively in virtual habitats.

To ensure that a new survey would reach a truly representative swath of the public interest community, The Goodman Center has been recruiting partners who share their interest in discovering new best practices. Early partners include America’s Promise Alliance, Borealis Philanthropy, Capacity Canada, Center for Public Interest Communications, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Communications Network, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Council on Foundations, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Forum One, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO, Independent Sector, and Points of Light. 

With the assistance of the Center for Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida, a pilot version of the survey was launched on June 25th. Not only did this two-week test run provide some early data, The Goodman Center interviewed some of the respondents about the process of taking the survey to ensure questions in the final version would be clear, concise, and generate useful information.

All of which has brought us to the point, dear reader, where you come in! If you’ve ever been stuck in an online meeting and thought, “There has to be a better way,” this survey is your chance to help design that better way. Today we’re asking you to set aside 10-15 minutes to share your experience and let your voice be heard. Click the button below to take the survey and to find out how you can receive a copy of the report with all the results. 

And remember: the sanity you save may be your own!