A while back we did a survey. While we had well over a hundred views for the survey only 76 responded. It’s important to note that with the huge technology gap we have in the Order, these responses don’t get the results we might have had if we could survey members who aren’t comfortable with technology. Yet, these results can give us an idea how those who are online may feel about certain issues.
This isn’t a scientific poll–it’s a shot in the dark, but there were some surprises. We think that when a figure hits 25% it should be an area of concern or area of extreme relevance. So if you see a figure of 36% or 45% you should pay attention to that particular issue. We’re not going for majority rule or a winner. We’re looking for indicators.
Here is the quick break down as we see it.
- Its seems we’d ask our friends to join and our lodges are involved in our communities and we would be welcoming of minorities. Yet, our numbers continue to decline. This is an area that needs more research.
- Where 92% of respondents state their lodges are welcoming to minorities, 46% believe that Sovereign Grand Lodge doesn’t know much about minority issues. The last figure is too high.
- Sovereign Grand Lodge positions perceived as positions for a select few.
- Lodge buildings are not in great shape
- Grand lodges do not have plans with clear benchmarks for boosting membership.
- Many members wish to see SGL operated more based upon a state’s population of Odd Fellows
- SGL needs to create clear benchmarks to encourage Grand Lodges to establish more local Lodges.
- Too many members do not know who their SGL or GL representatives are.
- The SGL website is not that helpful.
- All Grand Lodges need websites.
- There may be problems with degree work in Lodges
Here’s the same information in more detail and written in narrative form. Remember the number 25%.
Questions 1-6: Among members, it looks as if nearly all of us would recommend Odd Fellows to a friend with 97% of us saying we’d encourage friends to join. 89% of us say that our Grand Lodge leadership is accessible and available to our local lodges. When it comes to whether members believe that Sovereign Grand Lodge listens to members opinions things get a bit dicey: about half of the respondents say SGL listens to members concerns and the other half gives SGL lower marks in that area. Also, around 44% say that the SGL website isn’t all that helpful. About 80% of us say our Grand Lodges are reliable (remember: this is for those of us online. We still have 21 Grand Lodges that don’t have a website). Most members, around 73% are satisfied with the way Lodge ritual is written.
Questions 7-12: A majority believe their lodge’s degree work is done well. But about 36% took a neutral stance or said their degree work was of a lower quality. When it comes to minority issues 54% believe that Sovereign Grand Lodge is knowledgeable and about 46% think Sovereign isn’t so knowledgeable in this area. About 21% (almost a quarter of members) don’t feel that they as members are knowledgeable about the workings of Grand Lodges and Sovereign Grand Lodge. Around 54% rated their Lodge’s recruitment attempts at “neither high nor low, a low amount, a very low amount.” This figure is interesting because in the above paragraph, 97% of respondents say they’d recommend Odd Fellows to a friend. These figures seem contradictory. 40% agree the Rebekah, Encampment, and Patriarchal Degrees should become part of the Lodge degrees with 36% opposed. Others were neutral. About one quarter of respondents believe religion plays too much of a role in Odd Fellowship with 31% neutral.
Questions 13-18: At least 30% say that their Lodge building is not in great shape and 92% say their Lodges are or would be welcoming of minorities. It may be important to point out the apparent lack of confidence in SGL numbers. Nearly 19% say starting a lodge is difficult to do and most members want Sovereign Grand Lodge to make it easier to purchase Odd Fellow merchandise. A wide majority of respondents want Sovereign Grand Lodge and Grand Lodges to maintain up to date websites. 74% want to see Sovereign Grand Lodge develop clear benchmarks to encourage Grand Lodges to establish new Lodges.
Questions 19-25: Approximately 73% say they don’t know who their Grand Lodge and Sovereign Grand Lodge representatives are. 81% say their Lodges are involved with community work. Should Sovereign Grand Lodge operate like a House of Representatives? 43% agree with 21% disagreeing. 42% say their Grand Lodges do not have plans with clear benchmarks in place to boost membership. 46% say their Grand Lodge is out of touch with membership concerns and 50% of respondents agree that leadership in Sovereign is not restricted to a select few, with 25% neutral and 25% disagreeing.
Here’s the link to the original survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1C5g3lt0tb0qX5QZ-N_gR0ZVfptoTCp4mypFHB3EhDgQ/edit#responses
Thanks to Ashley Boshears of Saline #174 in Benton, Arkansas.