We asked. You answered. CFWE’s annual survey

Why do you support CFWE?

Water is a very important commodity in Colorado, and providing timely, accurate and understandable materials to educate the people of the state on water issues is critical.” – 2012 Survey Participant

In December, the Colorado Foundation for Water Education invited our members and top supporters to participate in our second annual survey.  This survey helps us improve our educational offerings and capacity to provide relevant programs.  Participants indicated what they value about CFWE as well as their educational needs and preferences. CFWE collected 182 responses, full of wonderful feedback. This input helps staff set goals to reflect our members’ needs and ensure that our work remains useful. Thanks to all survey participants!

We thought we’d share some of those findings so you can better see how we’re putting your feedback to work, how your friends and colleagues feel about CFWE, and how CFWE has improved from the 2011 survey. If you weren’t given the opportunity to participate in the survey but have thoughts on the following topics, please leave a comment.

CFWE’s accuracy and balance

CFWE’s mission is to promote better understanding of Colorado’s water resources and issues by providing balanced and accurate information and education.  Members and supporters rated the balance and accuracy of Headwaters, Citizen’s Guides, tours, and CFWE as a whole.  With “n/a” responses removed, participants rated our publications and outreach as follows:


Compared to the 2011 survey, CFWE’s perception of balance went up across all program areas, and more participants marked “very” for all categories.  CFWE will continue to strive to present accurate and balanced information and outreach.

Members and supporters also rated the quality of information provided by CFWE and its outreach.  With “n/a” answers removed, the ratings are as follows:


Compared to the 2011 survey, more respondents marked “excellent” for all categories.

Members and supporters also rated CFWE’s outreach by their helpfulness in understanding water issues and trade-offs.  With the “n/a” category removed, the ratings were as follows:


Compared to the 2011 survey, more participants rated all categories as “very” helpful.

Future CFWE content

Members and supporters chose the topics they would like to see CFWE cover.  Drought, water supply and demand, and water management were the top choices for both groups.  The following topics garnered more than 60% of responses in both surveys:  innovation in water management and technology, awareness/attitudes about water, and river basins/watersheds.  Supporters were also interested in hydraulic fracturing, and members were interested in East Slope population growth.  CFWE hopes to cover as many of these topics as thoroughly as possible throughout the coming year.


When asked why they didn’t attend events, 9% of members and 33% of supporters stated it was because they did not know about them.  Both these numbers are an improvement over 2011, so CFWE is doing a better job communicating about events.  However, the numbers indicate that we can improve our event communication to supporters.

Participants also listed distance as a reason they did not attend events.  West Slope residents found this a particular challenge.  CFWE is looking into holding more events, including mini-tours, on the West Slope.  Look for our tours of the Upper and Lower Colorado basins this summer!

Membership Demographics

Compared to the 2011 survey results, CFWE saw an increase in female members, and a shift towards younger supporters.  CFWE will continue its efforts to reach more diverse audiences.  CFWE hopes to reach out to young members and supporters with different forms of communication, including social media such as Twitter and Facebook (and this blog!).  Our social media outreach includes information on CFWE events and outreach, as well as water education from across the state.

Seventeen percent of supporters (non-members) identified themselves as water educators.  CFWE hopes to reach out to other water educators, encouraging them to become members.  Efforts include plans to create a new membership structure geared specifically to fellow educators.

Why do you support CFWE?

Members and supporters provided many different reasons for supporting CFWE.  Some common responses include:

  • Support for our mission: “Because I believe in CFWE’s organizational mission, your materials and programs are top-notch, and your Board/Staff/Advisors are knowledgeable & progressive”
  • To an individual need for information: “CFWE plays an important role in my own education as well as education programs I administer”
  • To passion for water in Colorado: “I believe water is one of the most important topics our state has to deal with.  I am passionate about water and CFWE has been a great resource for information and networking”

CFWE is proud to have the support of so many people who care passionately for Colorado’s water issues. We strive to meet the expectations of our members and supporters and to reach new audiences in the coming year– helping more Coloradans speak fluent water.  If you value the Colorado Foundation for Water Education or wish we offered something different, let us know, sign up to be added to our mailing list, or become a member.

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