28 percent of current members responded to a membership survey conducted by the National Governing Board of Military Outreach for Service (MOS) in May 2014. The Board conducted the survey in advance of the 2014 conference to collect members' opinions about the organization, activities, handling of new members, and more topics that may help guide MOS in the future. 66 out of 200 members took the survey.
Why You Joined MOS
Members were asked why they joined MOS. 26 percent said they joined to support or help veterans in some way and 19 percent said they joined to network with other veterans.
55 percent said they attend one or more chapter or national board meetings each year with 31 percent stating they attended more than five meetings a year. 46 percent stated they never attended a chapter or national board meeting.
97 percent of respondents said they were willing to pay some national dues in addition to chapter dues, if any. 65 percent expressed support for national dues of more than $15 a year and 50 percent expressed support for national dues of $20 to $25 annually.
Integrating New Members
Members were asked how MOS rates in welcoming and integrating new members. 31 percent said MOS did a good job but 23 percent said MOS didn't do such a good job while 46 percent didn't know or had no opinion. 69 percent agreed that new members should be assigned a sponsor to help them assimilate into the organization and 81 percent agreed that MOS Leadership should conduct a new member orientation meeting each year. The purpose would be to explain MOS values and programs and encourage more participation in MOS national or local activities.
Survey respondants offered 41 different suggestions for MOS to attract new members. Most suggestions involved increasing MOS visability, improved marketing of the organization and chapters, and more communication between the National Board and members.
Many members said that they stumbled across MOS by accident and some areas of IRS have zero awareness.
MOS Activity and Volunteer Opportunity Awareness
46 percent of respondents said they were aware of national or local MOS activities while 44 percent had no awareness. 55 percent did not know that MOS, at a local or national level, sponsors care packages for troops, participates in Operation Home Front and Wreaths Across America, has a mentoring program, is working on a scholarship and emergency relief program, and participates in the Feds Feed Families national campaign. Only 33 percent were aware of volunteer opportunities.
MOS Website and Communications
52 percent of respondents said they visit the website more than once a year with 23 percent report visiting monthly. 47 percent said the website is easy to navigate but 43 percent were unaware of the MOS website. 47 percent said the website had value to them while 50 percent were unable of any value. Yet 75 percent said the website should be the primary MOS communication vehicle.
43 percent supported MOS moving into social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. 66 percent said that email communications were effective.
MOS Organizational Awareness
75 percent of respondents knew that MOS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that accumulates and distributes funds for charitable purposess. 69 percent knew that MOS had a national board of directors.
"Likes" About MOS
The majority of respondents responded to this open-ended question that they like MOS for its support of veterans. One respondent stated that, "Supports veterans regardless of years in service or time period served." Another, the "comradarie, the chance to help others." One commented he or she likes "That there is an organization available to help veterans, especially those transitioning from the military back into the workforce." Some, who may have been new to MOS, were unsure.
"Dislikes" About MOS
Responses to this question varied but mostly centered around the visability of the organization at the national and chapter levels and its activities. Responses included: "It doesn't seem like MOS does anything," "No active local chapter", "MOS is akin to a secret. If you don't go looking for it, you won't find it." Other commenters made remarks about a lack of communications and low participation in activities by members.
Respondents were given an opportunity to bring up other areas of concern. One member raised an issue frequently heard from veterans transitioning from military to civilian jobs. "I would like MOS to look into why the IRS does not recognize military experience. I was told I could not instruct in the IRS unless I took their Instructor Training Course. I was an NOC (noncommissioned petty officer) for over 20 years, ITS qualified and had instructed at the Military academy. What is the one week IRS course going to teach me that I don't already know? Just one example."
Another suggested that MOS needs "to find out what we are not doing that makes other organizations function at a level that they do (for example, HIRE)."
MOS President Carol Permar stated at a board meeting that the survey results would be discussed at a National Governance Board meeting and encouraged national board members to take the results seriously. The complete survey results are available on the MOS website in the Shared Documents Library (PDF). Questions or comments can be sent to the MOS mailbox.