American Public Gardens Association Increases Survey Participation Two-fold with New Dynamic Benchmarking Tool

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Interactive, web-based benchmarking survey increases participation and provides greater insight into member impact on local communities.

American Public Gardens Association Benchmarking Report

APGA Garden Benchmarking Report

We’ve literally been told that the new survey is ‘better than sliced bread’...Members have found it easy to use and easy to navigate. The number of help requests from our members has been minimal.

Dynamic Benchmarking, a provider of customized online benchmarking and reporting solutions, is pleased to announce another successful launch of a new, web-based benchmarking platform for the American Public Gardens Association. The interactive data collection, analysis and reporting tool is providing new insights into the impact of public gardens on their local economies as well as more accurate measures of their operational and fiscal performance.

Founded in 1940, the American Public Gardens Association is committed to increasing the knowledge of public garden professionals throughout North America and internationally through information sharing, professional development, networking, public awareness, and research. In support of these efforts, the Association has conducted benchmarking studies for years however, collected data was not always representative of all gardens and a vast majority of the studies were done using spreadsheets with data manually compiled into static reports.

“We wanted to provide our membership with a more comprehensive, state of the industry survey that allows our members to advocate for themselves by having access to public garden data on a regional, local and global basis,” comments Association Executive Director, Casey Sclar. “Dynamic Benchmarking allows our members to query data in an interactive fashion to achieve just that.”

The new survey platform encompasses questions pulled from several previous surveys, collecting data relative to garden operations, size, plant holdings, educational and outreach programs, visitor and donor information, as well as staffing and salary data for key garden positions.

“Our benchmarking committee sought perspectives from many different kinds of member companies and employees,” adds Sclar. “The survey is comprehensive and provides excellent comparison capabilities on many levels.”

Reception to the new platform has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ve literally been told that the new survey is ‘better than sliced bread’,” says Abigail Spencer, Director of Marketing and Outreach for the Association. “Members have found it easy to use and easy to navigate. The number of help requests from our members has been minimal.”

American Public Gardens Association has also seen a marked increase in survey participation and in the quality of the data reported. Survey participation has more than doubled since the last benchmarking study they conducted in 2008 and the data collected now offers a comprehensive look at the entire sector, offering a true understanding of the impact public gardens are making on their communities.

“Through this study, we are able to see that responding gardens inject well over $1 million each year into their local economies through jobs and other capital projects,” continues Sclar. “For example, 113 responding gardens collectively totaled $556 million for their combined annual operating expenses. Given that the median value reported was $1.9 million, this local economic impact is why the Association's vision - a world where public gardens are indispensable - is exemplified by its members. Considering that the Association has over 585 member gardens located in 14 countries, the economic impact of its member institutions is likely well over $1B per year.”

-- About the American Public Gardens Association
Founded in 1940, the American Public Gardens Association has emerged as the premiere association for public gardens in North America. Today, APGA's over 580 member institutions are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and fourteen other countries. The Association is committed to increasing the knowledge of public garden professionals throughout North America and internationally through information sharing, professional development, networking, public awareness, and research so they have the tools to effectively serve visitors and members. For more information, please visit http://www.publicgardens.org.

-- About Dynamic Benchmarking
Dynamic Benchmarking is a New Hampshire-based startup that delivers real-time benchmarking and data analysis solutions with the features and capabilities of custom software in a format that is easy to use and quick to deploy. Founded by a team of women entrepreneurs, Dynamic Benchmarking combines powerful, web-based technology with unparalleled industry expertise and customer care to provide best-in-class, peer-to-peer data comparison for small business, associations, large enterprises and any organization looking to tap into the knowledge of the crowd. Dynamic Benchmarking builds web-based solutions that are flexible, scalable and allow for meaningful comparison of financial and operational performance in a dynamic and interactive manner. For more information, please visit http://www.dynamicbenchmarking.com.

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MaryAnn Pfeiffer
@DynamicBench
since: 09/2010
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