Success Story: Association of Graduates – United States Air Force Academy

Client Profile:

The Association of Graduates – United States Air Force Academy (AOG-USAFA), is the alumni association for the United States Air Force Academy. Founded in 1965, the mission of the AOG is to keep graduates connected to the Air Force Academy and to support the graduate community by providing services to help them professionally.

Client Challenge:

Prior to using Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS), we were printing ballots and mailing them ourselves. As our membership increased, the sheer number of votes made the election a pain in the neck. With our membership dispersed around the globe, it was difficult to get ballots to and from members. Costs of paper, postage, and printing kept increasing and, on top of that, it took additional staff time to tabulate results once we had all of the paper ballots.

Our biggest challenge with the AOG election is getting our membership to respond to our communications. The organization gauges success by response rate. Our members assume it is easy and cheap to get hold of people – it’s not. Our experience is that achieving a high participation rate with an election is not an easy task.

SBS Solution:

Unlike many alumni associations, our 26,000 members are scattered throughout the world. We wanted to examine transitioning our paper-based election system to an online voting solution. Our goals included saving money, reducing staff time and limiting the amount of time it was taking to collect ballots and get results.

SBS approached our election in a consultative manner knowing that some of our older members still preferred paper ballots. They built and implemented an online election solution with a paper voting option. Their first solution fit our organization and the implementation went smoother than anticipated. Thanks to SBS, we achieved the 25% response rate we needed in our 2011 election.

We were awestruck by SBS’ commitment to customer service and responsiveness. They were prompt, accurate, and pleasant. Anytime we had a question, the SBS staff always had an answer. They repeatedly had a reply within ten minutes of us sending our question.

Our confidence level with SBS services is very high. “The SBS staff is quick, pleasant and smart. As long as I’m here, we are SBS clients.”

~Gary Howe, Executive Vice President