High School Principal
Follows Through On
Better Place To Be
Is Scientist's Goal
Readers Help Shape
Insider's Guide To
The Chapin Family
Weekend At Ovens Park
Yields A Harvest
of Food For The Hungry
Behind The Song:
Made Radio Program
New Stage Production
Offers Harry Memorabilia
to Benefit WHY
the Today Show
the Winter 2004 Issue
the Fall 2003 Issue
Help Shape Circle! Through Survey Feedback
over a year ago, a small group of us were brainstorming ideas on how to
"do something" positive in Harry's memory.
Harry's amazing "pied piper-like" persona and his ability to use his story
songs to convert fans of his music into activists for positive social
change. We also recognized that real progress comes not through glitzy,
one-night events, but rather through a sustained effort by individuals
who are committed to affecting change.
we realized that there were already thousands of individual Chapin fans
and others who were involved in meaningful social action, and whose stories,
if told, might inspire others, just like Harry did.
this on-line quarterly newsletter, Circle!, was born.
this year, the editors of Circle! decided to critically evaluate the reach
and impact of our efforts, so we created a Reader Survey which appeared
in our Spring 2004 issue. We were pleasantly surprised when 208 of you
took the time to respond to the survey, and we appreciate your candid
feedback, which will help us to shape the future content. Here are some
of the highlights of what we learned:
of the respondents were from the United States; it was surprising
for us to learn that Circle! also has a broad international reach:
5 percent of respondents were from Canada, 5 percent were from the
United Kingdom. We also have readers in Australia, Brazil, France,
Ireland, Israel, New Zealand and Sweden.
subject of reader age, 59 percent indicated they are between 45 and
60 years old; 27 percent are between 30 and 44 years old; and 10 percent
are between 18 and 29 years old. (We also heard from readers under
18 and older than 60).
terms of our editorial focus, 89 percent of you indicated we "shouldn't
change a thing," but 11 percent had some great suggestions:
audio and video clips into the content (we've included some in
this issue; please be patient downloading if you're on 56K modem
international issues of interest to non-U.S. readers
stories, photos and other material provided by the readers
more stories about Harry
of respondents suggested we should occasionally include stories about
fans who are activists/volunteers, while 39 percent suggested we should
include these stories frequently. We've heard from a number of readers
who were inspired after reading the "Fan Fare" story about master
coupon clipper Harry Nydick in our Spring 2004 issue, so we've included
a follow-up "how to" overview story in this issue.
54 percent of you indicated we should cover grassroots activist groups
occasionally, while 32 percent suggested we should feature them frequently.
Often, when we feature a story on a local grassroots group, our goal
is to spotlight innovative programs or solutions that can be replicated
in other communities. Please let us know if you are able to put one
of these ideas to work where you live - or if these stories inspire
you to get involved in some other way in your community.
of the respondents felt we should frequently provide ideas on how
readers can "do something," and 35 percent felt we should do this
on occasion. Since Circle! is all about inspiring people to "make
a difference," these kinds of stories will continue to play an integral
role in our content.
more than 70 percent of respondents indicated we should continue to
frequently cover stories about Chapin family members or band members,
Chapin-related concert info, and the stories "Behind the Songs." We'll
try to include these kinds of stories as often as possible. If you
have a personal story about Harry, please share it with us for possible
use in a future issue.
10 to 12 stories we feature in a typical issue of Circle!, 64 percent
of respondents said they read seven or more stories. That's encouraging
to us - people are taking time out to read much of the content.
although we realized we had only published four issues of the newsletter
prior to initiating the reader survey, we wanted to get an early read
on our impact in terms of moving our readers to social action. Here's
how readers responded to our question: "Has Circle! inspired you to
act and "do something" to make a difference?"
12 percent indicated they were inspired by Circle! to do something
percent said Circle! inspired them to increase their level of
percent identified Circle! as a contributing factor on why they
remain involved in social action
percent indicated they were new to Circle! and thus were not yet
percent indicated they were either already "doing something" prior
to reading Circle and/or were not inspired by the newsletter
percent skipped the question.
It was encouraging
to see that after just one year in existence, Circle! had inspired 18
percent of the survey respondents either to initiate some kind of personal
social action - or to increase their existing level of activism. We hope
those numbers continue to grow!
again to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. We value
your input and will keep it in mind as we plan future issues of Circle!,
all the while remaining true to our mission: to provide ideas for social
action and inspire others to act and make a difference.
By the way,
we have contacted by email the five lucky readers who won a live Harry
Chapin concert CD in a random drawing among all survey participants.
If you have
story suggestions, comments, or other feedback to share with us, or if
Circle! has inspired you to get involved and make a difference, please
drop us a line and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
for the Next Issue of Circle! on September 7