Stakeholder Survey Report 2003/h1>


We plan to conduct a survey each year, so you may submit questions for next year's survey. Thanks for caring!

Gerald Iversen, National Coordinator


I. Summary

II. Data

III. Observations and Notes

IV. Conclusions

V. Stakeholders' Comments

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I. Summary

Alternatives is committed to be an interactive organization, producing and offering educational resources that meet our mission and that our stakeholders want. A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the health of Alternatives -- members, volunteers, customers, board members, staff members and others.

We have about a dozen committees, each one usually has at least one member of the board of directors on it to help relate the work of the committee to the board and vice versa.

An annual Stakeholders Survey is a effective  way to relate to stakeholders in an open way. Phone calls and email between customers and staff are helpful but limited. We read all comments that come to us in print (letters, email, surveys, etc.) and reply as appropriate.

We received a total of 146 responses from 2500 printed surveys and 6400 email subscribers.

The respondents offered many comments on a variety of subjects, including present and future resources and services. The average age of the respondents is 51 (44.5 in 2002).

To read the full report on line, visit http://SimpleLiving.org/Archives/News/2003SurveyReport.php

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II. Data

Response vehicles:

146 = Total number of responses.


NOTE: Most of these questions invite MULTIPLE RESPONSES. So, responses do not always equal 146.


1. If you'd say, "I think this category in your Resource Guide and web site catalog is already strong," then mark a plus [+].

If you'd say, "I think this category needs strengthening," then mark a pound sign [#].

If you're undecided, leave the category blank.


Ordered by priority of "needs strengthening"[#]

# / + / blank / topic

53 / 29 / 64 - Music

42 / 40 / 62 - Sidelines, like canvas & string bags; Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa

33 / 64 / 49 - Building Community

32 / 27 / 87 - Videos

28 / 66 / 52 - Economics & Money

27 / 46 / 73 - Cards, Posters & Book Marks

25 / 83 / 38 - Faith & Spirituality

25 / 69 / 52 - Bumper stickers

25 / 48 / 73 - Media Literacy

25 / 43 / 77 - Magazines

23 / 74 / 49 - Food & Hunger

22 / 59 / 65 - Games, Storytelling

21 / 75 / 50 - Earth Care

19 / 58 / 69 - Kids' Stories

19 / 53 / 74 - Parenting

18 / 54 / 74 - Kids' & Their Adults' Activities

18 / 53 / 74 - Freebies

18 / 31 / 96 - Spanish

17 / 41 / 88 - Specials

14 / 83 / 49 - Celebrating

14 / 81 / 51 - Peace & Justice

14 / 64 / 68 - Membership

14 / 104 / 28 - Alternatives' Resources

12 / 63 / 71 - New Titles

12 / 48 / 86 - Web site

11 / 99 / 36 - Simpler Living

8   / 84 / 54 - Ordering

7 / 112 / 27 - Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?

6 / 124 / 15 - Advent-Christmas


2. I think, by-and-large, you are offering in the Resource Guide...

99 - Just the right number

26 - blank (no response)

16 - Too few titles. I suggest that you add... [13 suggestions]

4 - Too many titles. I suggest that you remove... [0 sugestions]


3. In selecting resources to offer, we take a broad view of voluntary simplicity.... [see comments for specifics]

38 - This title has changed my life:

13 - You've overlooked the topic of:

6 - For that topic I'd suggest the title (and author):

6 - I find this title in your catalog personally offensive:


4-a. We plan to issue some of the following sayings in five formats (flyer, bumper sticker, bulletin insert, stuffer and label) on ready-to-copy paper masters and on our web site so that you can easily spread the word about issues that concern you.

78 - I would rather download free PDFs to make copies.

29 - I would be inclined to use inexpensive paper masters to make copies for my own use.

8 (additional) - both of the above

17 - blank (no response)

13 - This project does not interest me.

4-b. The slogans I have marked + are worth using. Those marked #, definitely not.

+ / # / blank / topic

Ordered by priority of "worth using" [ + ]

119 / 3 / 24 - Nurture People, Not Stuff

110 / 4 / 31 - Think Outside the Box[icon of TV]

94 / 7 / 45 - More $$$ for Peace, Not for War!

80 / 10 / 56 - It's always me and you and all people and God, never just me and God. -Caesar Chavez

71 / 17 / 58 - Tax Waste - Support Renewables!

66 / 13 / 67 - The Air Waves Belong to the People! Stop Media Consolidation!

65 / 20 / 61 - Prevent WW III - Conserve water

65 / 17 / 64 - Boycott all violent media

65 / 11 / 70 - A Proud Steward of the Earth.

60 / 14 / 72 - I Love the Earth, not Big Business

59 / 17 / 70 - Citizen ≠ Consumer

58 / 19 / 69 - Big Business must pay for the right to use up the Earth.

58 / 16 / 72 - Purchasing ≠ Patriotic.

56 / 24 / 66 - Genetically Modified FOODS Need LABELS

51 / 14 / 81 - Lewis & Clark Would Never Have Made It Without Sacagawea!

49 / 26 / 71 - $$$ for Peace Education, Not ROTC.

48 / 19 / 79 - I Love America, not Big Business

47 / 19 / 80 - Lewis & Clark Wouldn't Have Made It Without Sacagawea. Honor Native Americans.

45 / 30 / 71 - Demand Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods

41 / 30 / 75 - We must pay for our right to destroy the Earth.

41 / 21 / 84 - We drive 55 for YOUR Grandkids.

37 / 22 / 87 - The EARTH TAX Is a GOOD Idea!

36 / 27 / 83 -  A Patriotic Earthling

33 / 32 / 80 - NEVER FORGET! Enron-WorldCom-Anderson

5. Bumper Sticker Contest         

Win a $50 Alternatives' gift certificate if your new slogan is selected! Here are my original ideas/slogans: 33 entries (see Comments)

6. Alternatives plans to issue resources from the past, such as "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" in AUDIO format. I'd prefer...

75 - blank (no response)

36 - two MP3 CDs (playable on MP3 players and most computer CD drives) for $15.

22 - two DVDs for $30.

11 -  a set of 15 CDs for $50.

2 (additional) - both of the last two options

7. Alternatives is considering offering an INTERNET RADIO service (prerecorded), such as

A. Streaming audio (software is free)

B. Downloadable files (software is one-time $20)

40 - blank (no response)

30 - I'm familiar with the concept

       I've used type(s): 34 - A; 12 - B

6 - I think it's a fad that will pass.

2 - I've never used it but it's a great idea. I may try it.

(numerous multiple responses included)

8. Alternatives should offer its NEW audio releases on

68 - CD

48 - blank (no response)

39 - internet radio

26 - MP3 CD

18 - DVD

(numerous multiple responses included)

9. Alternatives should offer selected  PAST audio releases on

62 - CD

54 - blank (no response)

28 - internet radio

26 - MP3 CD

16 - DVD

(numerous multiple responses included)

10. I've found Alternatives' new web site home page

67 - helpful

59 - blank (no response)

19 - my word would be : (see Comments)

11. Comments on Alternatives' resources (quality, price, presentation), service, etc.

83 - blank (no response)

62 (see Comments)

12-a. Alternatives plans to issue an inexpensive "Simple Living Guided Journal" based upon our collection of quotes and art "Spirit of Simplicity."  The pages on recycled paper would not be dated, so it could be used anytime. (numerous multiple responses included)

57 - I prefer a journal designed for both private thoughts & ideas to share.

47 - I prefer a journal for private thoughts.

31 - I prefer a journal for ideas and memories that I could give my children/grandchildren as a legacy.

19 - blank

8 - You should promote computer journaling and not waste more paper.

3 - I think journaling is a fad that's past its peak.

12-b. Alternatives should issue the journal in the following format:

57 -  8.5 x 11 sheets, three-hole punched for a binder (more sheets could be added; personal pages could be removed)

49 - 8.5 x 5.5 bound booklet

30 -blank (no response)

4 (additional) - both

4 - Other:

12-c. I prefer...

51 - 96 pages

38 - blank (no response)

28 - 48 pages

26 - 365 pages

12-d. I would be willing to pay...

79 - More for 100% recycled paper

13 - A lot more for 100% pcw (post consumer waste)

9 (additional) - both of the above

21 - No more. Use 30% recycled paper.

21 - blank

12-e. I prefer...

113 - White paper with black illustrations (least expensive)

22 - blank (no response)

13 - Various colors of paper with black illustrations (more expensive)

5 - White paper with illustrations in various colors (yet more expensive)

1 - Various colors of paper with illustrations in various colors (really expensive)

12-f. Alternatives plans to issue seasonal, 48 page  "Guided Journals" for 1) Advent-Christmas, 2) Lent-Easter. I am...

2 - definitely interested in

57 - #1, 62 - #2

5 - a little interested in

54 - #1, 38 - #2

7 - not interested in

4 - #1, 5 - #2

18 - blank

(numerous multiple responses included)

12-g. I would be willing to pay for each

53 - $7

39 - $5

30 -blank (no response)

21 - $10

I'm in my:

0 - teens

8 - 20's

15 - 30's

45 - 40's

43 - 50's

16 - 60's

12 - 70's

1 - 80's

0 - 90's

6 - blank

• I'm including my name. Send me information about...

3 - remembering Alternatives in my will.

0 - gifting Alternatives appreciated securities.

3 (additional) - both

140 - blank

71 - Yes, send the $5 gift certificate. (Include name.)

63 - No thanks.

12 - blank (processed as No)


36 - blank

Mailing Address

48 - blank

Email Address

29 - blank

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III. Observations & Notes

Process and Response

We mailed 2000 copies of the Summer 2003 member/volunteer Update, which included the survey, in June, 2003. No surveys were sent with orders this year. The survey was emailed to 6500 e-news subscribers in June. Then reminders appeared in our weekly e-news through August 1.

We received a total of 146 responses. Using the same incentive -- $5 gift certificate -- we received 275 responses in 2002 and over 400 responses to our 2000 survey, even though 2000 was a more complicated survey. The 2002 decline might be explained by Sept. 11th., the same reason we also had a down year in sales and service requests. The 2003 further decline might be explained by our change of season for the survey -- summer instead of winter.

We received 20% paper responses (29% in 2002). Only 6% email replies (26% in 2002) and 73% web site replies (45% in 2002). We have email addresses for some 1200 members & volunteers who received the survey by mail. Some of them probably replied via email or web site after being reminded by email. Members/volunteers whose email address we do not have did not get reminders.

2003 average age was calculated by using the median in each range (15, 25, 35, etc.) This is a less accurate but more friendly way of asking for ages than we used in 2002 (exact age).

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IV. Conclusions

Question 1

A high negative number indicates that our respondents want to strengthen that category in our Resource Guide and web site. So, the categories are according to negative response in this report. Normally a high negative response would have a low positive response. A high positive response may indicate satisfaction or familiarity. A high negative response may indicate a low familiarity. Likewise, the number of blank (no response) may indicate the level of interest, i.e., a high number of blanks may indicate a low interest.

Spanish may not rank as a high priority because, even though we offer few Spanish resources, our audience is predominantly English speaking.

Question 2

68% felt we are carrying the right number of titles; 11% felt too few (and of the 16 responses, 13 gave specific suggestions); 3% felt too many titles; 18% did not respond.

Question 3

The large number of blanks may indicate that the question was of low interest or that it was not understood.

The most "life changing" titles...

Your Money or Your Life. (5)

Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway? (5)

Living More with Less. (3)

Question 4

A wide variation of response (positive, negative and none) indicates a wide range of interest and wide diversity of familiarity in the subjects suggested by the slogans.

Questions 5

23% suggested a potential bumper sticker (15% in 2002); not all of them were original.

Question 6

51% did not respond; the others selected according to price rather than the commonness of the technology, i.e., CD's, though most common, were least selected because they're the most expensive.

Question 7

Internet Radio showed a surprising amount of interest; only 27% did not respond, though an additional 4% thought it to be a fad.

Questions 8 and 9

Only 33% did not respond to NEW audio release; only 37% to PAST releases. In contrast to question 6, selection was by commonness of technology i.e., CD's were first in both cases, followed by internet radio, MP3 and DVD. It is not surprising that DVD was last since it is used primarily for video. So, if we want to issue audio material on DVD, we need to add video to it.

Question 10

46% call our new web site "helpful"; 40% did not respond; 13% used their own word, of which 4 were positive, 3 were negative/critical, 8 were neutral.

Question 11

57% did not respond, probably because the question was open ended, required thought, was not multiple choice. Or because they have not read many Alternatives' resources.

Of those who responded 72% were positive; 7% critical; 21% neutral (or both positive and critical).

Question 12

Only 13% did not respond, which indicates a high level of interest in journaling. Most of the responses to specifics confirmed what we had decided (format, price, etc.). Interestingly, a few more showed definite interest in a Lenten journal, than an Advent journal (though more showed some interest in Advent than Lent).


49% requested a $5 coupon (55% in 2002); 43% declined (45% in 2002); 8% did not respond.

25% did not give their name (11% in 2002); 20% did not give their email address; 33% did not give their mailing address (19% in 2002).

Only six people (4%) requested information about planned giving.

Future Conclusions

From the data we already have, it may be helpful to compare various responses by geography and age. Past surveys have dealt with gender, income, marital status and family. For future surveys we may ask "Why are you interested in Simple Living?"

V. Comments

(by question #)

(survey number follows each comment)


1. I think this category needs strengthening...


1. I would like to see more childrens' music - even drama. 149

1. Needs strengething: bumper stickers - art seems dated. 90


2. I think, by-and-large, you are offering in the Resource Guide...


2. Too few titles. I suggest more on energy conservation, sustainability and simplicity, other resources on ecology and Earth care. #47

2. Too few. I suggest considerably more peace with justice, faith & spirituality & music material. #10

2. Too few, add: anything -- your suggestions and descriptions are valuable. 101

2. Too few, I suggest: Nickled and Dimed. 135 

2: depends on the area.  #29

2: Too few. I suggest:  ...more variety of titles to the topics you already have.  #23

2: Too few: more titles on sustainability and corporatism. #99

2b. Too few. Change title: The Wolf Shall Lie Down with the Lamb (Law). 85

2c. Bring back Schut's book: Simpler Living, Compassionate Life: a Christian Perspective, please!!! 95

2? Of the ones I've seen in the resource book, I am not drawn to purchase because art seems dated. Resource guide - too cluttered. Just the right number but hard to read/use. 90

2? If you don't know Lewis Mumford's work, I commend him to you.  I think most of his books are out of print now, but they're worth looking for.  Maybe reprinting. "Art and Technics" (if I recall the title correctly) is a slender volume that beautifully sums up the personal and social rewards of thoughtful, durable craftsmanship -- even in manufactured objects -- and an ethic of conservation, instead of wasteful consumption. #13


3. a. I find this title in your catalog personally offensive:

b. This title has changed my life:

c. You've overlooked the topic of:

d. For that topic I'd suggest the title (and author):


3. I'm so glad to see that you're promoting "Take back your time day."  HOORAY! You are inspiring me. #19

3. Changed my life: 30th Anniv. CD-ROM; Whose Birthday Is It Anyway, United Methodist #48

3. Changed my life: Whose Birthday Is It #49

3. Changed my life: Your Money or Your Life #50

3: changed my life: Jim Wallis' work. I'd suggest Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Marva Dawn. #4

3: Life change: African Christmas. 124

3: I like this broad approach. #39

3: Changed my life: Gave Food and Spirituality as a gift - MUCH appreciated.  #25

3: Changed my life: Living more with less. #23

3: Changed my life: Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. #26

3: Changed my life: Eat to Save the Earth. #33

3a. Maybe more bible studies for kids.  I love how broad "you" are. 126

3a. None. 145

3a. Simple Living.    129

3b. Simpler Living by Duane Elgin. 144

3b. (maybe not my life, but the direction of my thinking) Whose Birthday Is It Anyway? 76

3b. Alternatives catalog. 79

3b. Changed my life: the book I mentioned above. (Schut's book: Simpler Living The Compassionate Life) 95

3b. Children's literature, alternatives to "big box" titles. 101

3b. How to unclutter your home. 98

3b. I just wish I could find more like-minded people locally! 89

3b. I love the alternative holiday planning resources. 73

3b. Ishmael. 93

3b. Life change: your money or your life. 125

3b. Living more with less. 141

3b. Nearly everything I've ordered! 99

3b. Well not exactly, but I find it interesting and valuable. 53

3b. Whose Birthday Is It Anyway? 141

3b. Whose Birthday Is It Anyway? 86

3b. Your Money Or Your Life.  54

3b. Your Money Or Your Life.  90

3b: Changed my life:  'Tis The Gift To Be Simple. 12

3B: Changed my life: A Reasonable Life. 14

3B: Changed my life: Living More With Less. #11

3b: Changed my life: More with less cookbook. #45

3b: Changed my life: Your money or your life and Maybe One (Bill Mckibben).  #44

3c missing topic: "worship wars" 85

3c. Childrens' bible study or daily devotionals. 126      3c. Overlooked topic: Spiritual Gifts/Identifying the Gift you are to the world. 31

3c: Overlooked topic: energy conservation as part of caring for the Earth; ecological footprinting; more on permaculture. I'd suggest: Homemade Money by Richard Heede; Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel (to be released by New Society Publishers on Sept. 1, 2003); Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. #47

3c. Homelessness. 73

3c. Missing topic: socially responsible investing. 53

3c. Overlooked topic of: beauty standards promoted by culture, media, magazines. 83

3c. Simplicity essays - Wendell Berry. 99

3c: Overlooked topic: gender equality - if you are addressing relationships this is an important one, especially since so many of the world's poor are women.  #41

3d. I'd suggest "Fearlessly Feminine" by Jani Ortlund. 83

3d. Productivity with disabilities. 127

3d. Suggest: Beyond the Worship Wars (Long) 85

3d: Don't know right now (of a topic) but the biomimcry book by Janine Benyus is very interesting. #44

3D: suggests: Stuff by John Cobb. #17


4. We plan to issue some of the following sayings in five formats (flyer, bumper sticker, bulletin insert, stuffer and label) on ready-to-copy paper masters and on our web site so that you can easily spread the word about issues that concern you. The slogans I have marked + are worth using. Those marked #, definitely not.


4B: "$$$ for peace ed., Not ROTC." Our son is in ROTC, but I get the point.  So does he...these folks aren't going to go away and bumper stickers will not turn the military into a group of Liberal Dems, or even UCCers...  #17

4B: Demand Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods (**for this one, can you include small type/writing on the back of the flier, on some points of the issue, to explain it to people?  It is a confusing issue.) #28


5. Bumper Sticker Contest. Here are my original ideas/slogans:


5. Spend Time on Your Children, Not Money

All Children are Our Children

Remember... It's "Justice For All" #50

5. The Best You Can Give?  You!!!

Relationships -- The Essence Of Simplicity

Community -- The Essence Of Simplicity

Note: Any of the following could be adapted by Adding "I" or "We" Or "Do you" (with an ending ?) before the text provided

*Love America Too Much Not To Change 

Or Love America Enough To Change

*Love Earth Too Much Not To Change

Or Love Earth Enough To Change

*Love Creation Too Much Not To Change

Or Love Creation Enough To Change

*Love Your Grandkids Too Much Not To Change Or Love Your Grandkids Enough To Change #31


5. It ain't easy staying green. -Planet Earth

"I want it" ≠ "I need it"

Pull the plug on urban sprawl   #4

5.  Save trees, burn copy machines.

Minimize your stuff, Maximize your life!  #7

5. 30 + MPG  That's Patriotism! #24

5. Decide to Declutter

Protect Your Space: Stuff Happens.

Close Your Eyes and See: You Have All You Need      Find Ecstasy in Simplicity#34

5. Liberals use resources conservatively.

Peace is Profitable.  #18

5. Pride goes before destruction, but love never fails.  // Get Right with God, America (overlay this on the same background as the "Power of Pride" bumper stickers that drive me crazy!) #29

5. George Bush - I'm praying for you to see the light! // "There is no way to peace - peace is the way"- I forgot who said this, but it's a great one...or // How did our oil get under their sand? #44

5. People are alike!  They are just taught different things about themselves. #8

5. ARMS are for hugging. #69

5. Christmas: from God - with love. #98

5. Compassion, not consumption

Health care for all people

Buy less, live more

Experience silence, hear God

Build character, not wealth

It's all about God

Love - it's what's in short supply. 83

5. Don't mess with God's stuff. 86

5. Equal partners with the Earth.  Equal respect for total welfare of all. 76

5. Find your courage; change your world.

Not < not > just =

Peace will come.  72

5. KISS: Keep It Simple Saint  (I do not recall if I've borrowed/used, etc. this, but I like it.) 147

5. Peace on Earth is Peace with Earth   #148

5. Please don't kill me because you're late. 78

5. Share stuff!  #96

5. Share what inspires, strengthens and affirms our life journey. Experience God's gifts: explore the connection between creativity, health, and faith. 127

5. Simply mothering. There is no gift to a child that matches a hug. 56

5. Abide peacefully on the Earth, rather than abuse it. 138

5. Live a simple life. 124

5. What are you running from? 80

5: Stop terrorism not war. 123

5: here are my original ideas/slogans: something along this line, seen on a bumper at the winter olympics in Utah: "go USA, go world"  better than just go USA at least... #17

5: Living simply is a smart thing to do. #46

A message from God: love one another. #51


6. Alternatives plans to issue resources from the past, such as "Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?" in AUDIO format.


6. I'm not interested in audio versions of past issues, maybe of future ones for vision impaired folks would be a  nice option to offer. #36


7. Alternatives is considering offering an INTERNET RADIO service (prerecorded), such as

A. Streaming audio (software is free)

B. Downloadable files (software is one-time $20)


7. I wouldn't use either. 84

7:  not interested in sound stuff. #11

7b: I've used "real player" and "quicktime."  #17


8. Alternatives should offer its NEW audio releases on internet radio, CD, DVD, MP3


8. All four. All I have right now is internet radio and CD, but other people have other things.  Perhaps people most "into" Alternatives don't have any/many of these available, I don't know. #19


10. I've found Alternatives' new web site home page

__ helpful

__ my word would be : _______


10. Don't know. 92

10. Haven't used. 79

10. "info rich."  101

10. chaos. 123

10. acceptable. 59

10. Never been there.  82

10. Ok. 130

10. cluttered. 143

10. hard to find stuff - seems old fashioned.  73

10. not used it.  69

10. homepage was fine - I seemed to be going in circles when I was looking at the "whose birthday" info on Monday, but it could have been me - after all, it was Monday morning, and I was sick with a cold...  #40

10: ??????  What do you mean?  Didn't see anything about the'"word."  122

10: haven't checked it yet.  #39

10: I'm ignorant -- haven't seen it yet! 140

10: No time... 62

10....unexplored. 57

10. boring (but I haven't been there in awhile -- maybe you've made changes since then) #36

10. With my Summer 2003 Resource Guide sitting here in front of me, I couldn't easily find your website address on the cover or on the back.  Not on the inside of the cover either.  I first found it on the order form (which I first looked for in the middle and then found on the inside back page).  The second place I found the website address was at the top of page 3. #19


11. Comments on Alternatives resources (quality, price, presentation), service, etc.


11. I find that the resource guide is very good and very helpful, at the same time, it is quite busy and full.  I realize that you are trying to make the best use of paper, space, postage, etc., and I appreciate that.  At the same time, I feel it is so full and busy that it's hard for me to grasp all that is available -- because I don't have enough TIME to actually "digest" every word in every section. I'm not sure what the solution is. Perhaps a LITTLE more space between "pictures" and "body type" and section headings? NOTE: I offer these suggestions not to criticize, but in the hope that they might help. I think Alternatives is wonderful and you all do a great job of trying to make people and places better.  Keep it up! #19

11. Again, it's been awhile, but it isn't as slick as we've come to expect from the big players like Amazon, but it is functional. #36

11. Have been very pleased with the items I have bought from Alternatives so far - the CD of 30 years of Alternatives resources and the book Robin Hood Was Right. I am likely to buy more in the future (would buy more now if it weren't for the fact that I am living simply). #47

11. I have used Alternatives resources and I appreciate the emphasis on justice and peacemaking and different ideas to current celebrations. #48

11. Love the "60" e-mail messages #49

11. It is very hard to figure out the difference between the multiple versions and prices for the same title, and therefore very difficult to know which I want to order! #31

11. I think you offer a wonderful selection at reasonable prices. #5

11. Words I would use: Very good, reasonable, interesting, promotable. #7

11. An excellent one stop source for materials which can be difficult to locate and purchase.  #3

11. The type, layout, etc. is almost always cumbersome and hard to navigate (I'm talking the catalog here, not the website). It is not at all user-friendly and inviting. Too crowded and disorganized. #4

11. All good-not all useful to me, but intriguing. 11

11. Good to excellent. #9

11. I've said it before and I'll say it again...you guys rock!  Thanks for being there.  I wish I could meet other folks near me through you somehow... #14

11. WONDERFUL!  #26

11. You've done a great job...I just do not order as much as I'd like due to limited budget.  #25

11. I've never purchased anything that I haven't been pleased with. #23

11. Too much to choose among. #28

11. Grateful. 138

11.  I keep trying to publicize your resources with my congregation!  Wish I could get a study group going someday. 125 

11.  I'm very pleased with Alternatives resources.  I think the quality and price are good.  I have found the service on the phone to be very friendly and helpful. I did order over the web and probably wouldn't do that again due to mistakes in both the order and the billing.  Since the order page comes up with the "worst case" scenario, there is no way to check the pricing until the invoice comes.  Unless there is a way to get accurate pricing displayed, I think I'll stick with the mail in the future.

The other thing that would be helpful to me in the future would be to make it clear if membership discounts apply to resources that are on sale or are discounted.  For example, when Alternatives had its 30% sale in honor of 30 years, were member allowed to take and additional 10% off the sale price or not?  If we ordered 2 or more copies were we supposed to take 30% + 10% off the first copy, then 10% off each additional copy.  I just found it rather confusing and I don't like calling to ask because 10% seems like splitting hairs to me.  Yet I'd be more inclined to buy an extra copy of something for a friend or our church if it seemed like an extra good deal.  When I have questions like this one, I tend to set the catalogue aside and then forget about it, rather than calling for more information -- not necessarily the most intelligent thing to do, but it is what happens. #54

11. In re: to your website -- I think it would be helpful to have pictures of items with brief descriptions and prices, then a link for "more info" would be easier to navigate. 141

11. It's all fine. And actually, I'd rather have audiocassettes than Cds. Call me old-fashioned. 141

11. Very creative and good reminder. 124        

11. Alternatives resources have been a great help to me in my search for information that I can share with students and like-minded friends. Thanks! 99

11. Excellent. 69

11. Excellent. 148

11. Fair. 96

11. Generally well-priced and well-chosen. Wish I had a bigger budget! Catalog blurbs are helpful. 85

11. Good quality! 79

11. Great! Keep up the good work! 68

11. GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 94

11. Great. 136

11. I enjoy the 60 second emails, can't say I've purchased anything recently or visited the website much. 141

11. I have found it helpful. #66

11. I have never bought anything but I look a couple of times a month and go over and over the paper catalog dreaming of what I would buy if I could.  I feel bad I don't support you financially - once my husband is through school I hope to start my own collection.  I love your site.  You help me dream of what I want my life to be like.  Thanks. 126       

11. I know you wish to remain simple, but sometimes more color or graphics or something to make it more attractive might be helpful.  58

11. I think the quality of your resources is excellent and the resources are priced fairly.  I have always received fast, excellent service when ordering products. Thank you! 89

11. I was a Christian school teacher and I found your literature refreshing.  Some religious literature is simple and escapist. I ordered your catalogue for our school library. I hope the librarians will realize the valuable life enriching substance to the books you list. 101

11. I'm just glad you're there...you support and promote everything I believe in.  Thanks for what you do, and keep up the good work. 53

11. OK simple. 59

11. Prefer discount prices. 62

11. Satisfactory. 86

11. Sorry I'm unable to answer so many of your questions. I usually scan the 60 second blurbs -- those offering specific ideas are generally more helpful to me than those advertising resources.  I find the print resource catalog confusing and difficult to read.  Wish it could be more graphically simple and appealing, and easier to navigate (I'm never quite sure how to find what I'm looking for!).  I haven't seen the website yet, so can't comment on that.  Keep up the good work.  Thanks for your ministry!  Shalom. [name]  P.S.  Sorry this is late - couldn't get the link to work earlier, and this is my first chance to try again.  And I don't need the gift certificate - would rather you put those resources back into your work. 140

11. Terrific! 78

11. Good prices. The resource listing on the web feels overwhelming and it's hard to figure out what the current deals are. I found it frustrating when you had that 30% off sale that the prices weren't marked on the web. Overall, I think you all are doing great work.  73

11. I wish there was a way to buy your books cheaper or used.  I am a simple liver and the only books I buy are at used book sales.  I would love to read so many of your books, but I simply don't have the money for then.  But I realize that you all do need to make money to survive! 91

11: Shipping and handling costs are high. #45

11: Great - keep it up! #43

11: I love your items and enjoy each catalogue.  They are useful in teaching and personal spirituality. #46

11: I really like it! #44

11: Lots of variety of titles, prices are quite reasonable. #40

11? Appreciate the provocative nature of the resources I've used - raises awareness, encourages personal reflection. 71

11? Useful to me and my church. Keep it up! 63

11? I think that the resources are well used.  I would personally like your website to feature more stories like "My Year Without Macy's."  That made me think long and hard about why and when I actually started having "affluenza."

Women are especially targeted in ads and you should also address that. Shaming is a key component of ad campaigns. A perfect example is the feminine products. #56


12-a. "Simple Living Guided Journal"

12-b. Format

12-c. I prefer 48 pages, 96 pages, 365 pages

12-d. Type of recycled paper

12-e. I prefer paper/illustrations

12-f.  1) Advent-Christmas, 2) Lent-Easter.

12-g. I would be willing to pay $5, $7, $10 each.


12? I don't consider "journaling" passe.  I've kept a journal for 30-some years now.  I like journals to be sewn-signature bound, with good, smooth paper that takes fountain pen ink easily and cleanly. (I use several "antique" Parker 51 fountain pens, and have done so since I inherited my first from my father, who died when I was a young man.) #13

12a. Yes, I prefer a journal designed for both private thoughts & ideas to share. Journaling is wonderful and healthy.  My journals contain all sorts of ideas: private thoughts, ideas and memories.  I find that I cannot keep a separate journal for every little thing -- doesn't work.  I need a book where I can write whatever I want/need to write.  It doesn't bother me to have private thoughts mixed in with ideas and memories.  The most important feature for me is LINES with enough space between them to write legibly! #19

12a.  No: You should promote computer journaling and not waste more paper. I much prefer writing journal entries on paper, with a pen.  #47

12a. I prefer a journal designed for both private thoughts & ideas to share. This is an interesting concept.  I like journals that give me topic headings to prompt my writing -- that's very helpful for me (e.g. One thing I learned today is . . . or The thing I most want to follow-up on tomorrow is. . . or People I want to include in my prayers are . . . ) #36


12. Other format - 5.5 x 8.5 (half of 8.5 x 11 turned sideways), 3-hole punched for binder. 140

12b. Other format: variety to adapt my own learning and creative memory ideas = memories with a mission. (i.e., I want to scrapbook my values about how U2's music captures some of my hopes and alternative vision...how, using your pages? 101

12b. Other format: 8.5 x 5.5 loose leaf. 96

12b. Other format: I like the 8.5 x 5.5 but find spiral bound notebooks to be easier to use. #23

12b. Other format: Put a format on the website as well. I journal both ways depending on what audience I am writing for. I also type most of my letters but do write some. The bound journals are lovely but I find myself ripping out pages or "messing them up." Then I don't want to use them except as scrap paper. 56

12-b. Other format: Other: 8.5 x 5.5 sheets, punched for a Dayrunner or other type of personal calendar (I have one I am planning to use for a journal when I run out of blank books) #47

12-b. Other format: _x_ 8.5 x 5.5 bound booklet -- I like heavy metal spiral binding with cardboard covers -- that's my favorite journal to date.  Spiral binding (though not the flimsy kind) enables easy turning of pages and folding the journal over as you're writing.  Typical binding is too restrictive for me.  A binder just sounds yucky.  I guess all that means I should have picked other.  OOPS.

X so there!__ Other:  #36


12c. Depends on format, content. 90

12c. Smaller=nicer. Thanks for asking! 69


12d. I would be willing to pay...

_x No more. Use 30% recycled paper. -- but heavier stock is preferable. #36


12e. I prefer... Various colors of paper with black illustrations (more expensive). Ivory is my color of choice for a journal. #36


12f.  Definitely if there are ample materials for kids! 149

12f. I am... not interested in __#1, __#2. I am practicing Buddhism so these are of less interest to me, though I am sure others will be interested in these. #47


12g. No more than $2 for a quantity. 87


Miscellaneous comments


15 (coupon): Gift will go to local ecology center! 60


Comment: if this isn't too confusing, just send a copy of 2003 "Whose Birthday Is It...? (catholic version) instead of the gift certificate.  Thanks. 84


I guess I haven't paid close enough attention to all you do!  If I had, I'd probably have tried to answer your entire survey, but as it is, I only responded to some of the proposed slogans. #13

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