The LGP Fellows have at last completed their 2011 POP project! After collective research, they broke into two teams: programming and membership. The Fellows used their extensive research to identify new programmatic activities that will serve to connect the Scott Arboretum with the Swarthmore College community. They also used their research to create new strategies for membership growth.
The programming team was divided into three groups: student life, academics, and community outreach. In the student life group, the Fellows outlined educational and recreational activities that would raise awareness of the Arboretum on campus. The academics group examined how to best get the faculty involved through potential connections between the Arboretum collections and the academic curriculum. They used information from benchmarking research to determine how the Arboretum could formalize this curricular collaboration. The community outreach group identified areas for growth, such as family programming, and highlighted the potential for the Arboretum to join regional events like the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.
The membership team interviewed expert professionals to identify opportunities to increase membership and improve the membership program at the Scott Arboretum. Strategies for success included restructuring their membership program staff, reframing membership levels and benefits, and proposing new approaches to membership growth and retention through marketing and surveys.
The Fellows have produced a thorough and informative document from which the Scott Arboretum can build its programming and membership. Congratulations to Raakel Toppila for her excellent work as team leader for POP 2011 and a big thanks to the POP Advisory Committee for their advice and guidance.