29 Jan 2020 On the Table Survey Results Show Optimism and Engagement in Community
What: Results of On the Table® Southwest Florida community survey to be released to the community.
Who: Southwest Florida Community Foundation and partners throughout Southwest Florida
When: Thursday, January 30, 10 a.m.
Where: Collaboratory, 2031 Jackson Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901
Why: The initiative focused on facilitating organic, informal community conversations to learn from each other and to inspire action across communities that offered a post-survey
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will reveal the survey results from their inaugural On the Table® Southwest Florida day of conversations that took place October 17, 2019. The survey reveals that participants are optimistic about the future of the community.
An estimated 1,000 Southwest Florida residents gathered together for the inaugural On the Table day of conversations. The initiative focused on facilitating organic, informal community conversations to learn from each other and to inspire action across communities.
Throughout the day, conversations covered hundreds of topics. Hosts could focus on topics suggested by their guests or use guided conversation prompts centered on community strengths, needs, and next steps. Following the conversations, participants were asked to take a survey that provided a deeper understanding of the community issues they deemed most important. The survey was conducted online as well as on paper by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.
“This has been a unique region-wide opportunity to connect in order to make our communities stronger, safer and more equitable by hearing from each other,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation. “At each table’s conversation, ideas were shared, people have formed connections and, guests have had a voice at the table. This survey went a long way capture their thoughts and insights.”
Survey participants represent a highly engaged segment of the community
Of the estimated 1,000 people who participated in a conversation in October, 320 completed the survey. More than 80 percent (83%) of the participants report being involved in community and neighborhood activities. The respondents believe residents like themselves can make a significant impact in improving their community.
A positive outlook and hope for the future
The survey respondents have positive feelings and perceptions about the community and approach the issues and challenges facing the community with a strong sense of hope for the future – 72% are more hopeful about what the future holds for their community, compared with only 28% who are more worried. This strong sense of optimism prevails regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity or county of residence. A significant number of respondents say the community is more united than divided, and an even larger proportion believe the area where they live has a strong sense of community. The full survey results will be made available at www.floridacommunity.com/OTT after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 31.
Opportunities and priorities for change
Despite the overwhelming positive tone, the survey reveals some areas of opportunity for the community which are outlined in the report.
Rooted in a National Initiative
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is hosting the annual On the Table Southwest Florida. The initiative replicates an annual civic engagement initiative “On the Table®” developed by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014. Since then, the initiative has fostered civic engagement and generated hundreds of actionable ideas from tens of thousands of Chicago-area residents and has also been replicated nationally in more than 30 communities across the nation.
Support for On the Table, Powered by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation advances work to help the region attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and create a culture of civic engagement.