Results of the Annual Survey


This year’s survey had 180 respondents, which means that over 50% of our membership completed it. That is almost twice as many respondents as last year. Congratulations! This, I believe, is an indicator of an involved membership.

For the first time in several years, we included demographic questions. This was not a comprehensive demographic survey. Some members expressed the belief that a couple of questions were personally intrusive and objected to being “defined” by categories. I wish to assure members that there was never any attempt to attach responses to any individual, so no members will be defined by their answers or their decisions to withhold answers. The entire point of asking these questions was to get a sense of our organization—who we are as a group, where we may need to make accommodations for members who may require services not currently provided, and whether segments of our organization may be underrepresented in the governing and programming aspects of LLI. Some omissions included sexual orientation, physical disabilities, and a category for widowed members. These omissions will be addressed in next year’s survey.

This is what we found:


  • The median year of becoming a member of LLI is 2019.
  • The median year of birth is 1948, with a range of 1930 to 1963.
  • Women outnumber men 4 to 1.
  • Here is the breakdown of those who responded to the ethnicity question: African American (2), Asian (1), Caucasian (160), Native American (1).
  • County of residence was Dutchess (98), Ulster (56), Columbia (10), Greene (3), Saratoga (1). Five members listed their residence as out of state. Of the Dutchess County respondents, 54 live in Rhinebeck and 31 live in Red Hook.
  • The median length of time respondents have resided at their current address is 20 years. Twenty-three members stated that they have lived at their current address for three years, which likely includes people moving into the area during the pandemic. Four respondents moved out of state in that time period. Fifty-two respondents have lived at their current address for 30 or more years.
  • Marital status numbers are: married (93), single (58), other (26).
  • 73 respondents reported living alone, and 105 reported living with one or more persons.
  • The predominant level of formal education is a masters degree.
  • Of the 120 respondents who chose to supply information, the median household income was between $100,000 and $125,000. Since one-third of our respondents chose not to answer this question, this may not be an accurate representation. Of the 180 respondents, 50 reported household incomes less than or equal to $100,000, and of them, 15 had household incomes less than or equal to $50,000. This range is worth noting in making decisions going forward.


The responses to the LLI Bard Curriculum questions were overwhelmingly positive with 156 members stating they were satisfied and only 21 stating that they were not. Many members wished for more “hands-on” classes with personal interaction, and many others wished for more Zoom classes. Some members expressed regret at the loss of hybrid classes, and some expressed the hope that popular small classes would be repeated. Several respondents mentioned the off-Friday social classes as being especially valuable.

Tech Help

Of 180 responses, 156 were aware of Tech Help and 21 were not. Although several members expressed their frustration with ProClass and technology in general, most were impressed with the speedy assistance that they received from the Tech Help Team. Many suggestions were offered to increase Tech Help publicity, and many requested more technical assistance in general.

DEI/Social Justice

The Diversity Equity Inclusion/Social Justice initiative received mostly positive comments. There were several references to the high quality of the DEI/SJ classes that have been offered. Some frustration was expressed regarding the lack of diversity of our membership, but there were no clear-cut suggestions as to how to address this. A few members seemed confused by the initials DEI/SJ, and a couple of respondents claimed to be unfamiliar with the term.

Final Thoughts

Most comments were overwhelmingly positive. LLI makes a significant contribution to so many of our lives, and so many of our members have expressed gratitude. To keep an organization or a program going strong, it is also important to examine the criticisms and the suggestions to see what is feasible and what is brilliant, while also understanding that some suggestions require more resources than we may ever have. Comments in each category will be forwarded to the Committee Chair or Team Leader to be considered.

Several members have requested more Zoom classes. Several members have requested greater opportunity to get into the smaller hands-on classes. A few respondents cited the effect of ProClass registration skewing opportunities to get into desired classes in favor of those members with better computer skills. These are issues that Council, Curriculum Committee, and Registration will continue to work on. 

There was some feedback that sexual orientation and widowed status should have been included in the demographic questions. This has been noted and will be carefully considered as next year’s survey is planned. Another area that was not covered is physical disability. When considering a population such as ours, it is an important issue to consider, especially when scheduling class locations and parking accessibility.

I am humbled and gratified by the serious attention so many members put into responding to this survey. This is my first rodeo so to speak when it comes to designing a survey, and I gratefully picked the brains of LLI members who have far more knowledge and experience of the survey world. I also reached way back in my memory to the two statistics courses I took so long ago. My hope is to take the feedback so generously offered and to obtain at the very least an interview with one of the professional survey people in the Hudson Valley. This will make next year’s survey better. Anyone reading this, please do not hesitate to offer suggestions at mailto:[email protected].