In April, we invited friends and donors to help shape the content, format and frequency of our future communications by responding to an online survey. We got a great response, and here is what we learned :

Friends applaud focus: ethical leadership - critical thinking – solutions for Africa

Respondents agree that Ashesi is bringing lasting change to Africa, and urged us to continue our focus in three areas: educating ethical leaders, cultivating critical thinking and problem solving skills, and empowering young Africans to create solutions for Africa's challenges.

Respondents also value Ashesi’s commitment to providing opportunities for African women and students from poor families. People appreciated the fact that women make up close to half of the Ashesi student body, and that nearly 40% of Ashesi students receive financial aid.

More communication please

The percentage of friends who want a quarterly email newsletter (45%) was almost tied with the percentage who want to hear from us “any time there’s news” (44%). In general, friends urged us to keep them informed of Ashesi’s news, progress, plans and accomplishments.

We’ll continue our emphasis on a fairly comprehensive quarterly email newsletter, and also send occasional brief emails when we have something important to share. And in response to requests, our founder and president, Patrick Awuah, will share his thoughts in a new column in our quarterly newsletter.

Thanks for your comments

We received hundreds of written comments, and we read every one. Respondents praised our mission, our effective programs, and our high quality and integrity. We received thoughtful suggestions for ways to promote Ashesi to a broader audience, and suggestions for future courses. We wish we could implement every suggestion. Unfortunately, due to our focus on keeping our overhead very low, we don’t have the manpower to follow up on many ideas. (Ashesi has only one paid staff person in the US…we are a lean organization!) But we will keep all the suggestions handy for possible future use.

Thanks for completing the survey and helping us raise $3,600 to support Ashesi!

We thank the 144 friends—out of 828 who received the email invitation to the survey—who took the time to fill out our on-line survey. It’s valuable to learn what our friends and donors think. And thanks to an anonymous donor who pledged $25 for every survey we received, the Ashesi University Foundation will receive $3,600 to support the school!