What Can a Baseball Team Teach You About Customer Satisfaction?

Over the past couple of years, Major League Baseball's Oakland A's have implemented a number of popular offerings for fans: new family seating areas, lounges, food trucks, and more.

What is A's President Dave Kaval's secret?


Every week, Kaval offers fans the opportunity to meet with him to discuss fan issues. His goal: understand his customers and create innovative products and services that meet their needs.

How often – and in what ways - does your camp offer your customers a chance to be heard? 

You may already provide families the opportunity to give feedback each summer through a survey like the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s CSI survey. You may also survey your staff to understand their needs. 

Have you thought about offering in-person opportunities for campers, parents, and staff to discuss both their concerns and what they love about camp? Consider how you could provide “office hours” like the Oakland A’s for your parents to supplement your existing surveys.

And how about your donors and alumni? How might you better understand what these important constituents need and want from you? Have you asked any of your donors why they give and what they know about your camp? Have you considered a donor survey or other data collection methods to get a more general feel for how connected your donors feel to your mission?

Bottom Line: Like Dave Kaval and the Oakland A’s, if you listen to your customers and then act on what you learn, your camp can have more enthusiastic fans than ever before.

Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at