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Want to know what people think? Ask them.

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The easiest way to find out what people think is to ask them: about their priorities, experiences with your program, opportunities to improve, or success stories.

These days there are many options for collecting information from your staff, participants, or the community. Most online survey software includes a free option for very basic surveys. You could use SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, or Wufoo. These tools are great if your aim is to get feedback from people you know. If you need input from outside your network, consider using Ask Your Target Market or similar businesses, which allow you to identify your target market (including details from age to relationship and parental status) and guarantees a specific number of responses. These tools make simple analysis a snap.

After selecting the survey tool, you need to think about the survey questions. Here are some guidelines:

1.       Keep the questions simple and easy to understand. No complex phrases or jargon please!

2.      Only ask 1 question at a time.

         “Were you satisfied with your cookie and coffee? “ does not allow for the possibility that someone was not equally satisfied with both.

3.       Only ask questions you need. Your participants’ time is valuable. Don’t waste it.

4.       Open ended questions are MUCH harder to analyze than multiple choice, so use them sparingly.

5.       Use a 3 or 5 point scale.

Ex:                                               Disagree – Neutral - Agree                   

OR          Strongly Disagree – Disagree – Neutral – Agree – Strongly Agree

6.       Aim for an 8th grade reading level (or lower depending on the audience). Instructions for assessing reading level are here.

Have more questions about survey development? Send us an email at thoughtwell.org!

Megan JohansonData, Surveys, Outreach