Surveys are often the first or only evaluation tool used by nonprofits, but poor survey design can produce untrustworthy or irrelevant results. This workshop will introduce the fundamentals of good survey design and will be beneficial to anyone who wants to start writing surveys or improve their survey writing.
You will practice writing and testing survey questions for your own project in a collaborative group environment. Please bring your existing survey to work on (or an idea for a survey you want to create). You will learn strategies to choose, write and test survey questions that are effective for your audience and evaluation purpose. Using skills learned in this workshop, you will be able to write survey questions that improve the usability of the results and your respondents’ experience taking the survey.
As a result of participating in the workshop, participants will:
- Know why to choose a survey over other methods
- Be able to define the purpose of their survey
- Use the survey design process
- Understand the benefits and limitations of different question types
- Learn effective question-writing strategies
- Learn a range of strategies for testing their surveys
- Understand how to encourage survey participation
This workshop covers the fundamentals of effective survey design and is applicable to all survey tools. We will not cover survey graphic design or using particular survey tools – such as online survey software.
Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence
This event will address the following best practices:
- EVAL 1: Nonprofits should have a defined, ongoing, systematic and sustainable process for improving their services, programs and internal processes, using methods appropriate to the size of the organization.
- LEAD 3: Nonprofit leaders should actively seek to understand underlying causes of mission-related issues and use this awareness to focus organization activities.
- PLAN 9: Nonprofit organizations should be responsive to community needs and actively engage and gather input from a variety of sources, such as the board, staff and community members, and other constituents.
- PLAN 10: Nonprofits should confer with their counterparts to determine the need for services, the best practices in delivering them and the effective use of community resources.
- TRANS 3: A nonprofit has a responsibility to establish clear performance measurements, compare results with other organizations when possible and share these results and methodology with its constituents.
Refreshments: Coffee, tea and a light snack will be provided.
Travel: Driving directions and transit options are available on MCN's website.
About the Presenters
Sarah Cohn is a principal consultant at Aurora Consulting. She helps her clients discern their audience’s needs; think about their roles and opportunities as departments, organizations and within broader networks; and build their internal capacity to measure the impact of their organizations and programs. In her experience, complex collaborations with diverse partners succeed when they build in time for listening and honest reflection. She sees her clients as the content experts and herself as the facilitator of nuanced conversations.
Al Onkka is principal consultant at Aurora Consulting. Al is experienced in promoting data-based decision making and organizational learning having worked in the field of evaluation since 2009. Al uses, and builds the capacity of others to use, an evaluative lens to help organizations develop, understand, and improve at the programmatic and organizational level. Al has a master’s degree in evaluation studies from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development and is a member of the Minnesota Evaluation Association’s board of directors.