Volunteer surveys are essential to nonprofits and organizations that rely on volunteerism. Volunteer feedback is valuable to help improve everything from operational planning to company culture. Receiving insight from your volunteer and staff can help you understand their needs and wants, which ultimately helps retention. Here are the steps to creating an effective volunteer survey.
1.Establish Your Survey Goal
What problems are you looking to solve by collecting feedback from your volunteers? Are you looking to measure volunteer impact, volunteer satisfaction, or something else? If you have a high volunteer turn over rate, then volunteer satisfaction should be a top priority. Understanding your shortcomings will allow you to gain insight into your existing issues through survey responses.
For example, if you know scheduling is a pain point in your volunteer management process, you may want to build a question around that pain point and a possible solution to it. Once you have decided what you are trying to measure, then it's time to start building the survey.
Are you looking to improve volunteer retention? Check out - 6 Strategies for Retaining Your Best Volunteers
2. Make it clear and simple
A lengthy survey is a survey that is going to be discarded by a lot of volunteers. You need to respect their time and effort to provide you with data. Ideally, the fewer questions, the better. Shoot for a survey that only takes two to three minutes to complete. When constructing the questions, focus on making them easy to understand and even easier to answer. Open-ended questions are generally a bad idea.
3. Keep your questions neutral
Never construct a question that shares your opinion on the topic. For example, if you're asking the volunteer to rate your product quality don't imply that the product quality is already great by saying "We think our product quality is great, how great do you think it is?".
4. Ask for additional comments
At the end of the survey, always ask the volunteer for optional additional comments. If the volunteer is willing to take a survey, chances are they have some suggestions or concerns they may want to bring up.
5. In multiple-choice questions, keep options balanced
If your question is asking the volunteer to rate something, make sure to include the same number of options for both sides of the spectrum. For example:
- Very good
- Neither good nor bad
- Very Bad
You might also want to include an "N/A" option if the volunteer does not know or want to answer the question.
6. Pick A Easy Surveying tool
You want to ensure your survey is easy and accessible. Online and Mobile friendly surveys are essential in today's world. People are way more likely to fill out something if its convenient. Here are a few survey tools:
Test your survey many times. Like a writer must proofread their writing, a survey creator must proofread their surveys. Grammar errors or poor questions can have several adverse effects, such as bad data or disinterest by the volunteers.
7. Distribution & Timing
To capture the best data possible, you will want to distribute your survey immediately after an event or initiative when people volunteered. This will ensure that their experience is fresh in their mind allowing them to respond to question more accurately. Distributing the survey through your volunteer management app or other channels in which you have been communicating with them should also increase completion rates.
Looking for a new volunteer management tool? Then check out - Why Organizations Are Adopting Technology to Recruit & Retain Volunteers
Feedback collected through your survey will be incredibly valuable as you plan and grow your volunteer management program. The act of asking for your volunteer feedback has a positive impact on volunteer satisfaction because you show them you care about their experience.