I love surveys and evaluation. Without knowing what people are really thinking/feeling, we are doing ministry with blinders on, seeing only what we want to see. Sadly, though, people do not get as excited about filling out surveys as I get about sending them. We have learned that a little bit of bribery goes a long way in getting the feedback we need.
Over the past few weeks we have been evaluating the culture in our preschool ministry. We wanted feedback from parents and from volunteers. We went two different bribery routes with them.
Our best form of bribery was for our parents. We offered two choices of Parents’ Night Outs. The only way to get the link to register for them was to complete our online survey. We filled both of the nights within 3 days! We probably had 25 responses within the first couple hours after the survey was released. We used our paid childcare workers to cover these nights but if we do it again in the future I will use volunteers and students to keep the cost down.
For volunteers we offered a contest between the various service hours. Whichever hour had the highest percentage of response was awarded a pancake breakfast before they served. It was fun and light-hearted, but it also gave us a chance to connect and encourage them. We got a great response, though not quite as great as when we were giving out free baby-sitting. 🙂
Compare these responses to the survey I sent to my elementary volunteers this week. I offered no bribe, mainly because I was out of money. 🙂 And I’ve gotten about 15 responses total. That was ok – I wanted a general feel for what was going on. In the other surveys, I wanted more of an in-depth analysis. You get what you put into it, but you have to balance because you can’t over-bribe for every single thing.
You can see our volunteer survey here (but please don’t fill it out).
You can see our parent survey here (but please don’t fill it out).
What do you do to get feedback from your people? What have you found that works?