I appreciated going through the whole process with a survey in front of me and seeing how to improve on what I had. – Workshop Participant


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.

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This session will be beneficial to anyone who wants to start writing surveys or improve their survey writing. If you need to create a survey but don’t know where to start, come to this session!


Offered in a half-day or full-day workshop. The full-day workshop combines a hands-on fundamentals of evaluation session in the morning with the effective survey design workshop in the afternoon.

Previously Presented at

  • Michigan Museum Association
  • Findlay-Hancock Community Foundation
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
  • Visitors Study Association