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Posts Tagged ‘surveys’

Strategic-PlanningThis series might be called a series of “reality posts” since we are following LST in real time through its strategic planning process.  To see earlier posts, go to the Categories drop down box and find the Strategic Planning Series.  Be sure and take the poll at the end of this blog post.

According to our planning schedule, March and April were to be given to gathering information from LST’s different constituencies, a task that sounds easier than it is.

We first had to decide which groups/subgroups we were going to survey. Some groups were obvious choices:  workers, donors, and missionaries. But then the harder questions surfaced:

  • Were we going to subdivide workers into campus workers, church workers, and FriendSpeak workers, sending each group different questionnaires?
  • What about donors who have only given to workers as opposed to those donors who support the ministry directly and regularly?
  • Should we send to church leaders whose congregations send one team a year or restrict it to those who send multiple teams? Should those surveys go to the preacher, an elder, the LST coordinator, or someone else?

We settled on five different surveys: Workers, Donors, Sending churches, Host sites, and FriendSpeak workers.

We chose to use Surveymonkey.com which would let us ask demographic questions and then sort any single survey for comparison. Reports can be broken out of just one survey of workers that would allow us to compare church workers with campus workers, for instance.

Then we had to compose the questions. That was a process also:  first drafts, followed by second and third drafts, questions scratched for ambiguity, redundancy, and other horrible reasons, then new, more pointed questions added.

After all the revisions were halted, the draft surveys were sent to some “testers” to see if the questions were clear, if they were understood as intended.  The tests resulted in a whole round of further revisions based on suggestions from the testers.

Finally, almost a month after starting the project, the surveys were ready to go out—but then it took another week getting the right email lists in place and, in the case of the sending churches especially, determining who should receive the survey,  then getting their email address.

Finally . . .

We sent out 9,943 surveys!  650 emails bounced with bad addresses; 265 people opted out of the survey, but that meant there were still 9028 good emails. We received about a 15% return rate on these surveys, which is pretty good, but we had to send out two reminders to get this result.

Our last group to survey is the staff.  Several weeks ago, we set aside April 18 as staff workshop day. That was today!  Today was the day, we met from 10 – 3pm to gather information.  But I’ll tell you about this meeting in the next SP post.

Before you leave, I’d love to ask YOU for input, so here is a simple but a real question that is surfacing. Help us know what people think by participating in this simple poll. It will take 30 seconds to answer and will be a help to us!

And, you’ll be able to see the results from the blog poll immediately.

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