SurveyMonkey in a local church is a really good idea. Today I’d like to outline 3 of those uses, and show how to set up each use-case. SurveyMonkey isn’t the only service available, but it is easy to use, and offers a valuable free plan that gives plenty of features.

SurveyMonkey in a Local Church for Guest Feedback

surveymonkey in a local church

At my local church, Greenwood, we have a SurveyMonkey form set up to gather feedback from first-time guests. When a person turns in a connection card with their information on it, or signs up for childcare or an event for the first time in our system, we send them a follow up email that has a link to a 5 question survey. For this example I’ll detail the survey, since this is the one I expect many of you will want to implement immediately.

The first question is: How did you hear about Greenwood? The person has 5 possible answers to choose from. They can pick from “internet,” “outreach,” “signs,” “friend/family,” or “something else.”

Next they are asked “Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with Greenwood Baptist Church?” Respondents can answer: “very satisfied,” “somewhat satisfied,” “neither satisfied or dissatisfied,” “somewhat dissatisfied,” or “very dissatisfied.”

Question number three is “How likely is it that you would recommend Greenwood to a friend or colleague?” Respondents can select a number on a scale, with 0 being not at all likely and 10 being extremely likely.

The fourth question asks, “Which of the following words would you use to describe our Sunday Worship?” They can select as many of the following as they wish: “Friendly,” “High quality,” “Useful,” “Unique,” “ineffective,” “poor quality,” “unfriendly,” “frustrating,” or “welcoming.”

Question number five asks, “How long have you been attending our church?” We give respondents six options: “This is my first time,” “Less than six months,” “Six months to a year,” “1-2 years,” “3 or more years,” and “I haven’t attended yet.” We know it seems weird to have such long durations in the answer field, but when we first started doing these surveys we really did get some answers that were 1-2 years of attendance before they turned in a card.

The final question is open ended. We ask, “Do you have any other comments, questions, or concerns?” As you would expect, every now and then we get some really odd answers in this field.

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SurveyMonkey in a Local Church for Event Evaluation

A less fun, but extremely helpful use of surveys is to evaluate an event after the fact. For example, we ran a quick survey out to all of the people who signed up for Easter tickets this year. The survey went out after the last Easter Worship service, and ran for two days. After those two days, I had 80 something completed surveys. So, the data that we collected was statistically significant because it represented more than 5% of our total attendance on Easter weekend.

When using SurveyMonkey to evaluate an event at a local church I recommend using a scale system to rate different aspects of the event. For example, you might ask “on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely pleased, how pleased were you with the parking team for this event?” You can insert any other areas you want to evaluate in there too. Of course I always like to leave an open ended response blank in case people want to leave their own comments. Sometimes those comments are painful, and sometimes those comments are extremely insightful.

SurveyMonkey in a Local Church to Test an Idea

Another way we’ve used SurveyMonkey at Greenwood is to test ideas. One of the ideas that I’ve tested was an email newsletter. I simply asked people about their communication preferences, and whether or not they used the calendar on their phone. I ran that survey before investing the time and effort into designing a monthly calendar newsletter with a link to the iCal file for the month’s events. By running the survey I saw that 42% of those who responded wanted to get information about upcoming church events via email when given the choice of facebook, instagram, text message, and email.

As a second example, we tested different times for new small groups before announcing new groups. I ran a survey that asked if people were interested in being a part of a new small group. Of course, several said yes they were interested. One of the other survey questions asked them to check the box of two of the available times. Then they were asked if childcare was necessary for them to attend. Based on that information, I saw that the majority of people would best be served by adding new adult groups on Wednesday night on campus, since childcare was an important factor in their decision.

Conclusions about using SurveyMonkey in your Local Church

I really hope that you will use this information to build surveys and learn information about your congregation. Rather than take the results that we found in our context and expect them to carry over to your context, a tool like SurveyMonkey allows you to learn about your context. Yes it takes a little effort up front. But the ability to know and respond to the needs of your congregation is worth much more than the 30min or so investment that you’ll need to make to design a survey.

If you enjoyed this post on SurveyMonkey in a local church, you will likely enjoy some of my other posts, such as Using Big Data in a Local Church, and my Data Driven Analysis of Easter 2018. Also, if you want to take bible-tech in the car, try my podcast.

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