Should We Conduct Our Survey Online?

You asked… and we are happy to deliver! With The NCS, you now have the option to conduct your survey entirely online. Web-only response rates have finally risen to legitimate levels – while not on par with mail, they’ve surpassed telephone response rates. This option may be the right one for your community!


  • Lower cost
  • More “green”
  • Residents appreciate use of technology
  • Faster data collection time
  • Quality methods used – including weighting your data to reflect community makeup


  • Not great for older adults
  • Not great if community has lower adoption of home computer use and high-speed Internet
  • Response rates are still lower than for a traditional mailed survey

When Considering Conducting your Survey Online Only…

NRC staff can help you assess whether online-only is for you, but start by considering:

  • Sociodemographics and tech-savviness of population
  • Political climate related to embracing technology and desire to “go green”
  • Past response rates if you’ve surveyed before; if you haven’t surveyed, we can provide an estimate based on your region and sociodemographics.
  • The importance of cost savings

Choose from Two Web Options for The National Citizen Survey™

  • Both replace mail data collection completely!
  • You receive a full report, benchmark comparisons and statistical adjustment of results to reflect the entire community’s demographics
  • You also receive the User Guide and Uses Playbook
Option 1: The Scientific Option
  • It’s truly a scientific web-only option with random sampling and a calculated margin of error
  • Since there aren’t comprehensive lists of email addresses for your community’s residents, we sample randomly from all households (just like a mailed survey)
Option 2: The Non-Scientific Option
  • It’s not a scientific option… but with enough responses, we think it’s a great option over not surveying at all
  • You promote the survey – we’ll give you some templates for flyers and messages
  • Anyone in your community can log in to complete the survey
  • We’ll set with you the target number of completed surveys (we recommend at least 300)