Understanding the needs of your community is crucial to ensuring resident satisfaction and planning for recovery from COVID-19 impacts.

 

The National Community Survey (The NCS) is developed and provided by Polco / National Research Center's industry leading experts. We are here to help you move your community forward.


Why The National Community Survey Is Important Now More Than Ever

The NCS is eligible for CARES Act funding when used for informing COVID-19 recovery.

City managers and local government leaders across the nation can use The National Community Survey™ (The NCS™) now to:

  • Engage residents safely and effectively
  • Free up staff time 
  • Budget and raise funds
  • Measure performance
  • Make evidence-based decisions and strategic plans
  • Guide economic recovery and growth

Tried and Trusted Community Survey

The National Community Survey is the gold standard in community assessments today. This benchmarking survey provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of livability and resident perspectives about local government services, policies and management. Hundreds of communities in nearly every U.S. state conduct The NCS.

Our researchers use scientific survey methods and best practices of the modern day to guarantee valid findings and put your results into meaningful context. Results draw from the largest resident opinion database of its kind, representing well over 30 million Americans. The NCS compares local results with benchmarks compiled from surveys conducted across the U.S.

The NCS is a tried-and-trusted enterprise of Polco / National Research Center, Inc. and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). It was developed by experts to produce clear, unbiased, actionable results that local government leaders can rely on.

The National Community Survey_Citizen Survey_National Research Center_NRC

Voice of the People Award Winner

Voice of the People Awards

Communities that have administered The National Community Survey in a given calendar year are eligible to participate in the VOP awards. Learn more.

The NCS Services

The National Community Survey has multiple pricing options and we are happy to work with your budget.Contact us today to get a quote or learn more about funding your survey with the CARES Act.

Step One: Choose Your Basic Service Collection Method

Step Two: Choose Your Add-On Options

Step Three: Start Enrollment

01.

Step One: Choose Your Basic Service Collection Method

02.

Step Two: Choose Your Add-On Options

03.

Step Three: Start Enrollment

The NCS Basic Service Includes

Full report of results, plus multiple layers of reporting to meet the needs of different stakeholders

Responses weighted to reflect characteristics of your entire community

Benchmarking against more than 500 citizen survey results

Tracking of results and response rates by geographic area

Opt-in web survey included in addition to the scientific, random-sampled survey

Space reserved for custom questions specific to your jurisdiction, crafted with guidance from your NRC project manager

*Exclusive access to the NRC Playbook of Strategies

*Exclusive access to the NRC Resource Group

*Contact your Project Manager for access to the NRC Playbook of Strategies and NRC Resource Group.


Collection Methods

ONLINE ONLY

$6,265 Subscription Only
  • All survey recipients complete the survey online on the Polco platform.
  • Use of Polco for online reporting with national benchmark comparisons.
  • City responsible for recruiting respondents to complete survey.

ONLINE WITH MAILED INVITATIONS

$12,215 Subscription Only
  • All survey recipients complete the survey online on the Polco platform.
  • Use of Polco for online reporting with national benchmark comparisons.
  • NRC will mail invitations to complete survey online.

Learn More About Our Three Basic Service Collections

WEB DATA COLLECTION

Contact Us for Pricing
  • Sample size of 1,800 households included
  • Households contacted via mailed invitations using a random sample from a USPS address list

OPEN PARTICIPATION WEB DATA COLLECTION

all residents are eligible
Contact Us for Pricing
  • You promote participation
  • No random sampling
  • No mailings

Cancellation Policy

We will withhold an administrative fee of $700 from any refund for a cancellation before hours/costs are expended; once the project work has begun and money has been spent (hours or hard costs), we’re unable to make a refund.

Add-On Options

Mailing materials will include dual-language instructions so respondents can complete the survey online in Spanish.

Subscription:

$945

One-Time Purchase:

$980

The postcards and cover letters will include an-in language paragraph, giving instructions in-language on how to complete the survey online in the selected language. ( Hard copies of the non-English survey would result in additional fees.)

Subscription

$2695

One-Time Purchase:

$2870

Subscription:

$2380

One-Time Purchase:

$2520

 The Basic Service allows some minor modifications to the template survey, and assistance with custom question development. Inclusion of unique line items and larger changes involve an additional charge.

Subscription:

$945

One-Time Purchase:

$1015

NRC may recommend that you consider increasing the mailing size to bring about a better margin of error for the overall reporting and when comparing geographic subgroups.

700 additional addresses (2400 total): $2720

1500 additional addresses (3200 total): $5210

 In addition to the standard three-part mailing, all households will receive a fourth mailing of a reminder postcard.

Subscription:

$2065 (1000 additional households)

One-Time Purchase:

$1265 (1000 additional households)

Households will receive two mailings of postcard invitations, and will NOT receive a hard copy of the survey.

1000 additional addresses

Subscription: $2065

1000 additional addresses

One-Time Purchase:

$2170

Add unique ID’s to track household location.

Subscription:

$735

One-Time Purchase:

$770

Crosstabulations will be provided in a separate report for up to five demographic questions on the survey. Statistically significant differences will be noted in the tables.

Subscription:

$945

One-Time Purchase:

$1015

Comparisons will be provided in a separate report for geographic subgroups (as predetermined by NRC and jurisdiction staff) by questions on the survey responses, Statistically significant differences will be noted in the tables.

Subscription:

$945

One-Time Purchase:

$1015

Crosstabulations will be provided in a separate report for up to five additional questions on the survey. Statistically significant differences will be noted in the tables.

Subscription:

$490

One-Time Purchase:

$525

If you did not use NRC for your past surveys, but have past reports or datasets available, NRC can match your past data to any survey items that are also on The NCS.

Subscription:

$2135

One-Time Purchase:

$2275

In addition to the national benchmarks (included with The NCS Basic Service), NRC can base custom benchmarks on region, population size or other criteria as requested (and available in our dataset).

Subscription:

$1120 per custom group

One-Time Purchase:

$1175 per custom group

Includes one open-ended question added to the survey. Responses will be categorized and reported in a table under separate cover, accompanied by a complete list of verbatim responses.

Subscription:

$2240

One-Time Purchase

$2380

NRC staff member will present survey results with City staff, Council, Boards or other appropriate groups. For this presentation, we use Microsoft® PowerPoint as a visual aid and a copy of the slideshow is left with the City, this pricing is for one presentation.

Subscription:

$3605

One-Time Purchase:

$3815

A senior NRC staff member will lead your through a 3.5 hour workshop with four key activities: debriefing survey data, identifying areas of focus, identifying strategies and creating initial action plans.

Subscription:

$5670

One-Time Purchase:

$3815

NRC will create a Microsoft® PowerPoint slideshow for City staff to use in conducting presentations.

Subscription:

$1190

One-Time Purchase:

$1260

A senior NRC staff member will present survey results with Village staff, Council, Boards or other appropriate groups. For this presentation, we use Microsoft® PowerPoint as a visual aid and a copy of the slideshow is left with the Village. This representative will also facilitate a half-day interactive workshop and help to develop strategy and offer recommendations.

Subscription:

$7980

One-Time Purchase:

$8470

Example Sizes

Regular mailing (3 contacts)

Reminder postcard (4th contact)

Full Price Discounted Price Full Price Discounted Price
+0 (1,700 total) $1,075 $965
+400 (2,100 total) $1,880 $1,690 $1,275 $1,145
+800 (2,500 total) $3,310 $2,975 $1,470 $1,320
+1,200 (2,900 total) $4,735 $4,260 $1,670 $1,500
+1,600 (3,300 total) $6,165 $5,545 $1,865 $1,675

*Please note all prices are subject to change. Pricing assumes up to four geographic subareas; let us know if you need a custom quote for more subareas.

Example Sizes

*Please note all prices are subject to change. Pricing assumes up to four geographic subareas; let us know if you need a custom quote for more subareas.

The NCS Timeline

NCS Month One

Month One

You complete worksheet and we generate sample questionnaire

NCS Month Two

Month Two

Postcard notifications and surveys mailed to residents

NCS Month Three

Month Three

Data collection and processing 

NCS Month Four

Month Four

Draft and final reports delivered to you

You complete worksheet and we generate sample questionnaire

Postcard notifications and surveys mailed to residents

Data collection and processing 

Draft and final reports delivered to you

Get the bigger picture with these benchmarking surveys

Get Started with The National Community Survey Today!

Start Enrollment Now