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

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Step One: Choose Your Basic Service Collection Method

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Step Two: Choose Your Add-On Options

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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.


 

Contact Us About the Polco Performance Plan

For $8,300/year this plan includes 1 benchmark survey per year, with postcard invitations (initial and reminder) mailed to up to 1,500 randomly selected addresses, with additional options to supplement your outreach. Your online report will include comparisons to our National Benchmarks, and demographic and geographic comparisons (if response is sufficient by subgroup). You will be assigned a Program Manager to implement your survey process and provide guidance on continued use of Polco with all the available premium features.All Polco Premium Features are available to you during your subscription term to engage with your target audiences. Respondents answer questions via Polco’s civic surveying and engagement platform which includes real time results and the option to have respondents verified against voter lists. As participants respond they become part of your community’s digital panel available for follow up questions, surveys, polls, and other engagement.

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.

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.)

 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.

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)

1500 additional addresses (3200 total)

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

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

1000 additional addresses
1000 additional addresses

Add unique ID’s to track household location.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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*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