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Nonprofits face the task of collecting data and analyzing what that information actually means. Fortunately, new tools are available that help.

Online Surveys

Benefit

  1. Gather quanitative and qualitative information in a cost-effective way from a diverse population.

Tools

  • SurveyMonkey – Free and premium models exist that allow you to create basic (and advanced) surveys. SurveyMonkey is probably the most used online survey tool. The free version gives you 10 questions, 100 respondents, 15 question types, and some ability to customize your theme. The paid version allows you to export your data and increases the number of respondents, questions, and theme customization ability.
  • Typeform – Also carries a free and paid model. The free version offers unlimited questions and answers, and data exportation. Aesthetically Typeform is probably the most appealing.
  • SurveyGizmo – Several payment tiers. The most expensive version, at $199 per month, offers full integration with Salesforce, MailChimp, and third party software tools.
  • Google Forms – Google, it seems, offers everything. This free tool is very basic. That’s mostly a plus, especially for under-budgeted nonprofits. It’s very simple to setup and see feedback without some of the fancier bells and whistles other online survey platforms offer.
  • Key Survey – Contains a free version but its non-free version delivers the most goods. But it’s expensive, running between $1,950 to $5,950 per year. For nonprofits with large, sustainable budgets, this option might be attraction. Key Survey ranks among the upper echelon of online survey tools.

Mobile Devices

Benefits

  1. Reaches audiences than can be hard to reach like those who with low-income, teenagers, and the homeless population.
  2. Collects data quickly.
  3. Field staff can acquire data from target populations.

Apps

Most mobile data collection apps will be used for either event participants or nonprofit staffers.

  • Event Check-in – allows nonprofit staff to take attendance of their event participants by allowing them to sign-in registrants or scan QR codes.

Tools

  • SmartConnect – event attendees can make event schedules, share notes with other event attendees, and check in at the event.
  • Constant Contact’s Event Check-in – staff can keep track of event registrants.
  • Custom-made mobile apps are also an option. The downside is the financial investment to create one can range from the low $1,000’s to more than $10,000. The benefit is having an app that is customized to track all the data points your nonprofit organization wants. The issue is whether or not someone on your staff has the ability to create one or if you have the financial capital to hire a developer.

Texting

Benefits

  1. Can collect mass amounts of information quickly.
  2. Allows people to donate to a nonprofit’s cause or organization.
  3. Great way for nonprofits to send reminders to their service population.

Tools

  • TextIt – a great platform for nonprofits to use that offers use without any monthly fees. There’s a sliding pricing scale depending on how many “credits” a nonprofit wants to use.
  • Mobile Commons – this is a mobile & text messaging platform that helps organizations reach more users, drive mobile engagement, & improve conversion rates.
  • Echo Mobile – this is actually an app, but it collects data using surveys in text messages that show the results in real time. This is great when nonprofits need to collect information on something within a specific (usually immediate) window.
  • Celly – a favorite of education-based nonprofits, Celly have a discounted rate for teachers.

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