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What Should You Do If You Have Not Received Enough Survey Responses?


The chart below shows the challenges 70-ish nonprofit professionals experience with conducting an equitable fundraising survey. Respondents were asked to share a question under each challenge. The shared question above is under the challenge of unclarity on what makes a survey equitable. In four posts, I will respond to one question from each challenge. Today’s question is - What You Should Do If You Have Not Received Enough Responses?


  • Use follow-up methods for improving response.

Most surveys will take more than one follow-up method to reach a respectable response rate.

  • Use other methods to get the information you need.

If you get a low response rate from an e-mail survey, try social media/text/QR survey/in-person.

  • Compare those who responded to those who did not.

Evaluate the characteristics of people who did not respond. If and how are they different from those who did?

  • Check if you send out your survey too often.

Perhaps you recently asked for information from them about a different program. Maybe you are asking too many questions or questions that they have answered for other evaluations. Check if you can source some relevant data from other recent surveys or internal data sources.

  • Check if you are asking relevant questions to your respondents.

Check if the question design and length are relevant to the respondents.

  • Demonstrate how you will use the information.

Share with the community how the results will be used (using visuals and videos). This will create a buzz around the next round of the survey.