Surveys: online, phonebanking, door-to-door, on the street

There are a number of approaches to making surveys and the best approach will depend on whether people will self-fill the survey, or if they are 'being' surveyed by someone else.

In all the approaches below, there are some common steps to take.

Create the questions in CiviCRM

If you want to collect this data as part of the data that belongs to a CiviCRM contact, then these should be created as fields in civicrm. To do this visit the Custom Data page and if there is not a set of fields you are already using then create yourself a new Set of Custom Fields and set it to be used for Activities and then choose Survey. (More documentation here)

Having created the 'set' for the fields, you then get to add the fields, which can be Select, Yes or No, text etc. In general we recommend they should always be set to 'is searchable'.

Create the questions just in Webform

Questions can be created directly in a webform - the advantage of this is it is quicker to construct and you can still view results, download them etc. But the data is not stored in the CiviCRM database - hence you cannot search within that data. This approach is good for very quick information gathering that does not need to be deeply integrated in to CiviCRM.

Online forms

  • create a webform, click on the CiviCRM tab, select 1 contact, and add the fields you need for the Contact (eg Name, Gender etc) then click on the Activities tab and add the questions you created above.
  • publish the link to the webform
  • or send a mailing from civicrm which contains a checksum so your contacts will not need to fill in their name or email (and avoid creating duplicates)

Phonebanking forms

  • As above but in this case you should create a Webform with 2 civicrm contacts, making 'contact 1' the logged in user (the caller) so you can record 'who' made the calls.
  • Find the person to call via the autocomplete field for contact 2, or provide a link to this form from a table such as My Calls, so the form pre-populates with the information you already have about the contact.

Other approaches

CiviPetition: CiviCRM's in-built 'petition' tool that can be used for online questionnaires.

CiviSurvey: CiviCRM's in-built 'survey tool' which can be used for batch entering data about existing contacts after door-knocking etc.

CiviEngage Door-knocking/Canvass: a tool that provides printable reports for door-knocking

CiviEngage PhoneBank: a batch updating tool for recording respondents answers to a small set of questions.