September 16, 2010

5 top online survey tools for nonprofits

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Wufoo, SurveyGizmo & Google Forms are among your best bets

Target audience: Nonprofits, social change organizations, citizen publishers, educators.

By Jessica Haswell
Socialbrite staff

Surveying made easy: We took a look at the five of the best survey tools on the market that can help nonprofits and other organizations get to know your users’ opinions and keep funders happy. All of these tools do more than just conduct a simple survey.

What might some of these survey tools cost you? Google is free, but beyond that most of these services offer 10 projects with 100 responses for free, unlimited surveys with 1,000 responses for about $200 per year and more advanced packages for more than $200 per month, depending on your organization’s needs. Most of the tools offer discounts of 25 to 50 percent for nonprofis or educational organizations, so make sure to check before you pony up.

Have your own favorite? Please share in the comments below.


Wufoo: Collecting more than just data

1The stand-out feature in this survey tool is the payment integration – your PayPal, Google Checkout or accounts can be connected to WuFoo Forms to collect donations or payments. Wufoo really breaks the survey process down, keeping the process simple and still flexible enough to customize. The actual forms and reports are as clean, customizable and beautiful as the survey process. While all of the survey tools listed here offer discounts for nonprofits, Wufoo offers an impressive 50 percent discount.


SurveyGizmo: Bang for your buck

2When Socialbrite surveyed all the survey tools last spring to create an interactive tool [link fixed] for TechSoup Global, we selected SurveyGizmo — because it had more capabilities than the rest of the field. SurveyGizmo offers every feature your organization could ever need or want for a slightly lower cost. The service has maximum customization and offers a wide range of packages for small to large organizations. The extra offer here is the Professional Service and Training they offer at an additional cost for organizations that want to learn a bit more or outsource some work from the office.


Google Forms: Best part? It’s free

3If you’re looking for a free service for small-scale surveying, this is hands down the best option out there. All of the other survey tools do have a free option, which usually entails a limit to the amount of surveys (10 per month) and responses (100 per month). Google Forms offers an unlimited amount of surveys and space for well over 1,000 responses. Themes for your survey are plentiful, the software makes email or web embedding easy and, being Google, there are a number of ways to visualize your data. To use it, just go to Google Docs and create a new form.

SurveyMonkey: The big gorilla

4Here’s a no-frills, no-fluff survey tool best used for organizations of any size looking to aggregate a lot of data. SurveyMonkey, perhaps the best-known survey tool in the field, offers a handy keyword search feature to help users navigate their multiple surveys, security assurance and question logic add-ons to maximize the efficiency and accuracy of your surveys. For those looking for a no-nonsense survey tool that does the basics and does them well, SurveyMonkey is a reliable option.


Surveyz: Heavy-duty surveying

5For organizations looking for something more layered and complex than a simple survey Surveyz, by Qualtrics, offers highly advanced survey logic and sophisticated analysis for professional research. This software offers many similar features to the other survey tools but at a much greater level of sophistication – taking reports, analysis and logistics to a whole new level of customization. This kind of a service comes at a much higher cost, but if you’re a nonprofit, you can get this service for a song.

Some others worth checking out are Poll Daddy, Zoomerang, Vizu and Key Survey.

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127 thoughts on “5 top online survey tools for nonprofits

  1. Hey I am attempting to enhance my human resource consulting business by enacting Surveys to our potential and current clients? We would like to purchase as survey tool and have looked into big pulse, novi system, check box profess, and snap software, survey monkey, fluid survey, and free online survey. We would be purchasing a plan but I was wondering which software I should got with?

  2. Fantastic article, but I think you’ve missed a really great tool. We use a tool called Customer Thermometer.

    It doesn’t ask loads of questions, just one. It’s delivered straight
    into your inbox and only takes one click to reply – so response rates
    are through the roof. It’s awesome and has saved us from losing dozens
    of customers, but best of all they love to receive it.

  3. I am using and I strongly recommend this tool ! They provide mobile surveys as a native feature in all plans and support right-to-left text direction, very important if you do surveys in Hebrew or Arabic.

  4. This comment thread has been well and truly spammed with links.

    I lost count of the amount of comments that endorse “sogosurvey”, and it’s a shame as this method of name dropping with false testimonials puts me off using them at all.

    The article I enjoyed, however. Thanks for the info.

    • Did it occur to you that SogoSurvey might actually generate that kind of enthusiasm, by offering much more, for less, than the competition? Check it out and make your own decision. I have no affiliation with them whatsoever, but that’s what my experience has been. You might also google reviews of free survey software and find some rather detailed comparison charts and 3rd-party user experiences.

      I moved over from SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang, a couple of years ago and found SogoSurvey to be feature rich, but less polished in its design/layout. That has since been vastly improved, making it hands down the best, IMHO.

  5. I would like to offer a very under valued solution.
    SoGoSurvey is a powerful and easy to use survey tool. I’ve used it and the interface is easy to understand and offers all the same features as any other survey service. Although SoGoSurvey offers a free version which is somewhat limited to the amount of responses they do offer an annual subscription to students absolutely for free. So if your currently a student I would highly recommend SoGoSurvey. You should definitely check it out