I do think that surveys are a good method of establishing a baseline for data on a nonprofit organization’s effectiveness. I believe surveys, if properly constructed; surveys can quickly and easily get a lot of information from people. The advantages of surveys are that they are completely anonymous, easy to use for comparison, relatively inexpensive, and often times free. For a newly operational nonprofit organization, it is these qualities that surveys provide that make it ideal in obtaining baseline data. The organization can then use the original surveys for comparison with future surveys. When determining to utilize surveys in getting baseline data for an organization, many variables must be considered. Surveys are also a good method to use because they can be completed not only by paper but also online where the results are easier to tabulate and much more accurate (Brinckerhoff). For surveys to provide positive results there are five important components it must have. The surveys must be focused around a central theme, they need to ask the right questions to generate the right information, they need to be short and less than four minutes to complete, it must be a representative sample by surveying enough people, and the people compiling the survey must be direct by asking the right questions, one’s that gives decisive information (Brinckerhoff). Now if the survey compiled and completed does not have these components, inaccurate and inadequate results are likely which can negatively affect the direction of the organization and minimize the organization’s growth and prosperity. Brinckerhoff, Peter C. Mission-Based Management: Leading Your Not-for-Profit in the 21st Century. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
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