Neighborhood Associations and Evaluation

My podcast partner, Ruth Terry recently interviewed me for a story about neighborhood associations and the unique ways they can use evaluation. The article is titled Making the most of it: Three ways neighborhood associations do a lot with a little.

As happens in meeting deadlines and word limits, some of my comments were left out, so I wanted to share them here.

Ruth’s question: What are three low-cost tools/resources related to data and evaluation that every neighborhood association should be aware of and why?

  1. The simplest tool neighborhood associations can use is doing surveys at events, door to door, and online through their newsletters. Because associations are all about personal connections, recruiting volunteers to give surveys and getting residents involved by asking their opinions builds social capital and connectedness across the group.
  2. Google Docs is great for collecting surveys and will even do a lot of the chart making and summarizing for you, all for free.
  3. For old fashioned mail surveys, the U.S. Post Office has a great nonprofit rate for bulk mail. You can mail a postcard survey for as little as $0.08 a piece.
photo by: exfordy