Survey Design

Survey Design

If you will not be using a pre-determined survey as part of your program curriculum, you may need to develop a survey to meet specific program needs.  Even if a funder or parent-agency requires the collection of certain data, you may still want to collect additional information to help monitor program performance and gauge impact.

Do you have a pre-determined evaluation survey as part of your program curriculum?

If yes, we have some helpful tips below. Even if you do not, reviewing these tips may help in case you need one in the future.


When creating your own survey or reviewing a survey, you might like to use these important tips:

Survey Development Tips

What kind of information do you need?


Who people are – personal or demographic characteristics

Beliefs, Attitudes, Opinions:

Perceptions people hold or psychological states


What people know, how well they understand something


What people do, have done in the past or plan to do in the future

What types of questions could you use?


Respondents provide their own answers


Respondents select responses from a list of options

How should the question be worded?

  • Use simple wording

  • Avoid double-barreled questions
  • Avoid jargon or abbreviations
  • Use complete sentences
  • Be specific
  • Select clear and logical response categories
  • Be clear
  • Avoid bias in questions
  • Avoid assumptions
  • Have clear instructions
  • Consider language, reading level and age
  • Avoid long questions


Use Our Interactive Survey Builder!

If you are collecting data related to leadership development, nutrition, parenting, physical activity, program quality, science, technology, or workforce preparation, you can use our Survey Builder which will enable you to create an account, select from a list of approved common measures and build your own program survey. To learn more about our Survey Builder, click here.

Are you interested in using a preexisting instrument?

Visit our Additional Evaluation Instruments section to explore nearly 100 reviewed evaluation surveys addressing a variety of topic areas including civic engagement, leadership, positive youth development or parenting.  

Explore Additional Resources!