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A Quick Guide: Balancing Transparency and Trust in Community Surveys

A well-designed community survey can offer insights that foster change and inform a plan. However, to truly harness their power, transparency and trust must coexist. Here's how to achieve that balance.

1. Clearly Define the Purpose:

Make sure community members understand why the survey is being conducted. A clear purpose encourages participation and eliminates misconceptions.


2. Safeguard Personal Information:

If you’re collecting personal data, say so, and explain why, how it will be used and shared, and how it will not be shared.


3. Acknowledge Biases:

No survey is perfect. By recognizing your potential biases early on, you can avoid them, demonstrate honesty, and invite constructive feedback as the survey develops.


4. Offer Feedback Opportunities:

Once the results are in, share them. Establish channels for two-way communication. When participants see their input recognized, trust grows.


The effectiveness of a community survey hinges on the delicate equilibrium between transparency and trust. By being forthright and valuing feedback, organizations can ensure their survey endeavors are both insightful and respectful.


The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Bill Foster, President & Founder.




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