Nonprofits and libraries can use surveys to gather feedback, understand their communities, and deepen their impact. TechSoup recently completed a global cloud survey using FluidSurveys, and we wanted to share what we learned about creating surveys with FluidSurveys.

The goal of the global cloud survey was to understand how nonprofits, libraries, and other organizations are thinking about and using cloud technology. The survey was conducted in 21 languages and gathered over 13,000 responses from 85 countries.

TechSoup’s Jim Lynch shared what he learned from this experience. TechSoup program manager Allyson Bliss also weighed in with her survey tips and tricks.

How TechSoup Used FluidSurveys

These are a few FluidSurveys features that stood out for TechSoup when conducting our surveys:

  • Easy survey creation and editing. Allyson praises FluidSurveys’ easy drag-and-drop survey creation interface, saying it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to create a survey.
  • Support for multiple languages. FluidSurveys supports over 64 languages. This was a key feature for our multilingual cloud survey, which was translated into 21 languages. FluidSurveys also rolls all the data from surveys conducted in multiple languages into a single dataset.
  • Presentation-ready reporting. Both Jim and Allyson appreciate FluidSurveys’ reporting features, which produce professional, attractive reports with just a few mouse clicks. Results can be exported in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Excel, Word, PDF, and PowerPoint.
  • Real-time analytics. FluidSurveys offers robust real-time analytics, so survey creators can securely share data and reports with a select audience (such as funders, board members, or other stakeholders) while the survey is in progress.
  • Excellent user support. Jim and the rest of the cloud survey team benefited from FluidSurveys’ responsive and creative user support. For example, one of our cloud survey partners wanted to let respondents answer the survey in their computer lab, to support organizations with limited Internet access. However, the cloud survey only allowed one response per computer, to prevent skewed results due to duplicate responses.

    FluidSurveys support cleverly suggested cloning the original Arabic survey to create a special version just for our Egyptian partners, without the one-response-per-computer limitation. Thanks to FluidSurveys’ creative support, our Egyptian partner could allow multiple responses per computer in their lab, and we could keep the limit in place for other versions of the survey.

Check out the FluidSurveys site to learn more about this online survey software and the many features available.

What We Learned

Here are some tips from our survey experiences:

  • Have one person at a time setting up surveys. If you’re using any cloud-based survey tool, it’s very important that you only allow one user at a time to work on your survey. Otherwise they could accidentally overwrite each other’s work.  
  • Test surveys thoroughly. Have someone else review your survey before you finalize it, to make sure it’s clear and easy to understand. You should also go online and test your survey to make sure the survey looks right and functions as expected.
  • Do a trial run with a sample audience, if possible. This will help identify confusing questions or places where respondents start dropping off. A trial run will also help confirm how long it takes to fill out the survey. FluidSurveys tracks how long it takes each respondent to finish the survey, so you’ll be able to give a realistic estimate to potential respondents. FluidSurveys also allows you to designate this trial run as a "test batch," and then easily exclude the test results from your final survey.

Getting FluidSurveys for Your Organization

Eligible organizations can request a one-year donated subscription to FluidSurveys Pro through TechSoup. Organizations that are not eligible for a donation or require more advanced functionality can get 10 percent off any FluidSurveys offering. To get the discount, send an email to and include your TechSoup login email address.

What About You?

Do you use surveys at your nonprofit or library? Do you have any tips to share? And if you use FluidSurveys, what features do you particularly like? Please share your experiences in the comments!

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Image: Karen Ka Ying Wong

by Ariel Gilbert-Knight, Senior Content Manager, TechSoup