SURVEY SERVICES

Thank you for your interest in working with CivicPulse! A core part of CivicPulse’s mission is to expand opportunities for top-quality research focused on local and state governance.

CivicPulse is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that runs surveys of public officials and their staff in local and state governments across the United States. Our mission is to generate insights about the public sector through better access to reliable data and research. We work with individual researchers and organizations across a wide range of academic and professional disciplines. 

CivicPulse offers the ability to conduct nationally representative surveys of local policymakers, local top appointed executives, and the heads of thirteen common local government departments. We also offer national surveys of “rank-and-file" staff across eleven common local government departments and seven common state government departments.

 

In addition, we conduct a once-a-year national omnibus survey of local policymakers to provide a lower cost option. Omnibus surveys pair modules from different researchers together to reduce costs. The key differences between stand-alone custom surveys and the omnibus survey are provided in Table 1. 

Table 1. Key differences between custom and omnibus surveys. 

Survey Services Table 1.jpg

Because of the specialized challenges associated with conducting an effective survey with public officials, we encourage prospective applicants to communicate with us early and often. Even if your project idea is still in development, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can do so by writing directly to our Managing Director, Nathan Lee, at nathanlee@civicpulse.org.

Custom Surveys

We now offer a wide range of possible respondent types across local and state government for those interested in pursuing their own custom survey. At CivicPulse, we define a “respondent type” jointly by their level of government, role, and department. Table 2 displays 35 different respondent types we now offer (with more to come!). 

Table 2. Available respondent types for CivicPulse custom surveys. 

Survey Services Table 2.png

Pricing for custom surveys is composed of a “base price” and a “marginal price” (which is multiplied by the number of respondents). The base price is the same for all respondent types, reflecting the baseline effort required by our staff to ensure quality completion of each project we take on. The current base price is $2,000.  

Custom Survey Price = $2000 + Marginal price x Number of respondents 

The marginal price depends on two factors: (a) the level of scarcity of the sampling frame and (b) the expected survey length. In the last column of Table 2, we assign each respondent type to one of three possible scarcity levels. In Table 3, we then display four marginal price options—for 3, 5, 7, and 10 minutes in survey length—for each level of scarcity.  

Table 3. Marginal pricing ($/respondent) for custom surveys based on scarcity level and expected survey length.  

Survey Services Table 3.jpg

Researchers may propose additional customizations of the sampling frame. For example, some researchers in the past have requested that respondents only represent local governments above a certain population size, or in a particular region of the country. Based on the difficulty of achieving the requested customization, CivicPulse will assess feasibility and, if feasible, provide a maximum sample size and a marginal pricing quote. 

Omnibus Surveys

The sample size and pricing available for the national omnibus survey of local policymakers—a service we provide once a year for those unable to afford their own stand-alone custom survey—is provided in Table 4. Because the omnibus survey pairs modules from different researchers together to reduce the costs, we must limit the number of options to ensure compatibility between modules. 

Table 4. Four pricing options for 2023 Omnibus National Survey of Local Policymakers. 

Survey Services Table 4.jpg

The deadline for the application for the 2023 National Omnibus Survey of Local Policymakers is January 15th, 2023. Please direct inquiries to our Managing Director, Nathan Lee, at nathanlee@civicpulse.org. Either he or another other CivicPulse staff member will then provide additional details for how to proceed. 

Restricted Access Dataset (RAD) Service

CivicPulse is committed to protecting the confidentiality of survey participants’ identities. However, some researchers find it helpful to have identifiable information about the government associated with the respondent (e.g., government name, Census ID, additional jurisdictional characteristics beyond what is provided in standard survey variables).  

CivicPulse offers the service of a Restricted Access Dataset (RAD) for researchers to have access to identifiable government and jurisdictional information, subject to a data sharing agreement that prohibits the researcher from publicly posting the RAD or any information that could identify a specific department or government publicly.  

CivicPulse provides the RAD service for $600 for a custom survey project, and $500 for an omnibus survey project.