Club Story: Our 3 BEST Tips for Survey Administration!

Today’s guest post is from Desirae O’Neill, Associate Director at the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club. They’ve been *rock stars* in how they give the NYOI, and I am so excited that we can share three of their best tips here on the Blog as part of our Let’s Talk Data series!

It’s official. NYOI Survey administration Is LIVE! Many of us have been at it for the past week. Members are lined up, all eager to sit in silence for roughly 30 minutes and take this thing called a survey that kind of reminds them of a test but not really. We practically have to fight members off…


Let’s face it: When giving members a choice between completing a 30-minute survey or a half hour of ultimate dodgeball in the gym, you can be certain the overwhelming majority would stampede the gym, right? Rest assured my fellow YDPs, you are not alone! So how do we overcome this? How do we bring the NYOI or any survey to life? Over the past year, my team and I at Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club have developed some great strategies to make survey administration fun and enjoyable, for members and staff alike. These tips for survey administration may not work everywhere, but I hope they spark new ideas and give you some practical tips for your Club.

1) Start The Conversation Early!

It’s never too early to begin discussing the NYOI. The more we talk about it, the more it becomes a part of the daily routine. Brainstorm creative ways for your Club members and staff to explore what the survey truly means. At our Club, our social recreation team engaged members in a week-long scavenger hunt and word scramble scattering.

This activity was a major win-win! First, members practice problem solving and working together as team. But, once the letters S U R V E Y are found and placed in order, take it a step further- ask your members to explain what a survey is in their own words. It’s a great pre-administration strategy to engage youth in the dialogue, but also a way for members to learn from one another.

This is also a great opportunity for YDPs to really break down and define each word (National Youth Outcomes Initiative) that makes up NYOI…very large words, especially for a 9 year old! But once you have their attention it makes it easier to open the floor to discuss.   Check out the photos of the little guys working diligently to solve the riddle!  The possibilities are endless!

 2) Timing & Place Make a World of a Difference.

You want to try your best to work across your programs to ensure the NYOI has the right  time and place. A great way to get the word out is to use events at your Club as an opportunity for exposure. For our Club, Friday assemblies are prime time for program coordinators/staff to share information and make announcements. Also consider adding survey administration timeline to your Club’s calendar.


Get the buy-in from other program staff and have them incorporate surveys into weekly lessons/activities (above are two Club members completing a survey that was designed by their peers in Learning Center).  Securing staff buy-in is important and takes a lot of time and group effort.

One key way to do this it to add NYOI as an agenda item for discussion during staff meetings. During this time you can cover several topics such as:

  • Discuss/brainstorm how surveys can help improve programs on a day-to-day
  • Appealing to the strengths/interests of program staff! For our Club, this is a great opportunity to delegate key roles/tasks associated with the NYOI. For example, using folders as privacy dividers is great, but how can we take something what might seem “small” and grow it into something more personal? Appeal to your art leader let members get creative with designing the folders (great activity for after Power Hour)!

Adapting the program schedule to reflect NYOI Survey Administration is an ideal situation, that being said this might be a stretch for some, if not most of us!

3) Engage Members: Make the Survey Experience Fun! (Piece of cake- its in our BGCA DNA!)


Thirty minutes can seem like a long time when you are watching the clock, but time flies when we are having fun! Consider taking brain/energy breaks during survey administration. Allow members one minute to stretch or do something silly. Test out Rock, Paper, Scissors Extreme, strike a fun yoga pose (our Club favorite) or give your fellow Club member or staff a high five! You’d be surprised how well it works. **Please keep in mind that you should follow proper procedures for ensuring privacy and confidentiality (i.e. covering the computer screens or sealing/covering paper surveys). Check out Quick Tools in the YDToolbox app for TONS of activity ideas!

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While this post is not the holy grail of survey administration, I sure hope it offers some insight and assistance to you all. No matter what . . . repeat after me . . . “Keep Calm and Survey ON!”


Next week we will share ideas on everyone’s favorite part of NYOI- the celebration! You can find it and all the other NYOI posts in our Let’s Talk Data! series here.


Desirae has been in the Movement for 9 years at the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club. In her spare time she likes to spend time with family and cheer on her favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees!

Do you have tried and true tips for administering surveys? Comment below or email to share! And be sure to subscribe to the ClubX Blog at the bottom of the page so that you never miss a post.

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