Collecting feedback

Feedback is perhaps the most important, or most useful, source of data for impact management

Feedback is perhaps the most important, or most useful, source of data for impact managementit gives you timely information from the people who it is aimed at, allowing you to adapt quickly and improve the quality of your programme.


Using surveys for feedback

A common method for collecting formal feedback data is to use a survey.

Below are some suggestions for questions you could use to collect feedback from your users. The idea here is not to use all these questions, rather use whichever elements are relevant.

Questions for collecting feedback

Questions for collecting feedback Scale
How likely are you to recommend this [service/support/activity/etc] to friends and family?

This is called “Net promoter score” and is widely used across the private sector. It is a great way to collect a single measure of how people see your service.
From 0 (Not at all likely) to 10 (Very likely)
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

'Services are about me and what I need'
'The service makes sense to me and the situation I am in'
'I have sometimes felt let down by the service'
'I feel like I belong'
'I feel like the people here really want to help me'
'I do not feel judged'
'They always seem to have time for me'
'It is warm and welcoming'
'I really feel like I can talk to them'
'The support / advice they give me seems right'
'They know what they are talking about'
'I always feel it is up to me to decide what to do'
Strongly agree, tend to agree, neither agree nor disagree, tend to disagree, strongly disagree
In your own words, in what ways, if any, have you benefited from using the [name of service]? Free Text
Are there any ways in which the service could be improved, and how? Please tell us as much as you can. Free Text
Please use this box to tell us anything about anything else you would like to feedback about the service. Free Text

Other ways to collect feedback

Surveys are fine in moderation, but it's not fair to always be asking people lots of questions. There are plenty of simple, easy ways to get feedback in the moment–allowing you to respond more quickly and identify any issues that warrant further attention.

Sticky wall

Stick some large sheets of paper on the wall. Invite people to write their comments and suggestions (or answers to a particular evaluation question) on a post-it note and stick them up. This method allows everyone to see other people’s comments; you might want to discuss them as a group. Don’t forget to take a photo so you have a record of it.


Invite people visiting your service to share feedback via a vote–this might be on how satisfied they are, or you might choose to pose a different question such as: "How confident do you feel using this service?". You can make this more sophisticated by giving different coloured tokens to different groups of service users, e.g. people who are coming for the first time.

Satisfaction ratings

Invite people to rate your service by selecting a happy or unhappy face. You may have seen this used at airports using an automated button system, but you don’t need tech for this. You can simply use sticky dots on a piece of paper on a wall, or vote using tokens as above.

Feedback box

Chatting to eachother

The traditional feedback box is a simple method to collect people’s comments, and a sign to people using your programme that feedback is welcome. Make sure to check what is in it on a regular basis, record and act on the contents and report back (often organisations use the wall next to the feedback box to report back on how they have responded).

Text message

Text messages can be an effective way to get instant feedback after a session or other intervention, in the same way that businesses will often ask you to rate their customer services or answer three questions following a call or visit.

Social media

Your social media account(s) are another channel to gather feedback. Use a hashtag so that you can keep track of feedback among all the other comments and activity.

User panel

Recruit a group of users to form a panel to give feedback–this might be at regular intervals or on an ad hoc basis. Some organisations make this sort of user involvement a development opportunity for participants, and often find that lots of new ideas come from the panel.

Ask people!

Feedback doesn’t have to be formal - just ask people what they think! Staff and volunteers should be encouraged to seek feedback, and make sure people using your service know that their feedback is always welcome.

Even though these methods are less formal you will still want a system to keep track of the feedback - this can be something as simple as a spreadsheet logging the comment, date and response. It’s not enough to log it, though - you need to look at it! Have it as a standing item on team meeting agendas, or display it on a noticeboard so staff can see it.

Lastly don’t forget to ‘close the feedback loop’ by letting people know how you have responded.

Read more on the importance of feedback and using it for impact management on feedbacklabs.


Data Diagnostic

The data diagnostic asks 10 multiple choice questions about what your programme or service is, how it works and who it targets. It then provides a tailored report that discusses what kind of data you should consider collecting and how.

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