Easy Ideas for Church and Community Leaders

In Conducting the LSU Post-Katrina Community Survey



Thanks for considering having your church or community participate in the LSU Katrina Survey!


Remember: We will provide a report to you, as leaders, of the percentaged results of the survey for your church or neighborhood.


We know how busy everyone is, so we’ve made the survey as easy to run as possible.



There are 2 versions of the survey:


-          On paper.  You simply distribute copies to members, who fill them out and return them to you.  We will pick them up from you and compile the data (they will be scannable).  The paper version can be printed out from this page.


-          On the internet on the LSU Survey Lab website.  The start page is www.lsukatrinasurvey.com or www.lsu.edu/katrinasurvey.  Your members simply go there and take the survey.



A Simple & Easy Method for doing the Survey


  1. Put a notice in your church bulletin, neighborhood association newsletter, website & email lists.  (Here are notices you can use for Churches or for Neighborhood Associations.)


  1. Announce at services or neighborhood meetings that you will be distributing paper copies of the survey.  (Here is a copy of the questionnaire you can print out.)


  1. Distribute the copies and ask members to bring the completed surveys back to church or to a convenient neighborhood location.  Ask all members age 18 and over in the household to complete the survey.


    • Variant: Ask block captains or volunteers to distribute paper copies of the survey to neighbors, and then return to pick up the completed surveys.


    • Variant: If you provide social services, give the paper version of the survey to clients.  You can ask case managers to distribute and collect the surveys, or you can distribute them at your service location.


  1. We will come and pick up the the completed surveys from you.


  1. In the meantime, members reach out to family and friends who have not returned, and ask them to take the survey online.



Here are some more ideas:


  • Spread the Word.  It’s useful to keep the announcement posted, and to give short reminders, for 4-8 weeks.


  • Reach Out.  Ask members to tell their family and friends about the survey – especially those who have not returned. This is how you can learn more about their reasons, what their needs are, and how you can help them come back.


  • Help Each Other.  Ask members to help each other take the survey.  Those with internet access could take the survey themselves, and then conduct the survey by phone with another family member or friend. 


  • Volunteers.  Ask your lay leaders, block captains, volunteers, interns, or youth organization to help spread the word and distribute the survey.  You could set up a table in a church vestibule, from which volunteers could hand out surveys as members leave services, or at a table at a neighborhood meeting.


  • Run a story about the survey in your church newspaper or neighborhood newsletter. 


  • If you provide social or relief services, offer the survey to clients who come in for help. 




Thanks for encouraging your church or community to participate!  For us as social scientists, it’s great to be able to put our research into the hands of people who can actually use it to help their members!


Best wishes,


The LSU Katrina Survey team


Available materials:


-          The survey online: www.lsukatrinasurvey.com or www.lsu.edu/katrinasurvey


-          A printable version of the survey: http://www.lsu.edu/katrinasurvey/lsukatrinasurvey-nolageneral.pdf


-          Announcements for a Church or Neighborhood association: www.lsu.edu/katrinasurvey/KatrinaSurveyChurchAnnouncement.htm www.lsu.edu/katrinasurvey/KatrinaSurveyNBHAnnouncement.htm


-          More information: www.lsu.edu/fweil/KatrinaResearch.html, under the title, “Reconstituting Community”.  (See the subsection, “Resources,” for this document and all the links in it.)