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Create a survey

Surveys are a great way to gather information from prospects and supporters. Answering a survey question can trigger a workflow, connecting the responder immediately with the right people in your organization. There are two aspects to this process: creating a set of questions to ask, and creating a way to answer the questions. Surveys can be answered on your website or via scannable sheets.

Table of Contents

Create a survey

There are three aspects of creating a survey. First, you name the survey. Next, you create a question and decide what format to use. Finally, you define the answer choices. A tag can be added to everyone who answers a question. A specific answer can trigger a workflow, including a tag, point person, path, and membership. 

Once a survey is created, answers can be reviewed, edited, or deleted from the responses section of a question. At the survey level, you can review aggregate responses in results. The export section allows you to create a CSV of all responses. 

Name the survey

1. Go to People > More > Surveys.

2. Click on +New survey.

3. Type the name of your survey.

4. Click the Create button.


Create a question

Next, create your first question.

1. Create a slug for the question (required). This is a short way of identifying the question topic and must be unique from page slugs and usernames. If you include spaces in a slug, they will be replaced by underscores. 

2. Type the full question in this space and include a question mark (required). This is how your question will be displayed on a connected survey page. 

3. If you need to explain your question beyond the initial sentence, use this space to create an introduction or explanation. The text written here will display before the answer choices.

4. Display possible responses to the survey taker in random order: How responses are displayed on a connected survey page. This can help alleviate the possibility that response order has an effect on whether it is chosen. If you uncheck the box, then the response order you determine will be the same for everyone taking the survey.

5. Question format

  • Multiple choice: list as many responses as desired. Responder can only select one response.
  • Yes/No: creates a multiple choice question with yes and no response options. Responder can only select one response.
  • Text: free-form text field. 

6. Status: status of the question. Questions will not be published on your website until the survey is connected to a survey page.

7. Tag people who answer this question with: adds a tag to everyone who responds to the question, regardless of their response. With multiple choice and yes/no questions, you can also tag people based on which response they choose.

8. Click the Save survey question button to save the question. If you are creating a multiple choice or yes/no question, you'll then be able to define response choices and create a workflow for people who choose a particular response.

Possible Responses


The one required field on this screen is Response. This is the answer choice displayed on a survey page. After writing a response, you can click the Add possible response button to save the response and add another one. 

You can also trigger a workflow within your nation when a response is selected. These actions occur within your control panel and are not displayed to the responder.

  • Tag people who choose this response with: a tag or tags to add to the profiles of people who choose the response. 
  • Set the point person for people who choose this response to: if a responder already has a point person, their point person will not change. This only affects people who do not have a point person when they respond to the question.
  • Membership type and expire membership in: provide responder with a membership and decide when it expires. This can be particularly useful for creating a time-limited group of people who choose the response. 
  • Add this person to a path

Multiple choice response order

You can drag and drop existing responses to change their order. Once you move a response, the letters will update to reflect the new order.

From this list of possible responses, which appears to the right of the new response options, you can also edit or delete existing possible responses by clicking on the appropriate icon.

If you create a Yes / No question, those responses will be listed in this column. Click the edit icon next to the Yes response to trigger a workflow for people who select it. You can also click the edit  icon next to the No response to define a workflow for that response. 

Add another question

Once you have created all possible responses for a question, use the breadcrumbs at the top of the control panel to return to the survey and add a new question.

Review responses

Within an individual question, you can add a new response in the Responses section. The responder must already have a profile in your nation and can be found via their name, email address, or Twitter handle. Any previous responses will be listed on the right side of the screen and can be edited or deleted.


Question order

When looking at a list of questions, you can drag and drop the questions to change the order they are asked in. On a survey page, the first question cannot be skipped. All other questions can be skipped.

list of questions in a survey


Once people have responded to the survey, you can see all survey results in the results area of the survey. Here is an example of the results of a downtown LA survey:

aggregate survey results display in NationBuilder

Export results

You can export survey results using the Export area. 

Click the Start export  button and a CSV export will be generated. At first, it will say "Export pending" and then the file name will appear.

Click on the file name that appears below the export button to download your export. The CSV will include responder's NationBuilder ID, first name, last name, amount of social capital, and responses to each question. The questions will be listed by their slugs. 

Create a survey page

Use the survey page type to display a survey on your website. You can then collect responses to the survey online.

First, follow the steps to create a new page on your site. This process works the same regardless of what type of page you're creating.

1. Go to Website > +New page.

2. Name your page. 

3. Decide the page slug.

4. Select the Survey page type.

5. Decide whether to include the page in top navigation and / or supporter navigation.

6. Click the Create page button.

You'll be taken to Survey settings > Basics.


Survey: You need to select a survey to display on the page. The dropdown menu lists the surveys that currently exist.

Clicking on New survey below the dropdown menu will take you to People > Other > Surveys, where you can create a new survey. 

When finished, what page should they land on next? Typing the slug of a page on your website in this text box creates an action chain -- after a responder completes the survey, they will automatically be moved to a different page on your site. This is particularly useful for connecting action pages, allowing you to define an engagement path for survey responders.  

Creating a workflow: You can create a workflow for all survey responders. This means assigning a point person, tagging the responder, add the responder to a path, and assigning a membership to responders. There are three ways to connect a workflow to a survey:

  • create a workflow for everyone who responds to the survey on your website at Survey settings > Basics
  • add a tag to everyone who answers a specific question in the Settings of a question
  • create a workflow for everyone who selects a particular response to a multiple choice or yes/no question by editing a possible response to a question

A point person will only be assigned if the responder does not already have a point person. 

Webpage survey display options

At Survey settings > Intro you can create an introduction to the survey. You can add pictures to the files section and display them here. Whatever you include in this content editor will display at the top of the survey page throughout the survey. 

The survey will start under the introduction. The page will display one question at a time, so that responders are not overwhelmed. The first question in a survey cannot be skipped. Every other questions can be skipped. By default, possible responses will be displayed in random order. This can be adjusted by editing each question within your survey.

Responders will be asked for their first name, last name, email, mobile phone, and street address. On a site-wide level, you can decide whether or not to ask for mobile phone numbers, at Website > Site settings > Basic. Otherwise, if you would like to edit the amount of contact information required from responders, you'll need to edit the page template. At a minimum, responders must provide first name and last name. 

For example, here is how my survey looks to someone not logged into the nation:

Canvassing with surveys

You can structure the conversation during a door-to-door canvass or phone bank by incorporating a survey. To do this, you'll attach your survey to a scannable sheet which will also speed up data entry. Keep in mind these important parameters:

  • include only multiple choice or yes/no questions
  • have five questions or less
  • each question can have up to six response options
  • finalize the survey questions, responses, and order before printing sheets

Learn more about how to create scannable sheets.

How to create workflows

How to create a feedback page

How to use scannable sheets

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