On my Stuff You Can Use for the First Week on Campus post (which has spiritual interest surveys, fliers, brochures, and other free & helpful stuff on it), a recent commenter, Ron Cram, wanted more details on how we do spiritual interest surveys. And since I love data analysis I couldn’t resist sharing what the data tells us.
I think it’s pretty interesting to see what correlation there is between
- number of surveys done the first week of school AND
- number of freshmen that actually get involved (in Bible studies)
So here’s Ron’s comments/questions and my answers:
Tim, I am interested in an analysis of the data on the card. It sounds like you got 3000 students to complete the card…
We do about 3000 surveys over the first few weeks at various events. The stats below reflect the 2500 surveys we do at tables we set up outside of dorm cafeterias on the second and third day of class. Why not the first day? Because our Cru meeting is on Tuesday, and Dorm Studies on Wednesday. When we do a survey with them we give them a “Free Chick-fil-A Sandwich” card and a flyer for Cru and Dorm Bible Studies (and we say, “you should join us tonight at Cru/Bible Study”)
How many of them indicated an interest in Cru?
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We don’t keep stats specifically on each question because it doesn’t affect how we do follow up. We follow up anyone who checks “yes” on either question.
70% of students checked “yes” on one of the two questions.
30% of the respondents answered “no-no”. Not interested in Cru nor Bible studies (we don’t follow them up at all).
Here’s the breakdown of how they answered:
“How interested are you in exploring spiritual matters in college (1- not interested 5= very interested)?”
1 = 7%
2 = 13%
3 = 29%
4 = 21%
5 = 24%
No answer = 6%
So on our campus, about 25% of students are not interested in spiritual things. 75% are at least mildly interested. How does that compare to your campus?
How many actually got involved?
We noticed this a few years ago: it’s not important how many spiritual surveys we do, as long as we’re doing enough to have a plenty big pool of contacts to follow up (I’d say around 1000-1500). Doing more surveys does not result in more freshmen getting involved (at least for us).
That being said, we do feel that it is good to do surveys with as many freshmen as possible for several reasons:
- Every person we do a survey with, we get face to face with and invite them verbally and with a flier to a Cru event. And they get something free (Chick-fil-A card or sunglasses) – hopefully a very positive first experience with Cru.
- If we can do surveys with a high percentage of the freshmen class, we have a baseline understanding of where A LOT of students are at spiritually. As we bump into students later in the year (or the next 4), we can quickly look them up on Mission Hub and know “Michael was not very interested in spiritual things at all in August 2012 – he put 1-yes-no. Joey Smith met with him and invited him to a Bible study but he never came”
Here’s what our stats showed us:
You notice from 2008 to 2009 we doubled the number of surveys we did. But it has zero impact on getting more freshmen involved.
Here’s what matters and causes more freshmen to get involved:
- Having more student Community Group leaders. You can see how the growth in Freshmen in studies correlates with (and I would say is caused by):
- The quality and thoroughness of follow up
- Quality = sharing the gospel on each follow up and having several relational touch points
- Thoroughness = tracking who we follow to make sure everyone gets contacted who wants to be contacted (Read The Secret to Keeping Students from Falling Through the Cracks if you want more info on that)
How many people (staff or students) were involved in collecting this data? How long did it take? Was it all done in one day?
We do tables for two days at five locations (4 dorm cafeterias and the Union) from 11am-1pm and 5-6:30pm.
Our 10 staff are at the tables both days at lunch. Students are present at the tables for both lunch and dinner. I would guess that we have 30 students at lunch and 30 at dinner each day. Maybe a total of 50-75 helping during the two days?
Right after we collect all the cards we divvy up the cards among students and they enter in the information into Mission Hub. I have no idea how long that takes. I would guess 5 hours for about 20 students?
We also do spiritual interest surveys at two big freshmen cookouts during move-in week, a midnight “Frisbees and Flapjacks” event, and our Cru meetings.
Hopefully that data/information is helpful for you as think through a gameplan for getting in contact with (and reaching!) freshmen in the Fall.
Would love to hear from you what you have seen on your campus – what has resulted in you getting more freshmen involved?