Jeffrey M. Berry: Selected Publications and Working Papers

Surveying Nonprofits: A Methods Handbook

Jeffrey M. Berry, American Politics, Political Behavior
Kent E. Portney, Quantitative Methods, Public Policy, Political Behavior
with David F. Arons, Gary D. Bass, and Matthew F. Carter

Surveying Nonprofits is a methods text for those embarking on a mail survey of 501(c)(3) nonprofits. It offers a step-by-step guide from drawing a sample to actually mailing out the questionnaire. There is substantial coverage of issues such as the Internal Revenue Service's 990 database, writing survey questions, and working in academic-practitioner collaborations.

Table of Content:


  1. Planning the Project
    The Genesis of an Idea
    Building, Improving
    Project Scope
  2. Which Groups to Survey?
    501(c)(3)'s and Tax Deductibility
    501(c)(4) Nonprofit Organizations
    Other Exclusions
    The 990 Data Set
    Drawing the Sample
  3. Acquiring Names and Addresses
    Decision Rules
  4. Writing the Questionnaire
    Converting Ideas into Questions
    Vetting Process
    Cover Letter and Confidentiality
  5. Executing the survey
    Mailing Logistics
    Replacing Bad Addresses
    Return rates
  6. Academic-Practitioner Collaborations
  7. Conclusion


  1. Questionnaire
  2. Cover letters
  3. Phone calling script
  4. Return rates by week