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Women’s March Global is dedicated to gender equality and grassroots community mobilization—and it knows that solid data can spark real social change. When the nonprofit decided to launch a groundbreaking global survey on women’s issues, it turned to SurveyMonkey Enterprise to bring the ambitious project to life and collect potentially life-changing insights.
In an early 2020 check-in call with its worldwide chapters, Women’s March Global uncovered a devastating pattern: domestic violence was up globally and women’s issues were falling through the cracks of government initiatives.
“Our chapters were not seeing pandemic relief dollars going to the women and gender-diverse people who needed them, and we were not seeing solutions for the surge in domestic violence,” said Betsy Scolnik, board chair of Women’s March Global. “It created an incredible sense of urgency globally.”
The nonprofit needed comprehensive data to lobby local governments and ensure women and gender-diverse people were being heard. That data is typically hard to come by—a fact highlighted by the rapid and sustained crises of 2020—but Scolnik and her team found that SurveyMonkey was up to the task.
For its Global Count survey, Women’s March Global brought together a committee of civil rights activists, partner organizations, and experts from the University of Maryland to develop survey questions that would give women and gender-diverse people an opportunity to highlight issues and call out the barriers to addressing them.
Because the survey was being launched in over 170 countries, it needed to be accessible in 15 languages. It also had to be capable of collecting nuanced insights. “The idea of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ women’s issue platform is a patriarchal, racist approach to philanthropy,” explained Scolnik. “Location, ethnic background, environment, societal systems, and more affect what individual women need.”
The survey analysis process was another important consideration. As a nonprofit with limited staff, Scolnik wanted to ensure that she and her team could analyze tens of thousands of survey responses in a way that would support rapid, evidence-based intervention in local communities. With SurveyMonkey, they had the exact features they needed, from built-in analysis to translation and API services.
The first Global Count survey was launched on January 21, 2021, the day that the annual Women’s March would normally have taken place if not for COVID. Responses numbered in the tens of thousands in just a few weeks and the Women’s March Global team was even able to successfully collect responses from hard-to-reach locations.
As responses came in, the nonprofit shared high-level SurveyMonkey dashboard access with chapter leaders so they could quickly see what was urgent in their communities. SurveyMonkey analysis capabilities made it easy to map common keywords used in the responses to open-ended questions. This helped Scolnik and other Women’s March Global leaders identify which issues were flagged the most per locality.
Violence against women was the top issue globally. With SurveyMonkey, Women’s March Global could see the national and local differences in how women viewed the problem and the barriers to solving it—whether political, cultural, or economic. That information empowered the organization to develop targeted action plans with individual chapters to help NGOs and governments effectively direct support and develop policies. Women’s March Global also shared those findings with 75 partner organizations, strengthening its international line of communication and ensuring an even broader impact for all that valuable data.
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