Field Research

Survey Concept

 Adam Rakestraw

Abstract: The purpose of this entry is to discuss the thought and process encountered during our fieldwork that went into the creation of the Young Patron Circle survey.

        Our group recently has spent our time to put together a research survey for a collaboration between our researcher, Renee Steenburgen and of the YPC coordinator, Stephanie van Rappard of the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. The data is used to investigate the donor behavior to the Young Patron Circle (YPC), the young donor organization to the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. This entry will discuss our mythological approach and thoughts going into the construct of our survey.

Our first approach was to critique the original draft sent to our group by Renee. The original draft included questions inserted by Renee herself and the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. Our task was to review the grammar and critique question by question on the original draft. We explored each question with asking ourselves, “is this necessary or unnecessary when considering the YPC audience (mainly of 25-35 year olds)?” We particularly wanted to create a survey that was interesting for the participant, nor it be overwhelming in the length.

The aim practically was to create a hard copy version of the survey that would take an applicant less than 15 mins to complete yet have enough data points for our research. The research itself wanted to know more in-depth, who is coming to the performance, who is or is not donating, why are they donating, and in what environments or incentives would they like to have in return for their donations? Who, being meant by a broad and vague notion of a member of the YPC or Opera and Ballet attendee. Data consisted original of roughly 40 questions, but later streamlined to 25. Data was broken down into three main categories: background information, nationality, age, gender, etc; reason they donate: social, professional, fun; and access to communication: how much are they informed, how they would like to be informed, how much do they know about their organization, etc.

The following is examples of questioning our research was concerned with:

(Source: first draft of the YPC survey questions 5-11)

5) How did you first hear of the Young Patrons Circe (YPC)?

6) Since when are you a member of the YPC?


7) Are you a member of other Patron Circles? If yes, which ones?
8) Have you visited Dutch National Opera & Ballet prior to your YPC membership?
9) What was your main reason of joining the YPC?
10) Which of the following activities did you attend?
National Launch
An evening with Hans van Manen
Opera for Dummies
International Launch
The Making of Mata Hari
Opera Forward Festival with the YPC
Roméo et Juliette 
11) Which YPC event was your favorite and why?

The methodology we used for the questionnaire included multiple choose, short response write-in, and a a 1-5 scale which had a response range based on their level of interest or involvement (Example: not interested – less interested, natural, somewhat interested, very interested).  This scale is referred to as the Likert scale after its creator physiologist Rensis Likert. Below is a specific example from our survey, where we considering how effective is the means of communication by the YPC, in this case, 1 is terrible commutation and 5 is good communication.

20) How would you rate our communication of news and events to you?

Bad                                 Good

 1         2         3         4        5 

The final point to address is the amount of peer review and critique we underwent with the survey. The process itself started with Renee collaborating with the board of the Dutch National Opera and Ballet. After the addressed specific questions which to feature, the first draft was sent to our group (D) and Renee’s assistance Emile for critique and grammar check. On our follow up meeting our group spent the whole time discussing with Renee about the survey in-general, our findings, and our concerns. After the edit the survey was sent back to the board for more collaboration between them and Renee until approval was met.