Supporting Survey Response through Tokens of Appreciation
First experiment results (Spring 2021)
- There was a significantly higher response rate to complete a 15-minute time-use survey among respondents (including select center administrators and all teaching staff) who received prepaid and postpaid tokens of appreciation over those who received only a postpaid token of appreciation (81 percent compared with 61 percent). There were no differences between the two groups with respect to days to complete the surveys (about 11 days, on average).
- The gift card cost per complete for the group receiving both prepaid and postpaid tokens of appreciation was higher at $23.60 than the cost per complete for the group receiving only a postpaid token of appreciation at $20.00. The additional cost for this group was a result of needing to purchase physical gift cards for all sample members—not just those that completed surveys—and because there is an additional $1 processing fee for physical gift cards that is not incurred for electronic gift cards.
Second experiment results (Fall 2021)
- There was a significantly higher response rate among the group of teaching staff respondents who received the lower prepaid and higher postpaid tokens of appreciation to complete a 45-minute survey over those who received prepaid and postpaid amounts that were even (93 percent compared with 87 percent). There were not significant differences between the two groups with respect to days to complete the surveys (about 14.6 days, on average).
- The $10 prepaid/$40 postpaid token of appreciation structure offered a lower cost per complete ($51.85) than the $25 prepaid/$25 postpaid structure ($54.80).
The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly stopped in-person data collection in child care and early education (CCEE) centers. In 2021, the Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High-Quality Early Care and Education (ICHQ) project team carried out a random assignment experiment to test the impact of prepaid tokens of appreciation to improve survey response and reduce the number of days it takes for a survey respondent to complete a survey after they receive an invitation to complete it (days to complete) when study representatives could not visit CCEE centers in person. In this white paper, we present results from two rounds of an experiment of tokens of appreciation.