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New Client Questionnaire

This is a work-in-progress so that I can arrive at a standard set of questions for new clients.

All projects

  • Do you have a preferred way to exchange sensitive information such as passwords and database exports? (Encrypted email, Dropbox, LastPass, etc.)
  • What platform is your current website built on? (WordPress, Drupal etc.)
  • Does your website currently get backed up? How, and how regularly?
  • What is your current website host? And what kind of account/plan do you have?


  • What will this website need to do to meet our goals?
    This can be a mix of both short-term and long-term goals. While these should certainly be related to the mission and goals of your organization, website goals tend to be more specific and concrete than the organizational vision. For instance:

    • provide basic information to the public;
    • deliver resources to our constituencies;
    • help us raise money and secure funding;
    • increase our base or our membership.
  • Who comes to your site, and why do they come?
    Create a list of everyone who might visit your site and whose needs you'd like to meet. For each audience, broadly describe their motivation for coming to the site. Be sure to think about your audiences' goals, rather than the goals of your organization or campaign; that will help you develop a site that's centered on your visitors, effectively engages them, and keeps them interested. For example:

    • Members of our constituencies who would like to access our services or resources;
    • Community members who care about the work that we do and are looking for ways to get involved;
    • Funders, either because they fund us currently or are considering funding us and want to learn more about our work and activities.
  • What do those audiences want from your site? What do you want from them when they come to the site?
    It's important to put your audience's specific website needs first; by meeting visitors' immediate needs, you have a better chance of encouraging them to take the kinds of actions that will help you meet your website goals. It's give and take!

    • Members of our constituencies want to know how to get in touch with us, what our hours are and whether there are fees associated with our services; we'd like them to submit a form on our site so that we can follow up with them and ensure they can effectively access our services.
    • Community members want to find out more about our organization's mission and when our next meetings and events will take place; we'd like them to sign up for our mailing list, make a donation, RSVP for events and share information about our organization via social media.
    • Funders want to learn more about our day-to-day work from our site; we want to make sure that they're able to find out what we're doing and that they come away with a sense of vibrant, effective, engaging work that they are motivated to fund.
  • Who are the daily administrators of your website? Give names and titles if just a few, or number and description if more.

  • What are the main daily tasks that these administrators do with the website?

  • Are there other people who administer the website sometimes?

  • What do these people do when they administer the website?

  • What are the most mission-critical workflows for which you use your website?

  • Does your website interact with any external software/devices?


  • How many contacts are in your database currently? How many donations/contributions?
  • Do you currently do mass mailing? How many pieces of email do you send in a month?
  • Do you take online contributions? Who is your payment processor? Do you have recurring contributions set up?
  • Who are the daily users of your database? Give names and titles if just a few, or number and description if more.
  • What are the main daily tasks that these users do with the database?
  • Are there other people who use the database sometimes?
  • What do these people do when they use the database?
  • What are the most mission-critical workflows for which you use your database? (For example: producing labels for annual mailing; weekly donations reports broken down by chapter.) Feel free to copy from previous questions.
  • Aside from the legacy database, are there other data sources that you use? (Spreadsheets, online mailing list, etc.) Please list them.
  • Does your legacy database use any third party plug-ins, or interact with any external software/devices?
  • Do you have full administrative access to the database – are you able to export every bit of data if you want to, and see the details of how fields are configured?

User Stories

CiviCRM user story examples

Updated by Jon Goldberg about 1 year ago · 6 revisions