Community-Wide Survey

Survey Overview
In the summer of 2023, the City of Lake Forest conducted a Community-Wide Survey to gather insights and perspectives from residents. To assist in the survey process, the City partnered with ETC Institute to administer and analyze survey data. The survey covered a range of topics, including community services, safety measures, infrastructure, recreational facilities, development preferences, and more. 

The seven-page survey was mailed to all households within the City of Lake Forest and the online survey was promoted across the City’s digital platforms (website, emails, social media, etc.). The results for the sample of 1,450 respondents have a 95% level of confidence with a precision of at least +/- 2.6%. There were no statistically significant differences in the results of the survey based on the method of administration (mail vs. online vs. phone).

Survey Results
We’re excited to share the 2023 Community-Wide Survey Findings Report. There’s a lot of information in the report, so here’s an overview of what it contains:

- A summary of the methodology for administering the survey and major findings
- Charts showing the overall results for the survey (Section 1)
- Benchmarking data that show how the results for the City of Lake Forest compare to other U.S. communities (Section 2)
- Importance-Satisfaction analysis that identifies priorities for investment (Section 3)
- Priority Investment Rating (PIR) analysis that identifies priorities for recreation programs and library services (Section 4)
- Tabular data showing the overall results for all questions on the survey (Section 5)
- Resident responses to open-ended survey questions (Section 6)
- A copy of the cover letter and survey instrument (Section 7)

A representative from ETC Institute, the company who administered the survey, attended the City Council Meeting on Monday, October 16, 2023 to present a summary of the survey results. Watch the full presentation below or view the presentation slides.

Survey Dashboard 
The survey dashboard offers viewers an interactive way to engage with the survey data through cross tabulations, trends, key demographics of respondents, investment priorities, as well as mapping results and benchmarking. View the dashboard.

2023 Community-Wide Survey FAQs

Why should I take the survey?
Your feedback is critical for the City of Lake Forest. City Council and City staff will use the survey results to help prioritize programs and services in the coming years. The results will also help shape the strategic planning process taking place later this Fall that will further prioritize how investments are be made in the Community. Survey results will be publicly available in an in-depth report on the City’s website as well as presented at a City Council meeting this fall.
Why do I need to provide my household address?
All survey results are highly confidential. That said, household address is required by survey respondents to verify Lake Forest residency. This process helps ensure survey data which will be used by both City Council and City staff to help prioritize programs and services is from Lake Forest residents.

Household addresses are removed from the data after verification by the third-party consultant (ETC Institute) before sharing back with the City.
Is my survey feedback confidential?
All survey data is highly confidential, and results shown both in the published report and dashboard are only displayed in aggregate. Respondent data is stripped of personally identifying information such as name, phone number, and street address, and obfuscating the geographic coordinates of the reported residence. For more information on confidentiality please visit ETC’s Website.
How are survey results screened for validity?
ETC Institute has an ongoing quality control and assurance program in place and ensures the unique demographic of Lake Forest will be captured in a statistically valid survey. ETC's program has been developed and refined through experience with hundreds of studies that involved the design and administration of surveys, focus groups, and other data collection services.  The quality control and assurance methods used by ETC Institute have been reviewed by the United States Office of Management and Budget.  
How was the survey instrument created?
Over the past several months, City Council and City Staff have been working closely with the ETC Institute to create a customized community-wide survey that can provide useful insights from our community. Compared with the old practice of administering a standard community survey instrument, City staff and City Council made significant efforts to design a comprehensive survey instrument that addresses a wide range of topics and touches upon a number of services provided within our City. We are proud to say our approach has been an innovative, and collaborative effort that we believe will produce actionable and useful results that reflect the collective voice of our residents.
About the ETC Institute
ETC Institute is Recognized as a National Leader in the Design and Administration of Market Research for Local Governments. Since 1982, ETC Institute has completed research projects for organizations in 49 states. ETC Institute has designed and administered more than 3,500 statistically valid surveys and our team of professional researchers have moderated more than 1,000 focus groups and 2,000 stakeholder interviews. During the past five years alone, ETC Institute has administered surveys in more than 700 cities and counties throughout the United States. ETC Institute has also conducted research for more large U.S. cities than any other firm. 
Stay Informed!