The Missouri Municipal Survey™ logo

Based on input from local government officials, Opinion Research Specialists developed The Missouri Municipal Survey™. The MMS™ is a probability-based, low-cost citizen survey designed for Missouri municipalities. Accurate and affordable, The MMS™ can be used for:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Service Improvements
  • Community Needs Assessment
  • Prioritizing Resources
  • Benchmarking

Using a single survey template, local government officials select from a menu of core questions to assess citizen opinions about city services, community needs, and community livability. In addition to the core questions asked on The MMS, local government officials can also include custom questions tailored to address their community’s particular needs.

Statewide Benchmarks

Local government officials have the option of comparing their community ratings to the average rating of peer communities using our statewide benchmarking database. Statewide benchmarks are superior to regional and national benchmarks because municipalities within the same state operate under the same state laws, regulations, and judicial rulings. The MMS is unique in that it focuses exclusively on Missouri municipalities, thus ensuring an apples‑to‑apples comparison.

Core Topics for Statewide Benchmarks Include:

  • City Services
  • Public Safety
  • Quality of Life
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Economy
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Health & Wellness
  • Civic Vitality

Trend Analysis

Conducting The Missouri Municipal Survey™ on a regular basis has the added benefit of identifying trends — both positive and negative. Scarce resources can be directed towards areas where community satisfaction is declining while maintaining services and policies where satisfaction is high or improving.


Residents are selected using probability-based sampling methodology which allows survey findings to be generalized back to the entire community with a high degree of accuracy. Moreover, data is collected using a mixed-mode design that combines a mail survey with an online option. Due to the extremely low response rates associated with telephone surveys, the mail/online hybrid approach is now the industry standard.


By focusing exclusively on Missouri municipalities and using a single survey template that combines standard and custom questions, The MMS is affordable for municipalities of all sizes. Moreover, it is a turnkey service that encompasses the entire survey process – questionnaire design, sample selection, data collection, statistical analysis, and final report. Because this service is only available to members of the Missouri Municipal League, clients can save on administrative costs by sole sourcing The Missouri Municipal Survey.

The MMS™ ”Essentials” Package ($9,500)

  • Six-page questionnaire that includes core and customized survey questions as well as customized cover letter
  • Questionnaire mailed to 3,000 randomly selected households (or every household if community has less than 3,000 households with cost of survey reduced by amount saved on printing and postage expenses)
  • Respondents given the option of completing the survey online rather than submitting by mail
  • Margin of error not to exceed +/- 5 percentage points around any survey percent (i.e., industry standard)
  • “Opt-in” online version of the survey made available to the general public via a link posted on a municipality’s website, social media platforms, eNewsletters, etc.
  • Data entry, data cleaning, and data weighting to reflect population norms
  • Final report submitted electronically includes the following documents:

    – An executive summary highlighting key survey findings and overview of the survey methodology

    – Statistical analysis of survey results displayed graphically and in tabular report format

    – Copy of the survey instrument and cover letter

  • General public “opt-in” survey results reported as frequency percentages and submitted as separate document
  • Turnkey project management by Opinion Research Specialists from start to finish.

Additional Options Available for the Following Fees:

  • Statewide benchmarks comparing a municipality's ratings on core questions to the "average" rating of peer communities in Missouri ($1,000)
  • Comparison of results from prior surveys conducted by ORS, i.e., trend analysis ($750)
  • Comparison of results for up to three prior surveys conducted by company other than ORS ($1,500)
  • Crosstab analysis of survey findings by any three demographic and/or geographic variables ($1,500)
  • Crosstab analysis of survey findings by up to two additional demographic variables ($750 per variable)
  • Importance-Performance regression analysis of city services to identify priorities for investments ($500)
  • Two open-ended questions – responses reported verbatim under separate cover ($1,000 per question)
  • Spanish-language version of the online survey ($1,200)
  • On-site PowerPoint presentation of survey results: $1,000 if within 75 miles of Springfield, Missouri; $1,500 if between 75 and 125 miles; $2,000 if greater than 125 miles OR Zoom presentation of survey results ($750)

Report Documents

Clients have the option of receiving the final report as either a single document or as multiple documents so that different stockholder groups receive the exact information they need without being overburdened.

"Essentials" Package documents include:

  • Executive Summary
  • Statistical Analysis of Survey Results
  • Survey Instrument
  • General Public "Opt-In" Survey Results
Depending on the optional services selected, the final report could also include the following documents:
  • Statewide Benchmarks
  • Trend Analysis
  • Importance-Performance Analysis
  • Demographic Subgroup Comparisons
  • Geographic Subgroup Comparisons
  • Responses to Open-Ended Questions

14 Week Timeline

  • Phase 1 (4 weeks): Questionnaire development (mail and online), cover letter design, drawing a sample
  • Phase 2 (6 weeks): Printing of materials, mail preparation, and data collection
  • Phase 3 (4 weeks): Data analysis and final report submitted
  • Optional: Presentation of survey findings

Enrollment Is Easy

Because The Missouri Municipal Survey is only available to members of the Missouri Municipal League, clients can sole source The MMS thus eliminating administrative costs and speeding up the delivery schedule.

For more information, please contact Dr. Mark Ellickson at (417) 889-4506 or