Frequently Asked Questions

What is BeHeardCVA?

BeHeardCVA is the first survey panel in the state of Virginia representing the diverse people of Central Virginia. BeHeardCVA is an effort to listen to residents in every part of the greater Charlottesville area. With that platform, we will then express what we hear to those who can make a difference in meeting needs and improving life for area residents. Our participants volunteer to have their voices heard by researchers interested in the thoughts, opinions, and experiences of people in the region. 

What does CVA mean?

CVA is short for “Central Virginia” or “Charlottesville Area”.

How often will I be contacted?

Participants can choose how often they want to take surveys. Possible options are: more than once a month, once a month, more than once a year, or once a year.

What are the surveys about?

BeHeardCVA surveys come from local government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic researchers, so topics will vary. Topics may include: access to education, public safety, transportation, employment, and public health. 

Where do the surveys come from?

The questions for each BeHeardCVA survey may be developed in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic researchers who want to know about the life and opinions of people in Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties. All questionnaires will be sent from and collected by the Weldon Cooper Center’s Center for Survey Research. Contact with those who volunteer to participate will be restricted to the professional staff at the Center for Survey Research.

How will I benefit from joining BeHeardCVA?

There are many benefits to joining BeHeardCVA. You will have a chance to have your voice heard by important decision makers and researchers in greater Charlottesville. You will become an integral part of a movement aimed at creating positive impact in our region.  In addition, for completing surveys, you may also be entered in raffles, giveaways, etc. to earn sports tickets, gifts, and other rewards. In addition, most surveys will include monetary incentives e.g., gift cards and/or cash.  

How will my community benefit?

Information is foundational to positive change. The more people who participate in BeHeardCVA, the more comprehensive and representative the responses we collect will be. Government agencies and other organizations serving the region can then use that information to better serve this area. By participating in BeHeardCVA, you represent your community in voicing your opinions, thoughts, and experiences.

What if I don't want to take a BeHeardCVA survey?

Any participant can opt out of either answering a specific question or taking a survey altogether. If there are topics that you find unfavorable, you may decline to take a survey at any point. However, you will still be eligible to take BeHeardCVA surveys in the future if you are still interested.

What happens with my information and survey answers?

First, BeHeardCVA participants’ data and information will be kept private and password protected at all times. Our list of participants is never sold or shared with anyone else. Second, all survey data is collected and seen only by our team of analysts before results are presented to local government, non-profit, charitable and research entities in the greater Charlottesville area. Third, all personal contact information including names, emails, and phone numbers will be removed from the BeHeardCVA survey data file before any reports are made, and all results are presented completely anonymously. We present the data so it does not highlight the beliefs or opinions of any one individual.

How do I know if I qualify for BeHeardCVA?

Currently, we are accepting people who are 18 years of age and older, and live in Charlottesville or in the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, or Greene.

How do I sign up?

Signing up is quick and easy. Just fill out our intake form.

Do you ever have in-person meetings or discussions?

Currently BeHeardCVA does not regularly hold in-person meetings. However, there are sometimes opportunities to be involved in focus groups where we invite participants to discuss a topic in person. The best way to be invited to participate in our focus groups is to stay active and involved in BeHeardCVA.

Are government and local non-profits actually interested in the data you collect? Will action be taken based on results?

We partner with organizations that are actively interested in conducting high-quality survey research in order to understand public opinion and learn more about people’s needs. It’s up to the organization to decide what to do with the data but we always give our partners the data they need to create a positive impact.

Will I get charged for text messages?

Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your mobile service provider for details. However, we will not send you text messages without your prior approval, and receiving text messages is not required to participate in the panel. Instead, you may choose to complete BeHeardCVA questionnaires online or via telephone.

Who created and operates BeHeardCVA?

The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service and its Center for Survey Research (CSR) created, manages, and operates BeHeardCVA.  The Weldon Cooper Center is part of the University of Virginia.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions at any time, email BeHeardCVA@virginia.edu or call 434-243-5232.

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