We know there are many researchers, students, NGOs, and other data collectors who struggle to afford the reliable, secure, and powerful technology they need to do their best work. That’s why we launched our free Community subscription in May 2016.

Like our professional-tier subscriptions, Community subscriptions support unlimited users and devices. Subscribers can create and deploy forms, monitor and explore data in seconds with our built-in Data Explorer, and use features like automated quality checks. They can access an extensive suite of help documentation and sample forms, and utilize the SurveyCTO Support Center for additional peer support.

While the Community subscription is free to users, it’s actually quite costly to build and support a high-quality product like SurveyCTO and to maintain separate databases and virtual servers for each project. We see the Community subscription as an extension of our social mission and we hope that our Community subscribers will find meaningful ways to use SurveyCTO in their work.

In return, we ask two things:

  1. If users can afford to pay for SurveyCTO, we ask that they consider upgrading to a professional subscription. Very intentionally, we are funded by our users rather than relying on donor funds or venture capital. This enables us to be solely accountable to our users and to run a financially sustainable business. If SurveyCTO is a platform that our users value and can afford, we hope they will pay for it.
  2. Rather than collecting a monthly subscription fee, we ask Community subscribers to engage with us and the broader SurveyCTO community in order to sustain their subscriptions.Requested engagements are designed to be quick and easy. For example:
    • completing a short survey,
    • sharing a photo from the field,
    • submitting a feature request,
    • suggesting revisions to our online help,
    • introducing yourself in the community forum,
    • sharing a sample form,
    • helping somebody in the peer support forum,
    • participating in a case study or blog post,
    • contributing to the Open Data Kit community,
    • assisting with translations,
    • helping test new features,
    • providing a testimonial, or
    • referring a friend or colleague to SurveyCTO.

We ask Community subscribers to briefly engage once per month, and we announce upcoming engagement requirements in the SurveyCTO server console, on the Manage Subscription page, and in email reminders. Each time a Community subscriber engages, their subscription will be extended for an additional month.

At any point, Community subscribers can upgrade to a professional subscription or close their server.

Additional details
Monthly engagement is required to maintain a Community subscription. If subscribers do not meet this requirement, SurveyCTO will suspend their server. Servers can be reactivated when a subscriber’s engagement has been logged or if the subscriber upgrades to a professional subscription.

SurveyCTO also reserves the right to shut down servers if an engagement submission is clearly fraudulent or if there is any violation of our Terms of Service.

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