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How to communicate your impact

Showcasing the worth of what you do to the wider world isn’t just a legal requirement. It’s an essential tool for inspiring supporters, informing commissioners and spreading awareness of your work. Here are some simple tips to help you do just that.

1

Show the human impact

Always remember the human stories behind the statistics. Your meals on wheels service may have reached 200 more homes this year – but what does that mean for your service users? Go beyond the figures to explain how the project has alleviated loneliness, increased independence and brought dignity to older people in the community.

2

Use case studies

One great quote from a service user on how their life has improved because of your work can be more effective than ten pages of facts and figures. Tell a story. Use images, video and spoken word rather than a printed report.

 Good impact reporting does need the statistics, but don’t forget to let the people who benefit also speak for themselves by inviting service users to talk about your impact in their own words.

3

Ditch the jargon

If you’re communicating your impact to a non-specialist audience then use plain English to make what you’ve achieved crystal clear.

4

Get the right images

Head and shoulder shots of your CEO and trustees don’t help explain the good work you do. Instead, ask staff to provide photographs illustrating their work in action. Readers love human interest stories, so try and capture the real lives of the people that your not-for-profit helps.

5

Pick great statistics

Pore over your annual results and pick out the statistics which best showcase your impact. Do 98% of your service users think you’re doing a great job? Or less than 1% of young people reoffend after they’ve finished your programme? Make sure your communications team has access to these key facts so they can go front and centre in your media work.

6

Round up your results

Say 73% of your teenage service users face hardship because of government cuts. Communicating that percentage as “nearly three quarters (73%) of young people...” makes the statistic sound even more substantial.  However, never be tempted to over claim, and always include the percentage in brackets for transparency’s sake.

Further information

 

Matt Chittock, a writer at ngo.media, contributed to this how-to guide.

 

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Page last edited Sep 08, 2020 History

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