Why is an Impact Story important?

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By Suzanne Brown 2 minute read

If there’s only one story you tell about your organisation, it should be your impact story. A report from strategic research company McCrindle found that about 85% of Australians agree that social impact reporting builds trust with an organisation, and they are more likely to engage with an organisation that communicates its social impact.

Effectively communicating your impact will show that you deliver on your purpose with care and integrity. It demonstrates that you manage your funds well, showcases a passionate team, and gives you a chance to talk about your values and how you deliver on them. Some of our clients are a bit shy about ‘bragging’ about their impact, but with more competition for funds from donors and grants, it’s more important than ever for the people you work with to know that it’s worth investing their precious time or money in your organisation.

How do you tell an impact story?

Some facts and figures are great, but weave the data through powerful human stories of the impact you’ve made on someone’s life. For NFPs reluctant to toot their own horn, you can always have your beneficiaries tell the story of how much your work has transformed their lives.

In our experience, video is the best medium to use when sharing your impact story. There’s nothing like hearing, seeing and feeling the emotion behind a story. In a video we made for Liverpool Neighbourhood Connections (LNC), hearing about how LNC’s programs put their client, Penny, on the road to independence after years of intergenerational unemployment was incredibly moving.

Also, it’s always compelling to see the passion that your staff or volunteers have for their work, and what it means to them personally to get the results they achieve. It will not only demonstrate your organisation’s passion and impact on donors or funders; you may well get more volunteers!

The images in a video also allow you to show many more layers of information, often without saying anything. For example, seeing your staff or volunteers in action, the people they help, and where and how they deliver your services, all help to build the picture of a thriving, effective, and happy organisation.  

If you can’t make a video, use as many photos as you can to accompany the written stories. Then you can also repurpose the full version into snippets for your social media; when you’ve got a good story, you want to tell it in as many ways as possible. It also helps the budget go further.

How do you measure your impact?

Traditionally impact reporting has been a costly exercise that many not-for-profits just couldn’t afford. Luckily, a free new online tool is changing that. 

The Centre for Social Impact at UNSW has collaborated with government and charities of all sizes to identify outcome indicators. The result is a world-first Indicator Engine, developed as part of the Amplify Online platform. 

The engine manages the creation and distribution of evidence-based surveys, collating and categorising responses, to accurately measure the efficacy and impact of any initiative or social issue. And it’s free! Check it out here and start measuring your impact and telling your story soon!

If you need any help with your impact storytelling and content creation, get in touch. We’re here to help, and it’s our favourite kind of content to create! 

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