8. Reporting on Results /

8.4 Telling compelling stories

STANDARD:

We report on the human stories behind our achievements.

To meet the standard in full, you tell stories where possible and appropriate to do so. These help to make an emotional connection with your audience and show them the difference your work makes to people’s lives. These stories can be presented in the form of case studies, audio or video.

While good impact reporting often relies on words and statistics, don’t forget to find ways to tell the human stories behind your achievements.

Everyone loves hearing a good story, and the most powerful are those that connect emotionally with those listening or reading.


There are various ways to present stories to communicate the difference your work makes:

  • Use written case studies to present real-life situations and illustrate the features of your work that help lead to change.
  • Use presentations to interact with your audience and communicate the story of your work in creative ways.
  • Use audio recordings such as short soundbites and longer-form podcasts enable people to tell stories in their own words.
  • Use video content to bring your story to life and encourage large audiences to watch, share and take an action.

Different formats will be more or less useful in different situations. However, the medium you select will only be as effective as the story you are telling.

There are many kinds of stories you could tell about the work of your social enterprise and its impact. The best stories are those have a relatable character (a person directly affected), a short and simple narrative, a sense of change or transformation, and a clear call to action for your audience. These elements of an effective story can be further developed using Social Impact Story Map, a tool developed by the Storytelling for Good project.

Where possible, try to keep a note of the positive stories you come across and find ways to tell your stories in relevant formats.