9. Communicating with Impact /

9.2 Understanding your audience


We understand our audience and what information they need.

To meet the standard in full, you have identified and prioritized your target audiences. You understand their characteristics, the information they need, and what will motivate them to act on your information.

With your communications goals clear, take time to think about the audiences you want to reach with your impact evidence.

The audiences you need to communicate your learning and achievements with are probably quite varied, and will differ from organization to organization. Your audience might include:

  • The general public
  • Policy-makers
  • Funders
  • Investors
  • Beneficiaries
  • Partners
  • Other supporters

Try to be as clear as you can. Consider the distinctive characteristics, interests and preferences of different audiences. Refer to Section 1.3 which discusses stakeholders and their expectations.

Since time and money are likely to be limited, try to prioritise your most important audiences. Those that you must absolutely communicate with or feel that you can move to action as a result of your evidence.

Think about where your cause or your social enterprise fits into the thinking of the people you hope to communicate with. Are they supportive? Opposed or indifferent? Perhaps persuadable?

Often, our assumptions about our audience are simply wrong. Remember, the audience is not you – and the values and goals that drive us may be quite different from your audience.