We hope you’re ready to learn about creating effective impact reports that showcase the amazing work your business and/or your client’s business is doing.
How to get the most out of this Impact Reporting course
We’ve designed this course to provide you with some simple-yet-valuable tips and insights to help you create a powerful impact report. We think that the course’s best benefit – in addition to the tips themselves, of course – is how quick it is to complete.
Needless to say, you will get the most out of this course by watching all the videos and reading all the text in full. However, if you are really strapped for time, you can just watch the videos, all of which are 70 seconds or less in length. Easy! That’s why we’ve shared videos and text for you – to give you the choice of going through the course in the way which works best for you.
To help you consolidate your learnings and have a useful resource at your fingertips, we have also compiled everything into a handy PDF for you to keep and refer to while creating your impact report. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to get it!
Why should you publish an impact report?
An impact report is a powerful communication tool that allows you to share the positive and negative effects of your actions and your business’ journey with stakeholders, build trust and credibility with them, and identify areas for improvement.
Do not underestimate the positive results a great impact report can achieve as we accelerate into a world where better business becomes business as usual. Get ahead of the curve and start now. If you’re not the decision maker in your company, try to get some colleagues on board and then present a case to your boss / MD / CEO for why your business should at least talk about publishing its first impact report. This step alone could lead to some positive outcomes.
Tip 1 – Identify your audience
Knowing who you’re speaking to is essential for creating a report that resonates. Consider the interests and needs of your stakeholders, such as customers, investors, and employees, and tailor the content accordingly. By addressing their concerns and priorities, you’ll create a more engaging and valuable report, which can lead to increased stakeholder support and commitment.
Tip 2 – Make a plan
A well-structured plan is key to a smooth report writing process. Allocate responsibilities to your team members, decide if external support is needed, and set deadlines for completion and publication. This way, you’ll save time and produce a better outcome. A clear roadmap will also help you maintain consistency in your reporting, ensuring that you cover all necessary topics and present a comprehensive overview of your impact.
Tip 3 – Tell a story
Great impact reports tell a story that ties everything together. Share your business’ vision, the impact you want to make, your achievements so far, and future plans. A compelling narrative will engage your audience and make your report memorable. Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to showcase your progress, and don’t be afraid to share challenges and learnings, as this transparency will foster trust and credibility with your stakeholders.
Tip 4 – make it open and honest
While it’s important to showcase your achievements, don’t shy away from sharing challenges or setbacks. By providing a balanced, transparent account of both positive and negative impacts, you’ll build trust with your stakeholders and demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement. Furthermore, discussing lessons learned and corrective actions taken can highlight your adaptability and resilience.
Tip 5 – Make it concise and understandable
Clarity is key when it comes to impact reporting. Use straightforward language, break down complex concepts, and avoid jargon to make your report accessible to a diverse audience. This approach will not only increase reader engagement but also help convey your message effectively, ensuring your stakeholders fully grasp the significance of your work.
Tip 6 – Use credible data
Support your claims and showcase your impact by incorporating reliable and verifiable data. A combination of qualitative and quantitative information will provide a comprehensive view of your efforts and add credibility to your report. Be transparent about data sources, methodologies, and any limitations, as this will enhance your report’s persuasiveness and help stakeholders make informed decisions based on your findings.
Tip 7 – Share your plan
A strong impact report includes a clear goal, a plan to achieve it, and measurable targets that align with that plan. By connecting your efforts to globally recognised frameworks like the UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example, you can demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact and show how your work contributes to a larger global vision.
Tip 8 – Use engaging visuals
Make your report more accessible and appealing by incorporating well-designed visuals such as graphs, charts, and images. These elements can help illustrate your points, simplify complex information, and make the report more enjoyable to read. Remember, humans are visual learners, so a visually engaging report is more likely to leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Tip 9 – Have clear next steps
Your impact report should not only reflect on your past achievements but also look towards the future. Outline your plans for scaling up your impact in the coming months and years, and share specific goals and initiatives you’ll pursue. This forward-looking approach will inspire stakeholders and demonstrate your ongoing commitment to making a positive difference.
We hope you found these tips and insights valuable for your impact reporting journey.
Even if you are not going to use any external support when it comes to producing your impact report, following these tips should at least help to elevate your report to a much better level compared to if you were just starting from a blank sheet of paper with no idea what to include or how to structure it.