Companies focused on impact investing are on a mission to create positive social and environmental outcomes while generating financial returns. These purpose-driven business models are designed to address the world's most pressing challenges, such as poverty, climate change, and inequality.
In our work, we often meet impact investors who struggle with communicating exactly how they’re tackling the challenges they’ve set to address, or even making sure they’re truly impacting the communities they’ve targeted. Telling the story of your impact can be challenging, as it requires more than just sharing financial data. You need to communicate the value of your social and environmental impact, the positive changes you are making in people's lives, and the progress you are making towards your mission.
Here are six ways you can tell your story better as a social impact investor:
- Identify and Measure Impact
Use an Impact Measurement Framework to set goals, objectives, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) (or Key Impact Indicators) that align with your mission and focus on the outcomes that matter most. This helps you understand the impact you are making and communicate it effectively to your stakeholders. If you need an example, check out our partner spotlight on Sonen Capital, which explores how determining the right impact indicators helped them build a revamped impact reporting strategy successfully.
- Use Real-Life Stories
Stories have the power to move people and make them feel connected to the cause. Your organization should use real-life stories to demonstrate the impact of your work. Build processes to gather and share real-life stories of organizations or communities who have benefited from your programs and how their lives have been transformed. A great example of this is how our partner SJF Ventures uses their Impact page to share powerful stories coming directly from their portfolio companies.
- Make Data Understandable
While data is crucial in measuring impact, it can be overwhelming and hard to understand for many stakeholders based on how it’s presented. When visualizing your story, whether through a dashboard or a full-blown report, consider the key steps towards building a compelling and clear narrative: choose a specific audience, start with a synopsis, consider your organizational goals, and focus on a few key points and build context around them.
- Collaborate with Partners
Collaboration with like-minded organizations and stakeholders can amplify your impact and help you reach a broader audience. These partnerships can also help you tell a more compelling story of your work.
- Be Transparent
Transparency builds trust and credibility with stakeholders. You should be transparent about your impact, challenges, and progress towards your goals. Being honest about the process of delivering your mission can help others in the community prepare for what’s ahead, driving efficiency and effectiveness in the sector as a whole.
- Use Technology
Technology can help social impact investors tell their story in a more engaging and interactive way. Use social media, video, and interactive tools to share your impact and engage with your audience.
Impact investors need to tell their story of impact in a way that is meaningful, transparent, and compelling. By identifying your impact areas, using real-life stories, making data understandable, collaborating with partners, being transparent, and using technology, you can effectively communicate the positive changes you are making in the world.
UpMetrics provides social sector companies with a way to measure both quantitative and qualitative data to capture your impact more comprehensively - contact us today to learn more.