There is no set format for writing an impact report, but there are some key points you should consider to make sure yours presents what you have achieved in a powerful and engaging way:
1. Explain why
It is imperative to use this opportunity to explain why you chose to do what you did as well as what you did. It’s all very well saying that you ran x new programmes / expanded by y% / engaged with z young people, but it is more important to say why. Remind your reader of your raison d’être: your mission statement and your theory of change, and use statistics and quotes to show this in action. Showing that you are acting for a reason - that you have seen a problem and you are choosing to help - is much more revealing and impactful that just saying what you are doing.
2. Be concise
It is important not to overwhelm the reader. We live in a world of 140 character tweets and 4 minute YouTube videos. Writing an impact report must reflect this mind-set. Think clear, concise sentences without too much block narrative. A theory of change summed up into a half page diagram will have many more readers reaching the end than one that involves the turning of pages.
3. Be accessible
It is widely known that we learn in different ways, yet how many of us make a conscious effort to write in a way that appeals to all? Consider using a mixture of text, statistics, diagrams, infographics, and pictures in order to make it an easy and enjoyable read for everyone.
4. Go digital
Taking this one step further, having a digital impact report means that you can embed videos, soundbites and music to your report to really bring your work to life.
5. Look forward
Finally, use your impact report as an opportunity to look ahead. Show your reader how you are learning from your experiences and incorporating this into your plans for the coming year. Tone is hugely important in this section. Highlight what is exciting and innovative about your plans, but equally demonstrate that they are set in reality.
Enjoy writing your impact report! This is a chance to display the motivation, drive and pride that inspired everyone who has helped you make a difference.