December 5, 2023/0 Comments/in Featured StoryImpact Stories /

By James Njuguna

In any organisation today, nothing demonstrates success and change more than stories of positive impact in the lives of individuals. Any organisation worth its salt should leverage on.

Sharing real-life impact stories, especially ones that tug at the heart and bring about emotional connection with the larger audience out there, including donors. Impact stories through videos and testimonials will not only go a long in recruiting new donors but also give credibility to the organisation.

This is why the focus on stories of change needs a deeper voyage into the true impact of different programmes within an organisation. It’s a journey that transcends the mere breadth of activities to unearth the profound depth of impact on the donor target population.

As a Monitoring and evaluation practitioner, my world revolves around the art of measuring impact and weaving captivating narratives— success stories—detailing how various interventions have woven change into the fabric of our communities.

Crafting stories that beckon donors’ attention is an art, and I will share four time-tested ways of writing impact stories that demand more than just a passing glance.

Select a character that best fits your target population.

In crafting your success story, envision an ideal character who is not merely a recipient but a true hero of change. This character should vividly depict their life before your intervention, highlighting the challenges they faced, the doubts they held, and the knowledge they lacked. Imagine how your programme acted as a catalyst, ushering in a profound shift in their perspective, changing behaviours, and equipping them with knowledge. This character isn’t just a storyteller; they possess the ability to captivate readers, instil trust in partners and key stakeholders, and enhance your funding credibility.

Therefore, when selecting this character, choose wisely, for they embody the tangible proof of the impact you’ve made, and their narrative serves as your most potent tool.

Elicit your reader’s emotionsYour impact story can be a captivating catalyst for stirring emotions. By infusing a tone that triggers emotions, you ignite curiosity in your readers, compelling them to delve deeper into your work.

Consider this: “In Kenya, ten thousand people die of malaria every year.” This statistic packs a visceral punch, stirring powerful emotions compared to such a statement, “In Kenya, many people are infected with Malaria.” The choice of words matters; it’s not just about stating the problem but painting it vividly with descriptive language.

Share the story with your team for review; Think of a second pair of eyes as your narrative’s secret weapon. They’re like the “story whisperers” who can gauge the true impact of your story just by their reactions and non-verbal cues.

But the magic doesn’t stop there – a review isn’t just about their response; it’s about giving your story the clarity it deserves.

When you review, it’s like stepping into the shoes of your audience, making sure your thoughts are crystal clear. It’s about wielding words that are not just powerful but effortlessly understood, creating a narrative that leaves an unforgettable mark.

As we wrap up, it’s essential to recognize that development partners are no longer just crunching numbers; they’re seeking the profound impact we’ve etched into the lives of those we serve, leaving an indelible mark of transformation.