Five Ideas: What makes a good impact report?

Monday 16-01-2017 - 12:13

Impact reports are a great way to tell the world about your work, and we asked experienced practitioners from the student movement to share an example they love.

1. Rachel Drayson, Insight Manager (Sustainability), NUS

Place2Be is a leading children's mental health charity working in schools across England, Scotland and Wales.

I like their impact report because it clearly demonstrates their commitment to making a lasting difference. They address all the important questions head on, such as 'why do we think we're needed?' and 'how fo we know what we're doing is working?'. They do this by monitoring emotional and social wellbeing as well as academic attainment and progress.

2. Rebekah Smith, Director of Development, Leeds University Union

Thank You are an Australian social enterprise that sells ethical products and then gives back to the community.

I chose this as it’s a great example of how annual reports are using the digital format effectively rather than just focusing on the printed design. What it does brilliantly is present a very clear and consistent brand through the language it uses, the photography style and the messaging.

They demonstrate their impact through a combination of personal stories and numbers, keeping it simple and to the point. It’s clear who they are, what they do and the passion for the organisation’s objectives comes across. That combination of commercial activity and changing lives is something we as SUs can identify with and the way they show the connections, and therefore the impacts, across the two areas are really well done.

3. Kat Sullivan, Strategic Support Unit Manager, NUS

I enjoyed the Save the Children report. It has some interesting narratives in it, but is clearly a corporate document. I like the numbers bit at the start for punchiness, but it takes some patience to get to the impact stories.

4. Rob Griffiths, Policy Officer (Union Development), NUS

I recommend the Citizens Advice report. They clearly benefit from a standardised approach to logging client interactions and have recognised that investing in the analysis is critical to their survival. They’re also clear about how impacts on individuals drive the wider social change they want to see.

5. Tom Berry, Head of Communications and Engagement, Bristol SU

National Citizen Service ask themselves some serious questions about what they’re trying to achieve, then show what evidence they have for their programme is making a difference.


Features, Quality Students Unions, Union Development

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