Okay, you have two paths to follow right now.
- If I haven’t already convinced you to create your data story, take a look at this blog. (Please return to this one afterward, or we will have defeated our purpose here.)
- If I HAVE convinced you to create that story, we can continue down the path together. I won’t try to hold your hand because that might get awkward. Let’s get into it.
Many of you already excel at sharing your mission and impact. But, if you want to extend your reach, here are some suggestions for doing so.
Identify Relevant Data
You’ve gathered SO much data about your clients and services. Now, you need to figure out what to include as part of your narrative. For example, Pacific Clinics discovered through the use of Salesforce tools that their mobile response dispatch time decreased from 50–60 minutes to 15-30. These time savings can potentially save lives of individuals suffering from mental health crises. Determine your own key data points. This could include information about the problem you are addressing and relevant statistics that show the impact of your work.
Visualize the Data
We talked about this a bit in the previous blog, but it bears repeating. Charts, maps, and infographics can help you present your data in a more engaging way. Safe & Sound uses Tableau dashboards to visualize certain data points, like how many services they provide each year. Of those services, how many are unique individuals? With these data points, they can make programmatic, funding and recruitment decisions and share that information with funders using visuals that are easy to comprehend.
“We use Salesforce so we can show the effectiveness of our impact. Now, we are able to ensure that the story we share about our impact is based on data and evidence-based outcomes,” says Taylor Herrell, PhD, Director of Measurement & Evaluation at MAAC, a community organization that helps families to become self-sufficient. “With Salesforce, the narrative is much more compelling.”
Choose the Right Platforms
Which platforms will help you reach your target audience? You can write blogs (hey hey!), create newsletters, keep your website updated with impact stories and events, and use social media. Speaking of which, are you following Provisio on LinkedIn and Twitter? You can sign up for our Provisio Pulse newsletter on LinkedIn. See what I did there? Extending that narrative reach!
Share, Share, Share
Regularly share your data stories across different channels to maximize your reach. Encourage your followers to share the stories too. You can use hashtags and social media campaigns to amplify your reach. Consider creating a social media advocacy program at your organization to encourage staff participation; the more people sharing your successes, the better!
Just like you track the success of your programs, you should track the performance of your data stories by monitoring engagement metrics, like views, likes, shares, or comments. Evaluate the impact of your stories by assessing any changes in donor engagement or volunteer participation. How are your stories impacting your community?
We always use the buzzword that we want to show impact, but it wasn’t proven in a scientific way that we could articulate,” says Dio Gica, EdD, Chief Operating Officer at Institute for Career Development. “Now we can show the effectiveness and make a much more compelling story about what we do and how we’ve impacted the client.”
Based on the insights you gain from sharing your story, make adjustments if necessary. Experiment with different data visualizations or platforms to optimize engagement. By leveraging these stories, you can effectively communicate your mission and grow your audience. Use your stories to build community and inspire action!
Marjorie lives in Saint Louis, Missouri. She received her Master’s degree in English from Truman State University. Her responsibilities at Provisio Partners include content creation and technical writing.