Three tips for communicating impact in today's social impact culture


Take a snapshot of your philanthropy. How do you describe the ways you are making a difference in the community? It's called social impact, and it's a priority in today's culture.

It's also a subject that is under tremendous scrutiny, especially as philanthropic dollars flowing to charities each year stays steady at 2% of GDP while the number of charities has doubled over the last 10 years. Plus, the IRS is watching philanthropy closely to be sure tax deductible dollars are put to good use. Lots of eyes on social impact is also the reason you want to control the message!

Now is the time to learn how to communicate the results of the good you are doing in the community and celebrate your legacy of philanthropy, whether you’re engaging in social impact activities with your family, your foundation, or your company. The key is to communicate your social impact in a way others can understand and believe. This is important for all of your target audiences--family members, employees, clients, customers, or the community.

Here are three tips for talking about your community impact in today's social impact culture:

1. Be specific.

Make sure you have at least the very basic information about how your dollars have impacted real people's lives, short term and long term. You don't necessarily need extensive data, but you do need to be able to articulate the community gap and how your dollars help to fill it. A few key stats and one or two stories will get you started.

2. Be authentic.

It's easy to spot a fake. If people don't believe you truly care about the cause, it won't matter if you have great stats and stories. People want to hear the reason behind your connection and passion. That's why you need to pick charities you love and support them in the ways you enjoy the most, whether that’s giving money, volunteering, serving on a board, purchasing products that support your cause, donating necessities to people in need, recycling and respecting the environment, or celebrating at events in the community.

3. Be everywhere.

In today’s social impact culture, good communication is not on a single channel! Social impact culture is all about websites, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, one-on-one meetings, Facebook, emails, and all of the other ways we connect with each other in our work, life, community. Everywhere you go, and in everything you do, you have an opportunity to celebrate social impact and make a positive difference in the lives of people in your community.