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How and Why to Report on your Business’ Impact

impact measurement

This blog post focuses on the different ways that business can report on their impact.

The importance of measuring and reporting impact has been a recurring theme on this blog. Proper reporting and clear communication of impact is not only beneficial for the company in question, but for the impact community more generally. The more companies that succeed in communicating the positive difference they are making, the more the line between profit and purpose will blur in the eyes of the public and the entrepreneurs and investors of the future.

Our mission, at Seedtribe, is to help companies communicate and connect towards that end and inspire a better future. One of the first question we ask companies is how they measure their impact (Eventually, we hope to aggregate the overall impact of all our companies and present that information in way that inspires people and helps them to see the power of business for good.).

So how do companies report on their impact?

In order to report meaningfully to team members, shareholders, and indeed the public at large, businesses need to spend time and effort working out what their KPIs are when it comes to ‘impact’. Only then, can they present how much impact they are making in a way that is helpful to them and those to whom they show it.

Impact reports should look beyond monetary values. By looking at the numbers of people, metric tonnes of carbon and other measures specific to the business in question, impact reports give a clearer idea of what is changing rather than how much money was spent or earned.

We believe that impact reporting should not have to follow the traditional form of a long, multi-page report. Some businesses like to use images and infographics to display the impact their business has created in a given period. Infographics are very engaging and tangible for everyone which is so important when communicating the value of solutions that should matter to everyone.

Here are a couple of examples that we really liked:

Source: Groundwork UK

Source: Habitat for Humanity

Both examples clearly articulate the powerful and positive difference the companies are making. The use of large headings, simple stats and arresting imagery grabs the attention, appeals to a wider readership and is eminently shareable on social media. If the goal is to get as many eyes on as possible (which it should be), this format is going to be far more powerful than an official and wordy written report.

At SeedTribe, we are committed to championing businesses that share our belief in profit with purpose. Companies that make the effort to measure, report and powerfully articulate their impact alongside their commercial success, are those, we believe, that stand the best chance of long-term success for themselves and for our planet. What’s more, they lead by example in showing that generating impact does not compromise the ability to generate profit, and in turn inspires the next cohort of purposeful businesses.

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