If your business is focused on doing social good but you don’t yet have a communication plan in place to share your impact with the world, this checklist is for you. It contains step-by-step guidance to help you communicate social impact in ways that will add value to your strategy.
We’ve put this checklist together with businesses that use ActionFunder in mind. Our platform makes it easy for companies to fund community action and celebrate the impact.
Quick tips to guide your comms strategy
- Get together with your marketing team to plan a communication campaign.
- Shine the spotlight on the organisations and people you help.
- Share through organic channels like your company blog, newsletter, and social media pages.
- Get executive spokespeople involved.
- Make your impact tangible with stories, photos, videos, and data.
- Be sure your company is walking its talk in other areas.
For an in-depth look into why and how to promote your influence, read this article.
4 steps to share your impact through ActionFunder
Supporting community action through ActionFunder is filled with opportunities to highlight how your company is making a difference in local communities.
- When you launch a community fund
- When you choose the projects you’re going to fund
- The work non-profits do with the funds
- The total measurable impact when projects are complete
Step 1: Spread the word when your fund goes live.
Once you launch a fund to support community projects, you want to spread the word so as many non-profits as possible can hear about your funding and apply. Think about how you can tap into all the channels you would typically use for a major announcement.
- Give it a permanent home on your website. Here’s a great example from South West Water.
- Announce it on your blog. This gives you a chance to share more about the why behind your fund.
- Create a video or article talking about the fund and why your business is supporting community projects. This can be particularly helpful if it’s recorded by a member of your executive team.
- Share the fund with your press contacts. Many media outlets are looking for feel-good stories and opportunities.
- Create a hashtag for your fund. Use this in all your social media communications.
- Post about it on social. Ask your team to do the same. Employee posts get 6x more reach than company posts.
- Announce the fund in your newsletter(s) and invite subscribers to share it with their networks.
- Share it with your partners, especially those with broad social reach or non-profit databases.
Step 2. Announce the groups you choose to fund.
Once you select the projects you want to fund, it’s the perfect time to shine a spotlight on the chosen organisations. Let the world know about the work they’re doing and why it’s important to you.
- Go back to all the same channels you used for your announcement with the intention of sharing more of the story. Here’s an example of the blog Sir Robert McAlpine published when they selected awardees for their Strong Foundations grant.
- Think about writing a press release and sharing it with local media outlets. Highlight the organisations’ work and how they’ll use the funds. This can help earn media coverage for the groups you’re supporting.
- Ask recipients for a quote to use in your announcement. Stories are more relatable when they have real people connected to them. You can use these quotes in your release, on your blog, and even in social media images.
- Make it easy for recipients to talk about your support. Send them some sample posts & images they can share on their own pages. And tag selected recipients in your social media posts.
- Encourage your team to share the announcement as well. Employees take a lot of pride when their companies support meaningful causes. This is a great time to get them involved in the conversation.
Step 3. Share updates about funded projects.
Some of the most inspirational content comes as community groups are putting your funds to work. Non-profits share several updates with funders along the way, often in the form of testimonials, photos, and videos.
These moments bring the human side of your funds to life. Just look at all the beautiful updates Sir Robert McAlpine has received from the 80+ projects they’ve supported through ActionFunder.
- Keep an eye on your ActionFunder dashboard where you’ll see real-time updates roll in from funded non profits.
- Create a proof folder to hold all these images, quotes, etc. Make this accessible to everyone on the team.
- Share your favorite updates on all-hands company calls. These feel-good photos and videos help make the impact tangible for employees and executives alike.
- Consider including some highlights in your newsletter. Remember to keep this focused on the groups that are doing the work and the people they’re helping, rather than making it all about your business as the funder.
- Post to social. Tag the non-profit. If the community groups posts on their social profiles, be sure to engage with their updates. Let them (and the world) know how excited you are to support their work.
Step 4. Publish the impact report.
As each non-profit completes a project, you’ll receive a data-rich impact report that contains a ton of valuable info, including:
- Total # of project beneficiaries
- Actual # of beneficiaries compared to estimated #
- Impact quotes from project owners
- Types of social/human benefits that resulted from your fund
- Types of environmental benefits that resulted from your fund
- Tangible outputs (i.e. # of people engaged; # of outreach sessions; # of events; etc.)
- Impact of tangible outputs
- Total # of volunteers involved
- Impact summary
We encourage businesses to share highlights from this report with all internal and external stakeholders—employees, customers, investors, and community members.
- Create a mini-infographic to highlight your impact. Some of our favorite data points to include are the total # of project beneficiaries, total # of project volunteers, human/social benefits, environmental benefits, and impact summary stats.
- Turn the quotes into a lookbook (with permission of course) that you can share as an image slider or clickable PDF.
- Include the data in your annual CSR or ESG report. If you’re not already publishing a CSR report, perhaps it’s time to start. 90% of top companies produce annual CSR reports.
- Create a social campaign that really brings your impact to life. Include data from the report and updates non-profits provided along the way.
We hope this checklist inspires you to start sharing and celebrating your impact. The world needs a little more inspiration and a lot more businesses like yours that are committed to social good.