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What to include in your social impact report

Knowing what to include can make the difference between a successful delivery of your company’s goals and implementations for a better world, or a lackluster report that raises more skepticism. We’ll help you know what to put in the social impact report and how to organize it.

Press releases are a bother for some and a boon for others, but unlike in the past, now releases can go out not only on the wire, but to social media channels that will help your reports be seen by millions.

Of course, just because you put it out there doesn’t mean it’s going to be noticed. A good social impact report should be concise and punchy, not a drawn out development.

Start with a Social Impact Assessment Report or CSR

It’s sometimes best to go to the drawing board and start with your company mission statement. You do have a mission statement?

In that statement, your social accountability ideas should be clearly spelled out, and your impact report should be an indicator of how well you are doing.

But perhaps nobody was thinking about social responsibility when they were drafting up the mission statement. Then What?

Don’t start with the media trends or ideas from other companies. Obviously you are making a difference in the community and with your employees, so start there.

Solidify what your goals are and take a proactive approach to social responsibility. What are you doing right now to make your business the best place to work. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • How does your sick leave compare to that of other companies?
  • How much effort goes into helping bereaved employees coping with a family loss?
  • How much vacation time do they get?
  • How are they paid compared to other companies?
  • What charities does your organization donate to?
  • How much do you give to social programs in your city or state?
  • Do your employees participate in community activities?
  • Are they paid when they go out to work in the community?
  • How do you work with employees to help them solve their own social problems?

These are just a few ideas. If you do things that other companies aren’t doing, then these should be the highlights that you look for and where to expand.

Put all this information together and find a goal. Help employees in their own lives, give them a yearly stipend for maintenance and repair on their vehicle, or a bus pass so they can get to work without worrying about how it affects their check, pay the bill for them to stay current with industry publications, or give them paid time off to help out at a local food pantry, community garden, or other socially responsible event.

Now figure out the main bullet points that govern your social responsibility strategy, and write them down simply. State who your company is helping and a general strategy for implementation, such as donations or employee participation.

Social Impact Reporting

Once you have all your data together for both the policies that are already in place or other ideas you would like to implement, then it’s time to put a plan together, but more importantly, draw up a report on what you have done.

There are a couple of social impact report examples out there if you are still stuck, but once you have determined your company goals for social responsibility, then it’s time to make a report of all the contributions made over a given time period.

This might be from the last month, year, or since founding.

Look over your social impact report and determine the most eye-popping or exciting efforts made by your company so far. These will likely be the areas you wish to expand on. Separate those from the rest, and use them as the basis for your final social impact report.

Keep it Short

The best press releases are those that can be read in a minute or two. They provide the tasty details that will catch someones attention, and make them excited to talk about your company. And don’t forget a catchy title:

  • ABC Company Doubles Employee Retirement Benefits
  • Widget Factory Plans 50% Wage Increase by the End of the Year
  • Boomers Employees get paid to March for Gay Rights
  • Business Closes for a Day to Help Out at Local Food Banks

You get the picture. Stand out, be seen, and do something that is going to give you a boost in the community, while pushing the ideals and goals that your company already has.

Then, write up the report. Mention your primary goal, what you have done so far, and what you are planning in the future. If you have some eye-catching statistics, then toss them in. Percentages and dollar amounts always look good, but so do charity names.

What To Include In Your Social Impact Report: Conclusions

It isn’t that hard to get a grasp on social impact reporting. Like any other kind of marketing, if you aren’t having a little fun with it, then something is probably wrong. Figure out your goals, assess what you’ve done to achieve them, put forth a plan to drive them further, and then release a report to reflect all of that.

Don’t forget to make some neat graphs, charts, or pictures that can also deliver the message to your social media channels.

Further reading:

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