Project Guide

Impact storytelling (written)

This information will help you compile a project for a volunteer to put together stories on your organisation’s impact. Why tell stories? Because they show people the difference your work can make. Real stories about the lives touched by your work can connect people with your mission, give them a concrete example of your impact and inspire them to support you.

Skills required

You’re likely to require the volunteer to have:

  • Communications skills including writing for marketing purposes
  • Experience in journalism, reporting or creative writing

Likely project deliverables

The pro bono professional will deliver the following:

  • Two to three stories on your organisation’s recent work (for online or print publication)
  • Stories will be around 500-1000 words in length

Estimated time required

A project like this could be expected to take the volunteer 14-16 hours over three-four months.

Example of project steps with time estimates

Step one: Volunteer reviews relevant materials

The not for profit gives the volunteer relevant information about the organisation, for example: nature of work, history, strategic plan, vision, previous impact stories and initial story ideas.

Likely time commitment for volunteer: one hour reading and reflecting


Step two: Brainstorming session

Volunteer and not for profit get together to brainstorm ideas for not for profit impact story. Not for profit discusses recent successes/challenges, possible subjects, recent standout clients/interesting angles etc. Idea for story is decided upon.

Likely time commitment for volunteer: one-two hours in meeting


Step three: Interview

Not for profit makes introductions if required and volunteer interviews subject(s).

Likely time commitment for volunteer: one-two hours


Step three: First draft

Volunteer uses notes from brainstorming session and interview(s) to write up a first draft.

Likely time commitment for volunteer: two-three hours


Step four: Feedback and finalising

Volunteer gives not for profit first read of draft. Not for profit gives feedback, which is incorporated by volunteer into the draft. Draft is given to all relevant parties for signoff (e.g. the interviewed parties) and final draft is checked off by not-for profit.

Likely time commitment for volunteer: one-two hours


Step five: Repeat for next story(ies)

The above steps are repeated for stories number two and three at an organised time over the 3-4 month period

Likely time commitment for volunteer: five to six hours

Check: before you list this project your organisation will have:

  • Identified the information that will brief and support the volunteer to do this project including well thought out ideas for possible stories
  • Knowledge of where the stories will appear to support decisions around length and style
  • Your availability to attend brainstorming meetings and review the drafts