With data collected and analyzed, consider the best strategy or strategies for communicating results with key audiences.

It is important to determine the core messages you want to communicate with your audiences.

For maximum effectiveness, your messages should be:
  • Targeted
  • Accessible
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Sticky (easy to remember)
When planning reports, consider:

  • Who is this report for? How should you frame the information for different audiences (e.g., board members)? How much content can you expect them to make time to absorb?
  • What are your 3 to 5 core messages? Be clear about the main findings or ideas and implications you want the report reader to take away from your work.
  • What do you want audiences to do with the information? How will your reports support decision-making among staff, executive leadership, the board and other stakeholders? How will they support changes in practice for program staff? Are there other goals you have based on the information you are reporting?

Selecting a Report Formet

Once you have decided on your report audience(s), you can then determine which type of report format will best communicate your findings. Regardless of the format you choose, make sure that your content connects with your audience. Avoid jargon, and use quotes, photos, and testimonials to help tell the story.
Report format types

  • Traditional narrative with charts and graphs: A detailed and comprehensive written description of findings. May include charts and graphs to visually display quantitative results (Click here for examples)
  • Key findings brief: A focused distillation of findings
  • Findings presentation: Often a PowerPoint slide deck with visualizations and interpretations of the data
  • Slide document or “SlideDoc”: A PowerPoint slide deck that provides all necessary information without requiring in-person presentation (look up SlideDocs online)
  • Infographic: Brief (often one-page) graphic representation of findings (Click here for examples)