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How To Write A Success Story

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How To Write A Success Story

  1. 1. The NGO Joint Initiative for Urban Zimbabwe Phase II Start Up Workshop 18-19 August 2008, Harare “ Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations” Success Story Training Presented by Tigere Chagutah, JIMT
  2. 2. In this session <ul><li>What is a success story </li></ul><ul><li>Why we write success stories </li></ul><ul><li>How to write a success story </li></ul><ul><li>Do’s and Don’ts of success story writing </li></ul><ul><li>What makes a good photograph </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  3. 3. What is a Success Story? <ul><li>A Success Story shows how the program or intervention has made a difference in people’s lives. It describes positive change and benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Success Story Vs Impact Statement </li></ul><ul><li>Strictly, a Success Story is a narrative description of the program. It sets a scene, tells a story and documents how programming made a difference. A success story should be concise -- usually 500 words or less. </li></ul><ul><li>An Impact Statement is much shorter – 75 words or less. It focuses on who benefited and how. It uses numeric or narrative data to show value </li></ul><ul><li>The JI Success Story merges the two: focuses on the beneficiaries, how they benefited and showcases the program intervention and how it has made a difference. (150 words & Photograph for JI II Quarterly reporting) </li></ul>“ Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  4. 4. Why we write success stories <ul><li>There are lots of reasons, including: </li></ul><ul><li>The need to show the value of the program to those who give us money and other resources </li></ul><ul><li>We have to be accountable to donors </li></ul><ul><li>We need to communicate how we have made a difference to all kinds of stakeholders to ensure their continuing support and participation </li></ul><ul><li>By telling our success stories, others carrying out similar programming can learn from our experience </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  5. 5. How to write a success story <ul><li>Elements of a success story </li></ul><ul><li>Situation: What was the problem, issue or concern </li></ul><ul><li>Response: How did the affected person/and the program solve the problem? </li></ul><ul><li>Results: What was the outcome? Who benefited? </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence: What were the changes and benefits using qualitative and/or quantitative data? Quote beneficiaries </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  6. 6. How to write a success story cont. <ul><li>The 5 W’s and an H </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the individual or group the intervention serves? Consider age, gender, ethnic group, poverty level, literacy... </li></ul><ul><li>What change has come into this recipient's life because of your intervention? Think of painting a picture of the recipient before and after the intervention. Look for significant changes that have occurred, indicate measured results when possible </li></ul><ul><li>When (time period) did the change occur? Consider the length of the program or the time the individual or group participated in the program </li></ul><ul><li>Where did this occur? Pinpoint the location of the program. </li></ul><ul><li>How did the intervention provided through the program cause the change? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does the recipient feel that his/her life is better or has been changed? A direct quote will give greater impact to the story </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  7. 7. Do’s & Don’ts of success story writing <ul><li>Do’s </li></ul><ul><li>Use short, direct sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Choose simple familiar words over stuffy, academic and unfamiliar words </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an angle: Human interest, Startling or interesting (to your reader) facts/statistics or Inventive approaches or solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Know the facts about the benefits gained and clearly state what you know. Bullet points may be used to outline many benefits clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Create an emotional hook by painting a picture of the people behind the facts (Hard Vs Soft Lead) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid wordiness and long sentences by eliminating unnecessary words and sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid jargon and acronyms </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid broad sweeping statements and grandiose words which can destroy the credibility of your story. </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  8. 8. What makes a good photograph? <ul><li>Look for interesting subjects that will illustrate your story </li></ul><ul><li>Photographs should have people in them, one or two pictures of the landscape is fine but the rest should focus on the people who are the subject of the story </li></ul><ul><li>Take pictures of people of various ages – youths, kids, old people, middle age and also get a mix of male and female photos </li></ul><ul><li>Capture people in their normal settings not a set up </li></ul><ul><li>In the photos subjects should be presented in a respectful manner. Beneficiaries should not be depicted as beggars or hopeless </li></ul><ul><li>People in your photos should exhibit one of the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dignity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grief (this is fine as long as it demonstrates an “l shall overcome attitude” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Framing your shots – Getting up close (usually close up photos show the emotions of people) </li></ul><ul><li>Unique perspectives (Don’t take all your photos from the same level as all photos will look the same – try kneeling down and looking up at your subject </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting for the shot – Like a hunter you need to be patient to get good photos!! </li></ul>“ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”
  9. 9. Thank You! Tigere Chagutah NGO Joint Initiative for Urban Zimbabwe [email_address] “ The JI - Community Based Support to Vulnerable Urban Populations”

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