57. Results from our impact survey

When we started this podcast series, we wanted to make a difference.  So during 2021 we conducted an impact survey to evaluate our results. This episode provides the findings from the survey, including feedback from listeners, guests and our team.

Sue Stockdale talks to Racheal Kigame and Salome Gathoni who volunteered to design our 2021 impact survey, analyse the data, and produce our first Impact Report. They discuss some of the results and explain why it’s essential today for any company or organisation to measure if they are making a social impact in the lives of individuals, families, or communities they are serving.

Sue also speaks to Racheal and Salome about the growing interest in impact investing, and how organisations must adopt new ways of communicating if they want to have a positive impact.

Racheal Kigame is Country Program Director of Help a Child Africa and was a guest in Access to Inspiration Episode 12 – Leading a non-profit in Kenya

Salome Gathoni is a communications specialist, and Corporate Affairs Manager and the member of the senior management team of a hospital in Kenya.

Read the 2021 impact report online

‘It’s a good report card for a podcast, and could be emulated by others’. Podnews Editor

Thanks to the many listeners, guests and team members who contributed to our impact survey or left us feedback about the podcast. 

Racheal Kigame

Salome Gathoni





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Key Quotes

‘Are you making a social change in the lives of families and communities that you’re actually serving?’

‘Measurement is actually the first step that leads to improving anything’.

‘One of my greatest lessons in this process has been evaluating the power of storytelling’

‘50% of our guests were first time podcasters’

‘71% of our guests said that they would be very likely to be a podcast guest in the future’ 

‘29% of our guests felt that it was very likely that they would host a podcast in future’.

‘I’m being part of a team that is also helping to inspire other people’.

‘We get so stuck to how we have done things, that we miss an opportunity to embrace new ways of communicating’.

‘There is growing demand from investors and customers to solely invest in, or spend with businesses who are aligned with their values.’

‘They really want to align with the why you do what you do’

‘We really want to change the African narrative that indeed Africans have resources’

Results of our Impact Survey Transcription

Sue: Hi, I’m Sue Stockdale and welcome to Series 8 of the Access to Inspiration podcast. We are changing the world one inspirational story at a time. Whether I’m talking to a chef, a coach or a composer. Each of their stories has the power to strengthen shape and challenge our views of the world. Our aim of the podcast since the beginning of 2020 has been to improve people’s lives by helping them to transcend day-to-day challenges and reflect on what they are capable of achieving.

We are excited in this episode to launch our impact report and share the findings from the survey we conducted with listeners, guests, and the wider podcasting community that we interact with. Two highlights from the report that I’m particularly pleased about is, we’re now ranked in the top 10% of most popular podcast shows globally, according to Listen Notes. And that 75% of those people we surveyed would recommend the access to inspiration podcasts to others. You can download the report from our website. So just go over to access to inspiration.org. And you’ll find the transcription for this episode as well as all the other episodes we’ve recorded with me today to discuss the topic of measuring impact are two women who volunteered to design and produce the impact report they are Racheal Kigame who is Country Director of Help a Child Africa Africa. And Salome Gathoni who’s the Corporate Affairs Manager and the member of the senior management team of a hospital in Kenya and a communications specialist. They’ve both been the key impetus behind producing our impact report. And I welcome them both to the podcast.

Racheal: Thank you so much, Sue.

Salome: thank you Sue again for having us in this conversation.

Sue: And Racheal, if, if I could come to you first, because you, the person that I turned to and said, how do I put together an impact report? And you were able to help guide me during that process. I’m wondering if you can tell the listener what that involved.

Racheal: Thank you so much, Sue. So from when you contacted me in terms of measuring the impact I touched was really, really exciting because I have never thought about how to measure the impact of a podcast. And for me, it was really interesting to hear that you really want to know the kind of impact you’re making. And what I really liked about your approach is you’ve just been in it for less than three years, and already you want to check, how am I doing? And am I making an impact? So just the realization that you really want to measure something and you want to understand it better. It was really a good gesture and what most people really don’t know that actually impact measurement is here to stay.

So I know, in the private sector or in the business sector really, they don’t focus on mission. It’s more about profit and not just trying to measure if you’re actually making a good impact on what you are doing. So it’s really important that any company organization, big or small they really spend time to understand their purpose and what success would look like. And with success, I don’t mean like monetary it’s about, are you making a social change in the lives of families and communities that you’re actually serving? So measurement is actually the first step that leads to improving anything. For me, it was really good that we took up this project and it’s a good starting point for your non-profit Access to Inspiration that we were able to gather data and just to give a summary of the process, we are able to conduct an impact evaluation, targeting our listeners and guests. And we’re able to really work with professional impact measurement experts who are able to check the credibility of our data to make sure it’s rigorous. And it’s actually measuring what we intend to measure. So it’s really a product that involved a lot of experts bringing in their best expertise on the table to be able to measure it. And after we are able to collect the data we are able to analyze it, and now produce the report that we are discussing today,

Sue: thank you, Racheal. Great to get your perspective on the importance of measuring impact. And then obviously the process we’ve gone through with this particular report. And Salome you’ve been closely involved in the production of the report, because I guess anyone can measure something, but how people receive that it’s going to be having an impact almost in the communication of the message. How did you go about it?

Salome: thank you again for having us in this conversation. And I’m grateful to Racheal for inviting me along in this project. when I first read the initial findings  my question was how do we package this into a way where we have so much information we are in the age of information overload and you can in one glance, tell what Access to Inspiration podcast achieved. Where did they start and where they’re going? Like, how does the future sort of look like? Are there insights that you can glean from the numbers, just a glance and would this be a preamble to adding more value for changing and tweaking for a new strategic direction? So this to think of a one way, just one glance, like landing page where you can see everything was one of the things I really wanted to achieve. And so I was glad that we were able to get that later. But not only did it track the journey from where you started Access to Inspiration podcast. but also did tell the story of, the number of guests you had had, the number of episodes that had been recorded, but also, like sort of a give a trajection to the future. How does the journey look like? So I can’t wait to see how you’re doing 2022. So this getting a glance, synthesizing all the information to one page that that was for me the best bit of this report.

Sue: Well, I think what you’re saying there is that people love visuals, isn’t it? And there’s a lot of great visuals in the report and hopefully those that read it we’ll get a really useful sense of the impact that our podcast has been making since we got going almost two years now. Salome I also know that your role in the day job is around communication. Are there any sort of top tips you would give to a listener about how to communicate impact effectively?

Salome: I think one of my greatest lessons in this process has been, just evaluating the power of storytelling. I think stories are a greater part of our lives and we love stories. There’s a way of connecting with the stories we hear, and they can be useful and meaningful in other people’s lives. And so for me, from a communications perspective, really, love just to tell our stories, you can never tell how much our stories would impact somebody out there. So stories always are a great way to tell, or even inspire other people. Even from an organisation point of view, just to sort of track where an organization has been, where we are and where we hope to go and get to synthesize the core values, the vision, the mission, of an organisation in what we are telling every day in our stories.

Sue: Thanks Salome and here’s an example of one of the stories. I had an impact on one of our listeners, Eveline. Episode nine was J-D Bartoe who’s an astronaut going into space and this is what Eveline thought about it

Eveline: There were a lot of little bits of inspiration that I got from the podcast. I think a lot of things were unexpected, to be honest, like I’d never really even considered. What kind of people go into becoming an astronaut? What kind of people choose that as a career or as a profession? It was so interesting to hear him say how he went from being young and wanting to be either a cowboy or an astronaut, and then choosing this profession that was so about adventure and just the whole storyline. It just took me into not only his life, but also thinking about all of us have our stories and how we end up choosing a particular profession I loved where he said, I talked about dinner tables when he was growing up and how, when there was a question, someone would run and grab the encyclopedia and they would all figure it out as a family. And I just love that sense of curiosity and that sense of family like bringing those two things together. And I think. I want to use that more. So I’ve been trying to incorporate that also in my homeschooling, but also even at like dinner table conversations, I have a four and a half year old. She’s constantly curious about life, but there are so many things that my answer to her is, I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that. So then not just stay there, but actually like, okay, let’s figure this out together. And it’s brought like a whole new energy also into our learning and growing together which is really, really neat .

Sue: Another way that our podcast has made an impact with listeners. Is depending on where they listen to the podcast. And our listener Valentine told us that it really influences her when she’s out walking.

Valentine: I find it very calming, but at the same time energizing because when I go out on a walk. And that’s how I got to know the podcast, it’s an ideal time to take a walk for example, and really listen to it and take it in. And that’s why it’s always very valuable to me. And I always feel better afterwards. I think it’s the perfect length and the perfect energy of a podcast for me personally. So it’s always enriching and I take a lot of value from it,

Sue: And for another of our listeners, Malcolm, who recently retired. The podcast has an impact on him in terms of thinking about how he can become more adventurous

Malcolm: I think I enjoyed finding out about other people’s lives and some of their activities, things that they’ve done, and particularly things like risk taking and people’s curiosity and sense for adventure. It’s made me think about doing things in a different way or doing different things. The one I particularly enjoyed was Jonathan Cook on the living as a daily farmer, because it just made me think people can break out of the mould and do things differently. So that’s something I’m going to try and do. I’ve retired a couple of years ago. And probably settled into a routines, but I never liked routines when I was working. So now I need to find more leisure activities and perhaps be more adventurous.

Sue: Being more adventurous is also something that our guests have highlighted in the impact survey. In fact over 50% of our guests were first time podcasters. And 71% of them said that they would be very likely to be a podcast guest in the future because it had a positive experience. Even 29% of our guests. Felt that it was very likely that they would host a podcast in future. So in terms of the impact of encouraging people to think about podcasting that can be used as a medium for communication. We’ve had a success there too. In addition to evaluating the impact that podcasts have had on listeners and guests. We also turned our attention to those that are engaging with us in different ways, supporting the production of the podcast and the research that we do. I spoke to Shikhar, who’d carried out a research project for us. And one of the key things that made an impact on him was learning how to listen.

Shikhar: one of the major things that I learned was to listen. And I think that is a skill that is becoming passive these days and needs to be learned in active manner, which nobody actually teaches us to do somehow. We’re always told to listen to others and to be an active listener, but nobody tells us how to listen to others. I think this is a skill that I got to practice actively through these podcasts series that I had the opportunity to listen to, and to be able to just listen to someone in their thoughts and not make a judgment out of it. And trying to gain from their thoughts this is something that I learned from this podcast series.

Sue: And perhaps podcasters can be thinking about the impact that actually producing the podcast has on those that are doing the editing. I was curious to learn if Matias was inspired when he was doing the sound editing for our podcasts. And it certainly seems like it’s causing him to think differently about the clients he works with.

Matias: All the people that appear in your podcast they all had this, this feeling they have this passion and they have this search. You don’t hear them saying, well, this is just my job. And that’s, that’s all, they, they are looking for something else, I think that’s crucial in life. We should always be looking for something else, that feeling I think is really important. In fact, lately that I have maybe more choice with the work I do. I try to choose projects that have this kind of feeling. I am right now editing two or three other podcasts in a regular basis. And they all have these inspiration message. It’s something I like, because it’s not just editing an interview, but it’s being part of something else while I did it, I also get that message. So it’s inspiring me. And I’m being part of a team that is also helping to inspire other people.

Sue: So I hope that what you’ve heard from some of our listeners and our production team. Has whetted your appetite to have a look at our impact report . You can download it from accesstoinspiration.org. And there’ll be a link on the show notes. I’d like to just finally come back to this topic of impact. And find out from Salome and Racheal a little bit more about measuring impact in internal communications within an organization. And also measuring social impact and the trend that is developing around impact investment. Salome how do you know that your communications have had an impact within the hospital?

Salome: So for my internal communications, are there channels that we will do away with in 2022? So this just finding out if I send out an email to all staff, how many, so like this intentionality to see how many people read emails. So keeping that data for me is very important because in 2022, I’m not going to do emails because our current staff members are not very much into email. So it seems Whatsapp and public forums are things I need to build on in 2022. So the primacy of data, just for the purposes of generating insight, measuring progress, and lastly, to add value or to make adjustments is something I’d really want to emphasize on.

Sue: You’re making me think now Salome around challenging traditional norms, because if there’s a perceived way, for example, that, we always use email and that’s how we do it. Well, I’m hearing you say we should be thinking more broadly than that. Is this the right effect that we’re getting by using that channel and the intentionality, might be to be more effective using a different channel. Is that what you’re alluding to?

Salome: You’re right Sue I think sometimes we get so stuck to how we have done things. We miss an opportunity to embrace new ways of communicating. For instance, I think a podcast would be something I want to try in my organization and actually track the number of people who get to listen to a particular podcast and see if that’s the future the hospital versus getting stuck to an email. And I know we are more than 800 staff members and from my research and the data, I have collected only about a hundred people read their emails when we send a general communication. So it means a very small minute fraction and percentage of people are reading emails. So that’s not the future for sure. So from where I sit right now in my internal communication, I need to look for new ways. And embracing new ways and not to be afraid to try them out but, to see what can I make out of this. And hopefully that would be the thing that catch on and you’d have made impact.

Sue: well, I’m hoping that podcasting will sneak in there as a way of communication, perhaps in the future in your hospital’s Salome.

Salome: You’re right. I want to try one this year, this first quarter, I’ll give you a feedback about my first trial.

Sue: Thats fantastic and Racheal i know you are very keen on measuring social impact and the value that that has around the fundraising that you’re doing in your role. Tell us about that.

Racheal: Ah Sue there’s an emerging interest and that growing demand from investors and customers to solely invest in, spend with businesses who are aligned with their values. So people are not looking for products that smell good, or they are cheaper. They really want to align with the why you do what you do. So for example, people who listen into Access to Inspiration, I remember some of the feedback we got in the report was someone who said, I was really happy to hear their motivation and their reasons as to why you do the show. So people want to connect with your why and this is where social impact comes in. So social impact is the net effect that companies and organisation’s have on individuals, families, and communities were being through their business activities. People want to align more with the purpose of your organization and that’s why they would invest in. And impact investing. It’s a positive change your organization is bringing to society. And Sue it’s really interesting that 51% of all consumers are speculated to pay for products and services that promote social impact.

So it means if you have social impact in mind, you’re already ahead of your competitor. It means a competitor who’s not really providing this social impact or who’s not providing this data is already knocked off the market. But how do we know that your company or the company you want to invest in or their product make a social impact? So this is where measurement really comes in. And without proper data and information, we can really not tell whatever you present will be baseless and, so we really want this data to convince our supporters. The people invest in our organization that really we are creating change and we are making an impact.

So the main results we really add to organisations and companies regardless of their size, is why they really need to focus on measuring social impact. It really helps you to see the results of your work. Because if you’re relying on external funding, then it’s critical that you can illustrate the results of your effort. And this is where the data comes in. And as Salome already say, it tells you to tell your story better to consumers connect with them and your customers.

Sue we live in a world that is interconnected and the challenges the world is facing you cannot, you cannot solve the global challenges alone. Access to inspiration is one avenue of solving, one challenge. So if we all in our own small ways, if we all contribute to solving these global challenges, it means really we are doing a part of. How we are creating the impact. Like we are making our own contribution so it means you do your part. Salome does a part. I do my part and globally, we are leading to global change.

Sue: Well, I agree with what you’re saying, Racheal, that. If everyone does one small action, they can add up to creating a much bigger impact globally. Now, of course, both you and Salome are busy people. And I’m really grateful that you taking the time to volunteer, to help us with this impact report. I guess I’m wondering. Why would you want to do that what’s been in it for you?

Racheal: I really feel like I’m so grateful for me, it’s about changing the African narrative. There’s the notion of Africans, they just like to receive, receive, receive. We really want to change the African narrative that indeed Africans have resources. They are well-endowed. They’re solution-oriented and that’s the side of Africa we really want to bring across globally with Salome and I, we on the same page in terms of the change we want to create for us, it was really a good opportunity.

Sue: I just want to thank you again for your volunteering, your resourcefulness and the brilliant result that you’ve helped to produce for the podcast series. I hope you have enjoyed our conversations about measuring impact and that you’ll hop on over to our website and have a look at our impact report.

Remember, you can keep in touch with us on social media. We are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Just search for access to inspiration. And you can also keep up to date with what we’re doing by signing up for their newsletter, which you can do at the bottom of the homepage on the website.

Next week, I’ll be speaking to Brendan Davis, a film producer. About what it takes to create Impact through the lens of filmmaking. I hope you can join us then.

Sound Editor: Rob Lawrence (he/him)

Producer: Sue Stockdale (she/her)