Success Story Guidelines

What is a Success Story?

A success story is an informative account or a case study of an inspiring action that made a positive change in people’s lives. Success stories help member organizations spread the word about their achievements, as well as share experiences that others can learn from.

How to develop a Success Story?

  1. Select the topic: the project, program, or service, the impact of which you would like to feature.
  2. Collect the needed information and statistics to start writing. You are advised to involve staff members who worked on the selected project, program, or service. Simultaneously, collect relevant photographs that best feature action in the work field.
  3. Contact some of the project beneficiaries and ask them to draft quotations about their experience and how they benefited from the initiative, project, program, or service. Remember to get their approval for editing, translation, or publishing.
  4. Draft your success story in the light of the instructions below.
  5. Share the success story with your colleagues and ask for their feedback.
  6. Finalize your success story and acquire the needed approvals to send your story for publishing.

Elements of an Effective Success Story (1000–1500 words)

  1. Headline: Choose an attractive title to attract the readers’ attention and encourage them to read; it should be simple, concise, and informative.
  2. Background: Mention a brief summary of your organization, including the scope of work and the long-term goals.
  3. Situation: Explain the problem or issue your organization aimed to address.
  4. Response/Initiative:
    -Describe the initiative designed to address the challenge.
    -Showcase the strategy and timeline of actions.
    -Mention the inputs (staff, fund, research, partnerships) invested in it, and the outputs (activities, trainings, products, etc.).
  5. Challenges: Mention the difficulties you faced and how you dealt with them.
  6. Result/Impact: Describe the outcomes/impacts of the initiative. Explain how it improved people’s lives or made a sustainable positive change in society. Use statistics to validate your story and highlight the substantial number of beneficiaries.
  7. Quotations: Feature beneficiaries and quote them. Including first-person accounts serve as a real-life example of the positive impact of the initiative.
  8. Future Potential: Mention your future plans for sustaining and/or increasing the positive impacts of the initiative.
  9. Photographs: Provide two to three high quality photographs capturing people in the story context, along with short captions.
  10. Additional information: Supporting materials, contacts, partners, etc.

Writing Tips

  • Use clear and concise sentences, and avoid run-on structures.
  • Break the elements of your story into separate paragraphs that help the reader better map the content.
  • Use punctuation marks to aid the clarity and comprehension of the story.
  • Link different ideas using transitional words to keep the reader on the right track.
  • Avoid using acronyms and specialized terms, and provide explanations when necessary.
  • Proofread the text to find and correct typographical errors and spelling or grammatical mistakes.