Bank of America and West London Zone: Clearly Communicating Impact

At West London Zone, one of our core values is accountability. So clearly presenting and communicating our impact is essential.

We always work to be open and accurate in how we present our results. However, we also recognise that the diversity in our outcomes and the micro details of our measurements can sometimes lead to charts, data and stats that are complex to interpret.

We knew we needed to create a balance between being clear and maintaining our focus on accuracy when communicating our impact externally. One of our key corporate partners is Bank of America, and we were lucky enough to partner with them through their employee volunteering programme to help us address this challenge.

Robert Wood, Chief UK Economist for Bank of America - and previously at Bank of England - very kindly volunteered his time to help us. Of his experience, Robert said:

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to support West London Zone review and revise how they share their statistics. Together, we worked to identify the key numbers and then agreed how to present the data to make it more accessible. The numbers and the format we arrived at tell a meaningful story and clearly demonstrate the important impact the organisation is having in a concise way.”

Robert started by reading our latest Impact Report and PowerPoint slides to get a sense of our current position. He fed back that he liked the mix of data and case studies, and he had some invaluable suggestions for some new ways in which we could present the statistics and cut the data to provide clear meaning.

He advised that we remove the complexity from the headline figures, explaining the vital underlying data in more depth later in report. He suggested we put the most significant data and messaging at the front of a report or presentation in its most concise format (explaining that some time-pressed people will only be able to read that first bit). And then to have a more detailed presentation with explanations further back for those who want or need them.

The first page of a report and just the first paragraph are vital ‘real estate’ to tell readers why they should read the rest of the report. We discussed how West London Zone reports could communicate the message better by strengthening that initial message.

So we set off with an aim to create the most concise version of our 2021 results with one key, digestible statistics, focusing on the idea that our key message should be able to fit in one tweet.

We created this report of our results, with page one featuring a key statistic, slightly more detail on page two and all the explanation and source data on page three. Robert fed back to us again and felt we’d made great progress.

We also applied these principles to our annual council reports and will look to do the same for future reporting. We’re very grateful for our partnership with Bank of America, which has enabled us to benefit from their expertise and improve how we report on impact for years to come.

Joe Prendiville, Business Development Director at West London Zone, said:

“Our partnership with Bank of America is the first corporate social outcomes contract of its type in the UK. As we are paid according to the progress made by the children and young people we work with, we are used to measuring and reporting on impact in an accurate and consistent way. However, communicating that impact clearly to all audiences has always been something we have found more difficult.”

Rob's experience, time and input into how we can achieve a balance between clear messaging and comprehensive accuracy was hugely appreciated, and an example of how our partnership with Bank of America is about so much more than funding. This guidance and support has already been impactful to our communications work, and is allowing us to engage with new funders and audiences - meaning we can deliver to more children and young people - at a time when our support has never been more needed. Thanks so much Rob and Bank of America!

together, every child and young person can flourish.