Case Study: Energy News Network

Leaning Into Strengths with Impact Reporting

Searching for and uplifting the stories of people and organizations.

Services: Research

Using a journalistic approach to impact reporting

Since 2005, our country has lost more than one-fourth of its newspapers, and we’re on track to lose a third by 2025. Independent journalism provides critical access to news and information that can inform everyday decisions and sustain grassroots democracy. Energy News Network, a nonprofit news site dedicated to reporting on the transition to a clean energy economy, needed a better way to communicate the impact of their reporting to funders. To ensure their reporters could bring their nuanced and informed lens to energy reporting missing in most newspapers, Energy News Network partnered with Seiche to help current and potential funders understand the impact of their journalism.

Measuring impact is a major challenge for nonprofits. Seiche provides a critical service by producing case studies and testimonials for our funders and other partners. These reports have revolutionized the way we communicate the value of our work.

Ken Paulman — Senior Director, Energy News Network


What We Did

Energy News Network was founded on the belief that good journalism can help people make more informed decisions. With that in mind, we took our own journalistic approach to impact reporting, searching for and uplifting the stories of people and organizations who are impacted by Energy News Network’s independent reporting.

Looking back to look forward: We started by reviewing Energy News Network’s past impact reports. We understood that quantitative metrics were important, and we wanted to focus on the ones that would have the highest impact and meaning for potential funders, like article republications, social media mentions and shares, and article views.

Chasing down the story: Qualitative feedback in the form of stories can be the most powerful way to convey impact, but it takes a lot of effort to find and chase down a story. We set up a new digital system to collect and monitor feedback from individuals quoted in Energy News Network stories. Each quarter, Seiche conducts research and interviews people whose work has been positively impacted by Energy News Network reporting in communities and statehouses.

A long-term relationship: The Seiche team continues to partner with Energy News Network on their impact reports, combining our wealth of experience in journalism with our creative communications approach. We continue to put into action new ways to mobilize funding for their work at a time when independent journalism is critically important.

The impact reports highlight the crucial reach, expertise, depth of community connection, and nuance that Energy News Network brings to their reporting on our transition to a clean energy future. They really help make the case for the importance of investing in nonprofit, independent journalism.

Sarah Christiansen — Midwest climate and energy program director, McKnight Foundation


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