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Success Stories Workbook

Impact and Value: Telling Your Program's Story cover

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Impact and Value: Telling Your Program's Story [PDF–586K]. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Oral Health; 2007.


This workbook can be used by program managers to create success stories that highlight their program's achievements. Although its examples are from state workers in oral health promotion, the methods for collecting and writing success stories can be applied to any public health program.

Public Health Challenge

Program managers devote significant time and energy to seeking new partners, funding, and participants for their programs. Their job is to "sell" their program's achievements, but sometimes evaluation efforts are just gearing up and quantifiable outcome data are not yet available. In other programs, evaluation is at a more mature stage, but program managers are not prepared to describe their accomplishments succinctly at chance meetings.

That's where success stories come in. Short, crisp narratives that don't bog down the audience in details can bring the program to life in a way that more formal evaluation tools can't. The key is to be ready with a prepared story at a moment's notice. Whether program advocates have 10 seconds in an elevator or two pages in a grant application, they should have a stockpile of stories to draw from. These must be intentional—collected and written systematically by designated staff and with a specific audience in mind.

What This Tool Offers

Telling Your Program's Story describes practical methods for documenting program achievements, pulling together these details into a coherent narrative, and using these stories "on the ground" to generate support for the program. A data collection tool that can be customized by your program is provided, along with specific examples.

Download Impact and Value: Telling Your Program's Story [PDF–586K]. Download the sample data collection tool, Adobe Acrobat version [PDF–38K] or Microsoft Word version [DOC–51K].

Additional Resources

Lavinghouze R, Price AW, Smith KA. The program success story: A valuable tool for program evaluation. Health Promot Pract 2007;(8) 323–331. View abstract on Pubmed.

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