Thats a lot of information you want supporters and prospective donors to read! With so much information to convey, using visuals is a great way to turn information into an image that readers can easily understand. Plus, the more visuals, the more engaged your readers will. Think about it: if you were asked to read a report full of paragraphs of text, youre likely to skim the information or give up after reading the first page. Once your team spends all their time and effort creating an annual report, you want people to read what youve put together. Visuals have many benefits, such as: Breaking up blocks of text so the reader has a more enjoyable experience. Transforming complex data into easy-to-understand information. Conveying your cause in a way that puts your readers in the shoes of those you support.
3 ways Visuals make your
That being said, its easy for nonprofits to get stuck in the mindset of congratulating their accomplishments without focusing on their donors support. Instead of centering your report on your achievements, make it about your donors. This goes beyond switching the language of your report to address your donors. A nonprofit annual report that puts donors first focuses on how projects and adverse programs were realized because of your supporters donations and time. For example, your annual report can focus on the many volunteers that donate their time to your organization like in the image below: In the volunteer section of this report, the hospital focuses on recording statements from volunteers and displays images of them helping patients. Alternatively, when you talk about the various projects your organization has implemented, make sure to mention the campaign that funded the project. Let readers know that your supporters helped you reach (or even exceed) your fundraising goal and how their funds and support impacted your cause. By showing readers that your accomplishments were achieved because of supporters, donors and volunteers know that youre aware of all they. Not to mention, it shows potential donors that your nonprofit is built on the support of passionate people. Therefore, your team should take every opportunity to direct attention to your supporters accomplishments. When your team creates your nonprofit annual report, they will compile all your efforts and data from the past year and condense it into a 10-page document.
Being honest about your organizations expenses helps to establish trust among your supporters. Plus, it shows potential donors that essay your nonprofit can manage funds responsibly and effectively. An account of major contributions. In addition to showcasing your organizations success, your annual report is also about thanking those who helped you achieve your goals. Listing out and thanking your major contributors, influential staff, and board members should be a necessary part of our report. Throughout this article, well expand on how your organization can make these elements exceptional, but for now, look at this example of how a hospital can explain their mission in a moving way: In our example, inner City hospital has displayed their mission statement predominantly. As weve mentioned before, your annual report is a chance to present all the good your nonprofit was able to accomplish.
If you could boil down your organizations values and purpose into a single sentence you would have your mission statement. Since supporters wont be the only people reading your report, your mission statement needs to be at the very beginning. Readers should know about your organizations mission and what change you hope to make before jumping into the data. A list of projects you initiated. From fundraising events to volunteer efforts to community programs, let readers know what your organization accomplished over the course of the year. The majority of your report should focus on these projects, breaking down your achievements into metrics xmas your readers can understand. Lets face it: supporters want to know how their money is being used.
Depending on your organizations fundraising campaigns and programs, you might not be able to cover everything youve accomplished. Thats why you should try to boil down all your activities to a few major achievements. By centralizing your accomplishments around 3-5 core themes, you will help keep your annual report focused, leading supporters to your core objective. When your nonprofit has a clear plan, not only will the process of creating your report run smoothly but the end result will also have more direction and purpose. If you look at a nonprofit annual report, youll see that most include similar elements no matter what type of cause they support. While its fine to get creative with your additional sections so that your report stands out, you also need to make sure that all the essential information is present. Moreover, your accomplishments might change from year to year but the underlying points should stay the same. Including these elements will keep your annual reports consistent and create the foundation for what you want to include. When you look at a noteworthy annual report, youll find that the organization has covered the following key points: A clear mission and focus.
Nonprofit, annual, reports: 7 Best Practices Templates
In addition to our best practices, well delve deeper into the benefits of annual reports. Our bonus section will explain how the information in annual reports can help feed charitable giving databases ( like donorSearchs which can boost your essay prospect research. Create a plan for your nonprofit annual report. When your organization starts a new fundraising campaign, creating a strategy is the first step — and the same goes for your annual report. Youll need the help of multiple departments to assemble all the information as well as compile and design the document.
First, every successful nonprofit annual report has a clear purpose and audience that your organization needs to determine. Its likely that your audience will be your supporters as well as prospective major donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. At its core, your annual report should persuade your audience to support your cause, but you might have smaller objectives (i.e., highlighting a new project or attracting more local sponsors) specific to your nonprofit s goals. Now that youve established your audience and goals, you can schedule your plan of action. Your annual report strategy might include: Delegating responsibilities and timelines to team members. Interviewing supporters for their feedback. Collecting key metrics from fundraising campaigns.
Ultimately, your organizations annual report can be used to cultivate new partnerships with major donors and sponsors as well as recognize those who have helped you reach your goals thus far. A successful, captivating annual report can make the difference between reaching your goals for the upcoming year or falling short. With so much at stake, its no wonder that organizations take the creation of their annual report so seriously. From in-depth brochures to interactive web pages, the annual report has changed drastically over the years. While the design and content of your report will vary depending on the type of organization, there are essential annual report best practices that every nonprofit can use: Create a plan for your nonprofit annual report. Include all the nonprofit annual report requirements.
Focus your annual report on your donors accomplishments. Use visuals in your annual report to keep readers engaged. Be honest about your nonprofit s progress. Highlight major contributors in your nonprofit annual report. Inspire supporters to take action. With these tips and our annual report templates, youll be prepared to create a report that recognizes your donors and inspires others to help you succeed.
Nonprofit, annual, report - what to Include
If you arent sure how your annual report should look, spend some time looking at other annual reports to discover what you like and dont like. You can find links to over 100 nonprofit annual reports at t see how other organizations in your field or geographic area are designing their reports. Youll find more resources and training on writing nonprofit annual reports. About the author: kivi leroux Miller provides training and personal coaching on all aspects of nonprofit marketing and communications to organizations big and small across the. If you want to write newsletters and annual reports that your supporters will love or create websites and blogs that educate and inspire, visit m, where youll find a free e-newsletter, articles, webinars, e-courses, and more. By donorsearch, every year nonprofits present their accomplishments and projects to their supporters and the general public in an annual report. An annual report details an organizations mission, growth over the course of the year, projects that helped serve the community, statistics related to the organizations cause, and much time more.
bar graphs, or other visuals that help readers see the big picture and understand financial trends. A short narrative description is also essential, explaining in plain English the meaning behind all those numbers. How do we handle the donor lists? Organize your list of donors however it makes the most sense for your organization. Most nonprofits organize donors by contribution level and then alphabetize each of those lists. You can also alphabetize the full list without regard to donation level. What should an annual report look like?
Whats the most important part of an annual report? The most important part of a nonprofit annual report is the description of your accomplishments. We want to know what you did, but more importantly, we want to know why you did. What were the results? Why did you spend your time and money the way you did? What difference did it make? Dont assume that readers will automatically understand how your activities help you achieve your mission.
8 Steps to a compelling
Posted in, best Practices on December 11, 2007,. Network for good, even though nonprofit organizations arent required by law to publish annual reports, most nonprofit leaders recognize the value annual reports can provide. A well-written annual report will help you demonstrate your accomplishments to current and future donors, cultivate new partnerships, and recognize important people. Nonprofit managers working on annual reports most frequently ask these five questions. Do we really need an annual report? You dont need a beautiful, full-color, glossy 40-page production, but you do need some sort of accounting of the organizations work over the past year. Even if it is only a two-page flyer you photocopy, you should get in the habit of producing an annual report.moliere