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Set yourself up for success: invest in an annual report to showcase the best of 2020

Organizations and individuals are currently counting down the days to the end of 2020 as we hold collective hope for a better 2021. This year has been particularly trying on non-profits, many of which have struggled to find funders amidst the COVID-19 crisis. It’s more important than ever before for non-profit leaders to be deliberate and diligent in showing their impact on community and mission this year. Here are five things to consider when building an annual report to do just that: Put your mission front and center. Tell your story in a way that’s compelling, personal and draws people in. Nonprofits at the heart are all about people, so make it about people. Use data to show how you fulfilled your mission. How many meals did you serve? How many medical treatments did you provide? How many counseling appointments did you offer? Data is a great way to demonstrate your value to donors who are considering where to spend their dollars. And speaking of donors … Remember your audience, and when it comes to an annual report, donors rank first. Consider what compels people to give to your organization and be specific. In addition to donors, remember internal audiences – like employees and board members – and external readers – like clients and their family members. Each of these folks has a place at your table, and they deserve your respect. Make it visually appealing. Great graphic design can pique people’s interest and tell your story in a way that’s quick and user-friendly. Remember that not everyone who receives an annual report will actually read it – but they can and will learn through your graphics – if they’re done right. And finally … Add a digital component. Not everything needs to be contained in a printed report. Consider opting for a short format print version, with links to additional content online. This can help increase engagement – and donations – to your organization. A solid annual report can be used in meetings with clients and potential funders throughout the year, so take the time to do it right. This is one investment that will pay off for your nonprofit.



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