Annual Stories – 5 Keys to Creating an Annual Report for Your Nonprofit

Annual Stories – 5 Keys to Creating an Annual Report for Your Nonprofit

In the beginning of my second 12 months as CEO of a non-profit housing group, I assumed I had ready nicely for my first annual assembly till the day of the occasion after I realized that we had not produced an annual report as required by our laws. legal guidelines. As occurred thirty years in the past, earlier than most non-profits had computer systems, you’ll be able to solely think about the work my secretary and I put into producing the baseline report what we would have liked for this night. We met the necessities of the laws, however we actually didn’t produce one thing that showcased our group.

Quick ahead three many years…you could have a very good laptop and printer in your workplace, a workers member who writes nicely, and the knowledge to offer your self sufficient time to create an annual report that may function each a advertising and fundraising within the coming 12 months. Until you could have considerable assets on the financial institution or a advertising agency that may provide their providers, likelihood is you’ll create your report in-house. Comply with these pointers to make sure that your report finally ends up being “learn and distributed” slightly than within the trash.

1. Decide the message you need the report back to convey.

You are able to do this by specializing in a particular program that has had dramatic outcomes this 12 months. You can too focus in your mission and spotlight some stuff you’ve accomplished that clearly resonate with that mission. Moreover, you’ll be able to spotlight the folks you serve with varied applications or the donors who made this 12 months an important one. Do not forget that this message needs to be constant all through the report, from the board chair’s opening letter to the closing monetary report.

2. Keep away from utilizing too many statistics.

Within the phrases of Mal Warwick, “If statistics might inform a narrative, calculators can be on speak exhibits.” Your listener could also be impressed by the numbers, however readers of your annual report wish to know extra concerning the folks you have helped and the adjustments your nonprofit has made to make the world a greater place.

3. Make sure you use loads of tales

In case your orchestra organizes free live shows for inner-city kids, concentrate on one little one and discuss their response to the live performance. In case you are offering rescued animals with shelter, speak concerning the rescue after which the everlasting house you could have discovered for the animal. In case your mission is to assist addicts get well, concentrate on one or two who’ve accomplished your program and present how they grew to become productive members of the neighborhood. Use any success story that matches your mission and you will seize the reader’s consideration.

4. Embrace dramatic imagery and showcase the work you do.

Keep away from conventional group photographs (board members, workers, and neighborhood group) and use pictures that reveal sturdy emotions. For instance, you’ll be able to present the enjoyment on the face of a kid listening to a stay live performance for the primary time, the thrill of a brand new proprietor leaving the shelter with a rescued animal, or the enjoyment of a former drug addict taking part in basketball with a gaggle of youngsters. . You can too embody photographs of board members and workers; simply ensure they’re doing one thing energetic, like attending a board assembly or working with purchasers. Spontaneous snaps will be nice if you may get them. One caveat right here: be sure to get signed releases from the folks photographed (or their guardians).

5. Current your monetary reviews in a readable and fascinating manner.

Most individuals who obtain your annual report aren’t enthusiastic about your stability sheet or earnings assertion. When you suppose it’s worthwhile to embody them, add a short narrative highlighting what the numbers actually imply for operating your nonprofit. What pursuits many readers is how a lot cash you spent on applications versus the price of administration or fundraising. The clearest method to sign that is in a pie chart.

As soon as you have used these concepts to jot down an annual report that may impress your readers, you should definitely distribute it broadly. Do not simply hand it out at your annual assembly. Ship it to all of your donors, companions, purchasers and anybody you wish to curiosity within the work you do. Additionally, put it in your web site for the world to see how you’re altering the world.

©2010 Jane B. Ford