5 Ways To Create A Compelling Annual Report For Your Non-Profit

Creating a compelling AR

Creating a compelling ARBy Rebecca Teaff and Julie Archer, Redstart Creative

It’s that time of year again when your nonprofit starts to think about putting together an annual report. Your annual report is an extremely important piece of information for your audience, especially for donors who may not have time to keep up with your nonprofit’s accomplishments throughout the year. Along with making sure to include important pieces of information in your report, your focus should also be on making the report as compelling as possible. Think of the report as your voice to your audience: what do you want them to know? How will you convey your story, your mission, your goals and your accomplishments in a compelling and beautiful way?

  1. Tell your story. Above all, your annual report should tell your story. Your story could include your nonprofit’s mission, how you’ve progressed throughout the year, and any goals you’ve accomplished. The annual report is the appropriate vehicle to highlight your organization’s success stories.
  2. Be transparent. Although you are not required to include expenses and revenue in your annual report, most nonprofits choose to publish some of this information, as donors enjoy seeing the activities or projects their money has funded. Transparency is a big component when creating your report. Your audience will appreciate your honesty, which will help build trust between them and your nonprofit.
  3. Create excitement. Another key piece of information to include is a forecast of goals for the coming year. Your audience wants to know what they can expect from your nonprofit in the months ahead, and your annual report is an opportunity to create excitement around the future.
  4. Create a visual appeal. A key step when creating a compelling annual report is the report’s visual presentation. There are several different ways to make an annual report visually compelling, including the format. There are many different formats to consider when creating your annual report, which include but are not limited to:
    • an infographic
    • PDF
    • print brochure
    • video
    • PowerPoint

    While paperless reports have the benefit of being environmentally-friendly, a print version creates a face-to-paper connection that can draw in potential donors and supporters more than an email attachment can. A tangible report enforces the perception of credibility for your nonprofit.

  5. Keep it short and sweet. Your annual report should be succinct and to the point. Your readers want to know what you’ve been up to, but they don’t want to number-crunch while reading about it. The report should be striking in terms of display, with pictures and charts throughout. Adding color and graphics humanizes your nonprofit and makes the report easily digestible.

Redstart Creative is aware that creating and making changes to digital marketing products is a large task for any non-profit organization. Contact us today to find out how we can support your marketing goals.