Annual Report – Five Keys to Creating an Annual Report for Your Nonprofit Organization

2019-05-15 Business No comment

At the beginning of my second year as an executive director of a housing non-profit organization, I thought I was ready for the first annual meeting, until the day of the event I realized that we did not produce an annual report in accordance with our requirements. legal. Since this happened thirty years ago, before most non-profit organizations owned computers, you could only imagine what my secretary and I did when we produced the basic reports needed for the night. We meet the requirements of the regulations, but certainly did not produce something to show our organization.

Fast forward for 30 years…you have a good computer and printer in your office, a well-written staff, and the wisdom to give yourself enough time to create an annual report that can be used as a marketing Can also be used as a fundraising tool. coming year. Unless you have a wealth of resources in your bank or marketing company to donate their services, you are likely to create reports internally. Follow these guidelines to make sure your report is “read and spread” in the end, not in the trash.

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Identify the messages you want the report to convey.

You can achieve this by focusing on specific projects that have achieved significant results this year. You can also focus on your tasks and highlight some of the things you have done that clearly resonate with the task. In addition, you can highlight the people you serve through various programs or donors, which makes them a great year. Please keep in mind that throughout the report, from the opening letter of the chairman of the board to the final financial report, this information must be consistent.

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Avoid using too many statistics.

In Mal Warwick's words, “If statistics can tell a story, then the calculator can be a guest on the talk show.” Your auditor may be impressed with the numbers, but the readers of your annual report want to know what you are doing. Help people and your nonprofits make the difference to make the world a better place.

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Make sure you use rich stories

If your orchestra hosts a free concert for inner city children, follow a child and talk about his or her reaction to the concert. If you provide shelter for the rescued animal, talk to the rescue and find the permanent home you have found for the animal. If your task is to help drug addicts recover, follow one or two people who have completed your plan and show how they become productive members of the community. You will draw your attention to any success story that matches your mission.

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Includes dramatic pictures and shows your work.

Avoid traditional group shots [board members, employees and community groups] and use pictures that show strong feelings. For example, you can see the first time a child hears the expression of a live concert, the excitement of a new owner leaving the shelter, and the joy of a former drug addict playing basketball with a group of teenagers. You can also include photos of the board and staff; just make sure they are doing something active, such as attending a board meeting or working with a client. If you can get them, the frank lens will be great. One thing to note here is to make sure that the person you are photographed [or their guardian] signs.

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Present your financial report in a readable and interesting way.

Most people who receive an annual report are not interested in your balance sheet or income statement. If you think you must include these, add a short narrative that highlights the true meaning of these numbers for your nonprofit management. Many readers are interested in how much you spend on the plan compared to the cost of management or fundraising. The easiest way to report is a pie chart.

Once you use these ideas to complete an annual report that is likely to impress your readers, make sure you distribute it widely. Don't just ask at the annual meeting. Mail it to all of your donors, partners, customers, and anyone you want to be interested in the work you do. Also, put it on your website and let the world see how you change the world.

©2010 Jane B. Ford

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