As you reflect on the hard work and events of the past year, it’s important to organize those thoughts and information into an annual report to share with your supporters. 

What is an annual report? 

An annual report tells the story of a nonprofit’s work and impact over the past year. This is a tool that can be used to educate your community, steward current donors and inspire new supporters. 

It’s also a useful way to ensure you remember all the great work you’ve done, and record impact stories and data that will fuel your upcoming annual grants and fundraising strategy!

An annual report doesn’t have to follow a strict outline for content, and can vary in length and design based on what makes sense for the nonprofit. There are a number of pieces that do often find themselves in an annual report and a few pieces that should be there in order to make it a true annual report. 

Elements you shouldn’t skip out on include: 

  • A letter from your organization’s leader
  • An impact story from your organization work (this could be a client, volunteer, or staff that can share a first hand experience)
  • Financial and program statistics 
  • Thank you to your supporters and communities 

How to create an outstanding annual report?

Create an impactful design.

An annual report that stands out from others is one that catches the attention of the viewers and inspires action. 

Think of the recent holiday mail you have received. Why did you take the time to look at certain pieces while others went straight to the trash? Was it aesthetically pleasing, from a source you enjoy hearing from, or maybe it had an appealing title that you wanted to learn more about? More than likely there was something about the pieces you chose to read that made them stand out. However you answered the question, consider how to incorporate similar elements into your report.

Write powerful content.

Tell an exciting story of your programming over the past year and how it has made an impact – and do this in an extremely relatable, tangible way. Sharing a single person’s story can have a huge impact, as it gives donors someone to think about and remember when your organization comes to mind. 

Support the impact story with stats and quotes that really build a well rounded look at the work you do. Ensure any letters from leadership are heartfelt and really send the message about your passion for the work.

Looking back to look ahead 

Take time to sit down and reflect on all of the work your organization has done this year. Create an outline of your top accomplishments, begin pulling the reports, and setting up the interviews that need to be had. 

For more information on telling your nonprofit story, check out our blog on creating a case for support. 

Get started

Presence&Company offers free sessions to discuss your nonprofit. Kickstart the annual report process with us: schedule today!