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Every year, your nonprofit has a unique opportunity to bolster its authority, confidence, and trust within the community. You can accomplish this by crafting a clear, comprehensive, and powerful annual report.
While a nonprofit annual report isn't mandatory by law, taking a moment to transparently showcase your accomplishments and clearly articulate where your organization is headed next can result in renewed support, partnerships, and donor contributions.
In this blog, we'll break down the critical elements your nonprofit annual report needs to make a mark in the community and keep stakeholders in the loop.
An annual report is a formal document that summarizes key facts about an organization, including noteworthy accomplishments and goals over the year. Many annual reports also project goals for the future and survey how the past year’s performance influences what the organization expects to do next.
Within an annual report, you can highlight your core vision, mission, and biggest achievements over the last year by using professional and visually appealing elements and design.
Annual reports clarify purpose and vision and showcase how an organization stays true to its core values during a busy year of activities. Whether printed or paperless, many individuals take time to review annual reports, so it’s important to get them right. Because annual reports help to hold your organization accountable, creating powerful content and an efficient is vital.
It may seem like there’s a lot on the line when creating and presenting your nonprofit annual report, and in some cases, there is. If you’ve had a busy year of growth, or if you’ve reached signficaint milestones within the community, you should communicate those details effectively.
When you have the right elements in your annual reporting structure, you don’t have to worry about missing the mark. At Acton Circle, we’ve collaborated with many nonprofits and cause-focused brands to highlight the right facts and figures in an annual report. Here’s what we’ve identified as most important.
Your annual report should always include:
Based on the events of the year, growing nonprofit organizations should be able to forecast where they want to go in the future. Your donors and stakeholders might also be curious about how you expect to continue scaling or how you plan to correct issues that hindered growth.
Although the bulk of your report should be devoted to major details over the past year, communicate to your stakeholders what you’ve learned and how you’ll apply those findings to the future of your organization.
Once you have the right elements in your reporting structure, you’ll have to decide how you want to format the report for distribution. The decision on whether to print hard copies or publish digitally often comes down to factors like budget, efficiency, and resources.
An annual report does more for your organization than you can imagine. In order to drive support and boost awareness, you should prioritize your report’s primary elements and its overall design.
Are you eager to create a powerful annual report that elevates your organizations and clearly informs key players about your biggest accomplishments? If so, it’s time to partner with a design team that understands your vision and helps you increase your impact.
We’re Acton Circle, a boutique design agency helping purpose-driven organizations increase their impact. Led by Founder and CEO, Olivia Wheeler, Acton Circle has helped countless change-makers leverage the power of design for social good.Learn more