Once a year, you get to tell the world your story in long form and provide context on your strategy. Make the most of your annual report by answering four important questions:
1. Who are you?
Be loud and proud about your mission. If your mission statement appears tired or unclear, craft a new one. Don’t miss this chance to tell your donors—both current and potential—why you exist.
Tip: For digital reports, video may communicate your message most effectively. Focus time and energy to generate a high quality production.
2. What did you accomplish?
Explain your organization’s impact this year. Highlight your successes, but do not conceal failures, particularly those that were pandemic related.
Tip: Use infographics to show the connection between donors and their impact. Put donors in the picture and use personal language: “Your generous support helped X number of people, animals, virtual performances, etc. We could not do it without you.”
3. Who made it happen?
Use this opportunity to acknowledge and thank your major donors, key patrons, and board members. But don’t forget your volunteers. Take time to highlight those who have not only gone above and beyond in terms of support, but also those who help you achieve your day-to-day goals.
Tip: Pictures really do say a thousand words. Showing people’s faces—yes, even if masked!—is a good way to honor them.
4. What does it take?
This section includes your financial information and should show donors that you have been responsible with their gifts. This section might include the same reporting from your Form 990, but make sure to wrap it in a compelling narrative that gives context to the numbers.
Tip: Donors appreciate transparency. Introduce your financials with a summary that explains how you compare to common benchmarks for your mission and size.
As you prepare for your annual report, make sure you have accurate financial statements and an IRS Form 990. Our team works with over 160 nonprofit organizations, and we can help you take the next right step. Contact us today to begin preparing your annual report.