Today, more than ever, there is increasing pressure on not-for-profits to demonstrate transparency and accountability with stakeholders, including the general public, who want to know what has been accomplished with the funds you received. Readers want to know what activities you have engaged in, what outcomes you’ve achieved and for whom and how your organisation is making progress towards achieving its goals.
“Your annual report is a great communication tool.
Ensure it does justice to the work you do.”
Stakeholders, donors, grant-makers and government may also read and assess your annual report in order to make important decisions that will affect your organisation.
So, it’s important that your report is professional, accurate, and interesting enough to keep their attention.Use it to tell the story of your organisation and its people in such a compelling way that it will gain a place in the hearts and minds of your readers.
“Try not to think of your report as a historical account of what you did last year.
Instead, think of it as the highlights of the incredible results your supporters made possible.
Use it to keep your lines of communication open and to recognise the involvement of all those who have helped you achieve your mission throughout the year. It may seem like a lot of work, but transparency can help foster public trust and build community support because it provides information about the impact your organization is making as a whole. It has the potential to be a great marketing tool that can be used to engage with the people who care about the same things that your organisation does.
Captivate your audience and inspire further support from donors who are reassured that their donation is making a difference to those in the community they care about. If your report hits the mark, they may even share it with their family, friends, and other prospective donors.
Your Annual Report has the potential to raise your organisation’s profile, create awareness and do justice to the work you do – lifting it from a historical account of what you did last year to highlights of the incredible results your supporters made possible.
Communicating your message
Readers need to be able to easily understand why you do what you do, the difference your activities make and how they help you to accomplish your mission.
Transparency fosters trust
It may seem like a lot of work but transparency in reporting can help foster public trust and build community support because it provides information about the impact your organisation is making as a whole.
A marketing opportunity
Your annual report has the potential to be so much more than a mandatory reporting requirement. With the right planning your annual report and also serve as a great communications and marketing tool, to assist your organisation to engage with the people who care about the same things that your organisation does.It is also a great avenue for keeping the lines of communication open and to recognise the involvement of all those who have helped you achieve your mission throughout the year.
Here are some quick tips (more in the FREE eBook below)
- communicate effectively with your stakeholders
- showcase what you’ve accomplished
- highlight the contribution and the effect of achievements on all people
- personalise your storytelling
- demonstrate transparency and accountability
- reassure existing donors or investors
- attract new supporters or stakeholders
- present your reporting in the most effective format
Need a how-to guide?
Download the free Annual Report Guide for Not-For-Profit organisations, covering all the essentials of NFP annual reporting – why you should invest in your report and how to tell your story in a more engaging way through storytelling and infographics. There are helpful ‘checklists’ to guide you through the process and a review of the ‘new’ options available for presenting your information.
These options illustrate how you can utilise the capabilities of the internet for your growing online audience. If you’re looking for guidance on the more traditional printed report, then you’ll find plenty of advice on that too.
For more information and additional articles on this topic, visit our blog
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