It’s January and hopefully you are coming off of a successful year-end giving season and that you made (or surpassed) your goal. Now it is time to report to donors on how their money is being put to good use. We call it “stewardship” in the fundraising business. Many nonprofits utilize Annual Reports to show off how many people they served, with what services, how effective those services were and who helped contribute to make these services possible.
Here are some good examples:
- University of San Diego Annual Report 12-13
- San Diego Foundation Annual Report 2013
- University of San Diego International School Annual Report 2013
- Jewish Family Services Annual Report 2012
However, Annual Reports can be time consuming to put together and expensive to publish! I do believe that all nonprofits should know the “impact” that their nonprofit makes in the community like they know the names of their children. I recommend always knowing these “impact facts”:
- How many people you serve?
- In what geographical region?
- With what programs?
- How many times a year?
- What are the successful outcomes?
Here is a simple two-page annual report that was printed in color back-to-back. Most nonprofits could create and print this in house to send out to donors. It positively demonstrates the good work of the organization and how many people were impacted.
Components of a successful annual report:
- Impact facts (see above)
- % increase from the previous year of services, people served, monies raised, etc.
- Photos of your good work
- Success stories of people impacted by your good work
- Letter from your CEO or Executive Director thanking donors for their contribution
- Amount of donations received and simple organizational budget of expenses (colored graphs work well here)
- What did the donations make possible within your organization?
- List of donors (if it makes sense for your organization)
- Possibly highlight a donor who has made a significant contribution or difference this past year
Here is a great sample annual report that was sent to me from my church: