Annual reports don’t have to be dry as dust. In fact, the most effective ones are not financial reports; they’re a story with the donor at the center. And they inspire action.
When you consider all the blood, sweat, tears and money that go into them, you want to assure they:
- Resonate with people emotionally.
- Paint a picture people want to jump into.
- Showcase the value of philanthropy and what it does to create change.
- Shine a light on how much the donor is needed.
- Include specific areas where donors can help.
Towards getting the biggest bang for your annual report buck, consider renaming them (or at least thinking about them) as Gratitude Reports. Make them all about your donors, how grateful you are to them for making your work possible, and how appreciative you are for all the accomplishments they enabled.
Rather than “2023 Annual Report,” consider a more donor-centered title like “Generosity Report,” “A Gratitude Report,” “The Year of the Donor,” “Impact Report.” or “You Make it Possible.” I’ve seen all of these; feel free to get creative and let your title guide your content!