If you’re a not-for-profit, it’s around about now that you’re probably starting to think about preparing your Annual Report. They are more than just something you ‘should’ do to take to your AGM – they are a fantastic tool for communicating the value your organisation is providing and a chance to formally celebrate your successes. To help you out, we’ve got our top five Annual Report tips for not-for-profits

#1 Work Out Your Audience & Key Message

Reflect on who you are talking to and what you want them to take away from reading your Annual report. What do you want them to be saying about your organisation? Keep this in mind as you craft the Annual Report content.

#2 Celebrate Your Successes

Your Annual Report is your place to celebrate the impact you’ve been making. Go back through your files, social media accounts and email to remember all the great things you’ve achieved. Once you’ve compiled a list, look for themes that you can group together. Look for those achievements that are especially noteworthy and provide detail about them. Rather than just making a list of your achievements, look for where you can elaborate and tell a story about the impact of your work. Bonus tip: if you’re upset with something or an organisation, your Annual Report is not the place to air it – we’ve seen this done before and it’s not a good look. Instead, stick to the positive and deal directly with the areas you have issues with.

#3 Share Stories

It’s good when you can say you’re doing a good job, it’s even better when other people do it for you. Look through your client feedback and testimonials for pull quotes you can include. If you need some ideas on how to collect some testimonials, you can this article we prepared for you. Maybe look for a specific client (or two) who you can include as a profile and explain how your service makes a difference to them – you’ll find some tips on getting started in this article.

#4 Looks Matter

A professionally presented Annual Report will really elevate your organisation. If you’re preparing it in-house, spend some time browsing other not-for-profits’ documents and check out how they use images and brand colours to enhance what they are saying. When you’re short on time, or design is not your thing, outsourcing it can be a great idea and it’s often a lot cheaper than you might imagine. If you need a referral to a great value graphic designer who creates brilliant work, just ask us for our recommendations.

#5 Start Now For Later

So, this tip won’t help you for this year, but it will for next year. Why not schedule 30 mins at the end of each month to collate the key happenings and content ideas for your next report? You can also pencil in a couple of times a year to create some client profiles. P.S. You can repurpose this content! It is great for website content and social media posts.

Still need help?

While they are our top Annual Report tips for not-for-profits, we know it’s not an easy task, let alone when you are busy. We love crafting Annual Reports and other corporate documents that amplify the value of organisations just like yours. Get in contact to find out how we can deliver an Annual Report you’ll be proud to share with the people who matter.