Changing Your Nonprofit’s Annual Report Format

Yesterday I taught a webinar with our training partner CharityHowTo.com called “How to Create a Nonprofit Annual Report People Will Actually Read.” At the beginning of the webinar I surveyed the participants (about 80 people) about the format of their last annual report.

 

I teach this webinar several times a year and these are pretty typical results. If your nonprofit is doing an annual report (and a good portion aren’t), it’s likely that it’s a longer print document.  There were a few people on this webinar who were producing really, really long reports — in the 40-80 page range.

Do you really think your donors are reading that? And does your organization get a real bang for the buck out of a document like that, given the amount of time and cash that goes into producing it? My answer would be probably not.

It’s 2012 . . . I think it’s time to convert that book-length annual report into something that’s faster, more convenient, and more enjoyable to read. That’s why I advocate formats like 2- or 4-page annual reports and oversized postcards for those of you who do want a print version. You can couple those shorter print pieces with longer information online (for those real die-hard supporters), or go online entirely with something like a mini-site or a video.

Anytime I speak on this subject, I invariably get backlash from people who say they

  • can’t give up the long donor lists
  • can’t cut back on what financials they report
  • have to cover every single program they operate

and therefore need all those pages. But when I start showing them how other nonprofits have successfully communicated results to their donors in a 2- or 4-page annual report, or on an oversized postcard, or through a video, they begin to understand that they really can communicate more effectively in a shorter document. They realize that sticking with the same format just because that’s the way it’s always been done isn’t a good enough excuse anymore. You can see some of the examples I use on our Nonprofit Annual Reports Wiki.

Here is what participants said they would be willing to try by the end of the webinar:

 

What about you? Are you ready to reinvent your annual report?

I will be presenting “How to Create a Nonprofit Annual Report People Will Actually Read” again at CharityHowTo.com on October 22nd. As part of that webinar, you receive a bonus, my e-book, How to Write a Nonprofit Annual Report.

Or if you can’t wait that long, you can buy How to Write a Nonprofit Annual Report now.

For additional resources on annual reports, including more articles and examples, check out our Nonprofit Annual Reports section at NonprofitMarketingGuide.com.

Share This Post On
  • Neal

    We actually went the other direction — added length and content depth to the report — and enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive response. I feel like this oversimplifies reasons for going (or staying) longer; it’s not all reactionary resistance to change. Our rationale was that people who weren’t going to spend time reading the report weren’t going to spend time reading it regardless of the size, so rather than talking down to our entire audience, why not reward those with an interest an attention span with content that tells our story? Based on that positive response, I don’t think anyone here regrets the decision either.

    • http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog Kivi Leroux Miller

      Ultimately it’s all about the content, and if you can engage your supporters with a longer report, good for you! Most nonprofit reports, however, are not that engaging, and are written more to please board members and grantmakers, and that kind of reporting tends to bore individual donors stiff.

  • Pingback: How I Write Awesome Content | Nonprofit Marketing Guide()

  • Pingback: How I Write Awesome Content | How Kivi Does It()

  • http://javacovebeachhotel.com/aspnet_client/CSS/Nike-Store-Nederland.html nike store nederland
  • http://www.easybonsai.it/forum/nike/nikeitalia.html nike store
  • http://www.easybonsai.it/forum/ugg/uggitaliavendita.html Ugg originali
  • http://www.musicamedia.it/jordanpascher.html Jordan pas cher
  • https://es.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20140604200417AA5GEuz zapatos christian louboutin

    [url=https://es.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20140604200417AA5GEuz]zapatos louboutin[/url]

  • http://www.cbsexe.com/12/teniendo-sexo-con-una-chica-amateur-tetona/ Go Here

    I just want to say I am very new to blogging and site-building and honestly savored your website. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You surely come with tremendous posts. Cheers for sharing with us your blog site.

  • http://www.johnrostron.com real estate rentals

    Whats up very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally¡KI am glad to seek out a lot of useful information here within the post, we want work out more strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  • http://www.ourcoloradoclassifieds.com used automobiles

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a great site.

  • http://www.crusadeforcollecting.net home remodeling ideas

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today..

  • http://www.snvteam.com Elton Granath

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  • http://www.twitterappmaker.com Arturo Suda

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest websites on the net. I will highly recommend this blog!

  • Pingback: Brian Lock State Farm()

  • http://xxxkylierose.com/9/penetrando-el-culazo-de-black-angelika/ go to link

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites online. I will highly recommend this site!

  • http://www.albumsexo.com/15/follando-por-el-culo-a-una-rubia-tetona/ browse article

    Excellent blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep writing!

  • http://www.sexoilustrado.com find out more

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  • http://www.sexo-cam.com/49/haciendo-gemir-a-una-cubana-con-las-tetas-grandes/ browse website

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude!

  • http://www.hot-porn-site.com/21/penetrando-el-chocho-de-una-escort-colombiana/ browse website

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest websites on the internet. I’m going to recommend this blog!

  • http://www.dans-porn-links.com her latest blog

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  • http://www.spankschoolgirls.com look at this site

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  • http://lesbianporns.net/16/back-angelica-cachonda-jugando-con-un-pollon/ browse post

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need to publish more on this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not talk about such topics. To the next! All the best!!

  • http://www.please-bang-my-wife.net/52/gozando-con-el-culo-de-una-cuarentona/ find more

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://www.freshfreepornvideos.com/11/disfrutando-de-penetrar-el-cono-de-jasmine-jae/ great website

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  • http://www.zugs-teen-xtacy.com/24/ana-ribera-se-traga-toda-la-corrida/ go to page

    Sorry for the huge review, but I’m really loving the new Zune, and hope this, as well as the excellent reviews some other people have written, will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

  • http://www.mp3mp3.org http://mp3mp3.org

    Visiter mon superbe site : courtier pr?t immobilier

  • http://pornarmy.net made a post

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you’d have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  • http://www.sluttymilfmom.com made a post

    If you’re still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you’ll know which is right for you.

  • http://www.histoiredafrique.com Maxwell Kruyt

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!

  • http://www.smutlinxxx.com click for more

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  • Pingback: erotic toys()

  • http://www.sexonfire.net/12/dando-polla-gorda-a-gina-snake/ check link

    The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  • http://nudeporngalleries.com home

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  • http://www.beyourporn.com/6/follando-duro-con-una-madurita-caliente/ great content

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

  • http://www.intellisend.net camping en france

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, as well as the content!

  • http://www.fistinginactiontgp.com/6/teniendo-morbo-con-una-universitaria/ great article

    You should take part in a contest for one of the finest sites on the net. I’m going to recommend this blog!

  • http://www.freepornrevenge.com go to the website

    Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  • http://www.teennudesite.com discover this info here

    Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  • Pingback: indie bundles()

  • http://www.weareteens.net/12/sexo-con-una-extranjera-morena-borracha/ good link

    I love reading through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  • http://www.plumppornstars.com/25/disfrutando-de-follar-a-una-pija-tetona/ find more

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.