I presented a webinar called "The New and Improved Nonprofit Annual Report" three times in 2011, where I urged nonprofits to stop producing long, printed annual reports and to look at shorter, more readable and viewable, alternatives.

I asked the same two poll questions each time: at the beginning of the webinar I asked what their annual report looked like last year, and at the end of the webinar (after they saw many examples of shorter formats) I asked what format they were most likely to try for the coming year.

Over 100 nonprofits participated in the polling over those three webinars, and I have averaged the results below.

What Annual Report Formats Nonprofits Are Using

A quarter of the nonprofits didn't do an annual report at all the previous year, but the majority, 54%, had created a printed report that was longer than four pages. I didn't ask how much longer, but in the webinar chat, several nonprofits said their reports were 10 or 20 pages or even longer. 15% had created a short printed version and 6% had created an online-only version of a PDF or PowerPoint presentation. None had used an online version like a video or website page (not a PDF).

Format of Last Year's Report

 

What Annual Report Formats Nonprofits Want to Try

After the webinar, where I strongly encouraged much shorter printed formats like oversized postcards or 2-4 page reports (especially for those nonprofits who use the annual report mailing as a fundraiser and need to include a return envelope), as well as video and other online formats, only 20% said they were most likely to stick with the longer printed version. Nearly half, 47%, were going with a 2-4 page printed version, while 23% were going to try an oversized postcard. Another 7% wanted to try a mini-website (either as a separate domain or a subdomain on their existing website) and 3% wanted to try video.

What Format Do You Want to TryNonprofit Annual Report Samples

You can see all of the samples I shared during the webinar on the Nonprofit Annual Reports Wiki I created. Please add your examples of new and improved nonprofit annual reports to the wiki!

 Get More Nonprofit Annual Report Tips and Advice

Check out our Annual Reports Resource Page for more.