One of the beautiful things about a short annual report (think 2-4 pager, infographic or video) is that you don’t have to spend nearly as much time creating the thing.

But there is a catch . . .

You have to spend more time planning it. That’s because it’s a lot harder to create something short, where you have to make strategic decisions about what to leave out, than it is to just throw everything into the document.

Here are the steps I recommend you follow as you create your short annual report this year. These are the same basic steps that we walk participants through in our Short Annual Report Accelerator Program which begins Wednesday, January 10th.

Step 1: Hone in on Your Accomplishments.

You really have to focus. What did all your activity last year produce in terms of real change? Of those accomplishments, which are most likely to feel significant and memorable to your supporters?

Step 2: Hone in on Your Gratitude.

What exactly do you want to say to your supporters about their role in making those accomplishments possible?

Step 3: Review Samples of Other Short Reports.

Get some ideas of what others are doing. We have lots to share with you.   Note what you like and what you don’t.

Step 4:  Work on the Story of Your Year

Start building out your narrative, with a beginning, middle and end. This may become paragraphs of text, a video script, or creative direction to your infographic designer.

Step 5: Work on How the Numbers Tell the Story Too.

Think about what financial information and other data belong in your short report and how it contributes to the story you are telling.

Step 6: Complete Your Creative Brief

With all of your strategic decisions made, it’s time to pick a format and bring all the decisions together into your creative brief.

Step 7: Create the Annual Report.

Going through this process will save you so much time on Step 7! Step 7 will be a breeze if you work your way through 1-6.

For more, see Nonprofit Annual Report Best Practices, Example, and Templates.

Need an Annual Report Template?

Fill out the form below to get Suggested Layouts for a 4-Page Annual Report.

Suggested Layouts for a 4-Page Annual Report

Create a shorter annual report people will actually read using the layouts in this free download. By downloading this resource, you also consent to receive our weekly newsletter filled with marketing tips, insights, and more for nonprofit communicators.

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Published On: November 15, 2017|Categories: Fundraising|