Danielle Denhardt with the Fancy Cats Rescue Team is working on the group’s annual report and had this question for me:
“When we list the Board of Directors, do we list the people who were on the Board during the FY on which we are reporting, or do we list the current Board members? We generally have elections in January, so the new Board is in place before the annual report is produced.”
When your board year and fiscal year don’t match, which is common for a variety of reasons, I recommend listing the boards for both years in your annual report. The board that presided over the accomplishments you mention should be listed, but readers will also be interested in your current board — the one sitting when they read the annual report — thus my reasoning for including both. (Same goes for staff lists too, by the way).
If it just doesn’t make sense to include two full lists, because of space or duplication concerns, you can combine them into one list and then use an asterisk or other symbols by the names to note FY 2007 only or FY 2008 only, or served both years — whatever makes the most sense given how many people actually served when.
Here’s an example.
Say your board year runs January-December, but your fiscal year is July – June to match your state government’s budget year. The text on your annual report accomplishments should match your fiscal year budget details. But since your fiscal year starts and ends in the middle of board terms, you really have two different boards serving during a single fiscal year. So, you might have board lists that look something like this.
2007 Calendar Year Board of Directors
2008 Calendar Year Board of Directors
Option #1 would be to include both of these lists as is and let readers deduce who was actually serving on the board during which parts of the fiscal year (before and after January 2008 in this example). The advantage here is that it’s easy to see who is on the board right now, as we are reading the report in late 2008. But it takes up more space.
Options #2 and #3 would combine the two lists, with the goal of saving space and making it more clear who served during the fiscal year.
FY 2007-2008 Board of Directors
* served in 2007 only
+served in 2008 only
Option 3 would be another variation, where every name is tagged in some way
FY 2007-2008 Board of Directors
* served in 2007 (first part of fiscal year)
+served in 2008 (second part of fiscal year)
Which format you use really depends on how big your board is, how much overlap you have between years, how much space you have in your annual report, and how important you think it is to clearly match your board with your actual fiscal year.
What Else Belongs in Your Annual Report?
If you aren’t sure, download a copy of my e-book, “How to Write a Nonprofit Annual Report,” for $29.99. This version of the guide explains how to write a traditional annual report of 8 pages or more.
I’m currently revising the e-book to include a section on shorter annual reports (2 and 4 pages) and alternative formats like PowerPoints and videos. Once those sections are added later this fall, the price will go up, so if you are most interested in the traditional format, get your copy at the lower price today.