Annual reports don’t have to be long, boring documents with pages and pages of financial statements that no one wants to read (even if they did understand all the accounting jargon!). Your annual report should be a celebration of what your donors have helped you do. I have been pushing alternative formats for annual reports for years now, and am always excited when nonprofits share how they have mixed things up! ~Kivi
Midwives For Haiti is a small nonprofit organization that trains midwives and provides quality maternal healthcare in Haiti. We’ve put together some nice annual reports in the past, but they ended up costing a bundle to produce, print, and mail. When it came time to put together our 2013 Annual Report, the “same old thing” just didn’t seem very appealing, not to mention cost effective or modern.
Ultimately, we wanted a report that would set us apart and reflected our organization, would be easy to share across social media, and would excite new interest in our work.
Creating an annual report as a single page infographic has some risks. It’s untraditional. It’s innovative. It’s bold. At the end of the day, we realized that’s how we approach our work in Haiti and we thought our supporters would enjoy the format. So, we went for it!
Showing our progress in a visually interesting way was certainly a challenge. The requirements were that all of the necessary information be included and that it be a beautiful, stand alone document. We used piktochart.com and they made it ridiculously easy for “non-designers” to create and edit a canvas. By limiting the space to a single page, we could only include the most essential information, which really simplified the story we were telling. The report includes all of the necessary sections: problem/solution, our approach, our progress, the financials, and an acknowledgement of our supporters.
The report is available on our website. It was emailed to our supporters along with a letter from our Executive Director, and some received a hard copy via snail mail.
We’ve gotten some really great feedback and will certainly consider an alternative approach to future annual reports.
Summer Aronson is the Director of Development and Marketing at Midwives For Haiti, a non-profit organization actively reducing maternal and infant mortality in Haiti. She is passionate about global maternal health and the impact that midwives have on the lives of women and children. She lives in London and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her organization on Twitter @Midwives4Haiti.