Mission Critical Creative partners Leslie Belingheri and Hae Yuon Kim discuss the nonprofit annual report. The end of year is a great time to report back to your community on the impact you made. Listen in as we review some essentials of why to create an annual report and how some of our clients have used them to increase donations and acknowledge contributors.

(The following is not a transcript of the video.)

The End of Year is a Critical Period for Fundraising

Fall is when many nonprofit organizations produce an annual report as the end of the year represents about 34% of all annual charitable giving. The period between Oct–Dec includes 1) Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving)  2) traditional generosity surrounding the holidays and 3) year-end donations for tax benefits. According to IDonate December alone represents about 20% of annual charitable giving.

Annual Reports are a Fundraising Tool and Strategic Document

Your donors and the community like to know how you’re doing. it’s a good time to tell them your story and how their support impacted your mission and goals for the year. And you want people to keep giving so an annual report is a great way to do that. In addition to telling a story and inspiring donors, it can be used as a very useful strategic document.

Let’s Break it Down a bit Further

Are nonprofits required by law to create one? Does it have to be a certain size or type? What are some of the creative formats organizations have used to create an AR? 1 page, tri fold brochure, multiple page magazine style, microsite, large postcard with links to more in depth stories.

Generally what should be included in an annual report?

  • A theme to tie it all together
  • Fiscal year—what timeframe does the report cover
  • Mission Statement
  • Financials
  • Contact information

Where to Share Your Nonprofit Annual Report

  • Send a print copy to your best donors along with a handwritten note.
  • Post it on your website—perhaps create a microsite for just your AR.
  • Email a link to your entire list.
  • Post it on your social media channels.
  • Send a copy to your local and state elected officials along with a cover letter to let them know what your nonprofit has accomplished in their constituent area. By the way, this is a great tactic if you’re planning to ask these people for money later.
  • Send it as a follow up to grant funders.

See some of the reports we discuss in our portfolio
(click Annual Report)