5 Audiences For Your Nonprofit's Annual Report

  • by Christine Batta
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For a lot of nonprofit organizations, creating an annual report gets to be such a large, detail-oriented task that it's hard to remember why they're even doing it in the first place, or whom the report will actually be for. Beyond the legal obligations that many nonprofits have, however, your report can be an important marketing piece to help achieve a lot of the organization’s goals.

The key to reaching those goals is keeping all the different audiences you need to communicate with in mind. Here are five groups you can't ignore when putting together your nonprofit’s annual report:

1. Individual donors.

Obviously, individual donors are going to be a big audience for your nonprofit’s annual report, and especially those who are considering making very sizable gifts. Also keep in mind that it won't just be these men and women who read the report, but also their advisers. There shouldn't be anything in your report that would scare lawyers, accountants, and other professionals away.

2. Foundations.

The same goes for the kinds of foundations that give out gifts and grants. For them, the details in your nonprofit’s annual report matter, but so do the overall tone and sense of credibility. Don't give them any sense that they'll regret sending gifts your way, or that there is ambiguity about what you need and what you're trying to accomplish.

3. Members of the media.

Often, reporters and other members of the media will peruse your nonprofit’s annual report before conducting interviews or sharing stories about your events. The most important thing, from their perspective, is that key details (like your mission and profiles for your leadership) are easy to find and understand.

4. Volunteers.

While most volunteers will spend a lot of time looking at your nonprofit’s annual report, some may check it out to see if your mission is compatible with their personal interests, or whether you’ve been able to reach your past goals. What they want to find, more than anything, is a sense of hope and excitement about your organization and its mission.

5. Potential employees.

Will every potential employee look at your nonprofit’s annual report? Probably not, but the very best candidates will, and those are the ones you need working for your organization the most. So, make sure a sense of passion and camaraderie comes through, and consider highlighting some of your key team members and recognizing their contributions.

Remember, your annual report is more than a collection of mission statements, photos, and figures – it's also one of your most important PR and fundraising tools.

Want help creating a great annual report for your nonprofit? Get in touch with SW Creatives today and let us show you what we've been able to do for other organizations.

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