Should Your Annual Report Be A Fundraising Tool?

  • by Shala Graham
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Is your nonprofit's annual report simply a document that updates donors and interested parties about your activities... or is it a valuable fundraising tool?

Done correctly, it can certainly be both. The trick to making that happen, however, is including more than just a few facts and figures along with your financial tables. Here are a handful of elements you should definitely include in your annual report if you want it to help you raise more money for your nonprofit in the future:

A sense of hope.

Too many nonprofit annual reports offer nothing but gloom and doom. Your organization probably exists to address a serious problem, but make sure the overall tone is positive, not negative.

Facts and figures.

Yes, we mentioned that you shouldn't just have facts and figures, but don't omit them altogether. Having hard data in your nonprofit annual report is a great way to quantify what needs to be done and show off the progress you've already made.

A vision for the future.

Along with a recap of your recent achievements, your annual report should lay out a detailed plan for going forward. Show donors what you want to do with their gifts, so they aren’t left guessing about what sorts of programs you need to fund.

Donation information.

It almost goes without saying that, somewhere in your nonprofit annual report, there should be some direction for those interested in giving money. In fact, although your website should be mentioned, you might also want to have contact information for your chief executive or development director. After all, someone going through the trouble of reading your annual report might be ready to make a sizable gift.

Did your last nonprofit annual report include all of these? Will your next one? Contact SW Creatives today to find out how we can help you create an annual report that makes a bigger impact on donors.