Annual Reports are a staple of nonprofit life, but are they worth it? When used correctly, they can be a powerful tool for communicating your impact, but it's important to create them in a way that makes them easy to understand, conducive to sharing, and persuasive to a wide variety of reader perspectives. To avoid costly Annual Report mistakes and produce a valuable piece of collateral for your organization, take some cues from a few of 2018's stand-out annual reports, and download our comprehensive guide to creating a nonprofit annual report.
1. Pathfinder International
Pathfinder International’s annual report combines colorful graphic design, individual stories, and gorgeous portraits. One of our favorite parts comes on page 2; using bright graphics and clean lines, they walk through their impact over the past year by the numbers. It’s a clear and simple way to show their accomplishments at a glance.
“WNET in Review” uses viewer interaction to create a compelling story. One of the features we love is the ability for each viewer to navigate to the information they are most interested in. Allowing supporters to see the content they care about most increases their engagement with the report as a whole!
3. The Humane Society
The Humane Society’s annual report has so much to love: clear and concise info about the years progress, compelling copy, and adorable animal pictures. Telling donor stories throughout connects the year’s events directly with the supporters reading along.
4. The American Kidney FundThe American Kidney Fund uses a running sidebar throughout its annual report to emphasize important metrics and milestones. By keeping the placement consistent and pairing it with in-depth information and stories thematically related, AKF is able to weave a picture of the year’s impact.
5. Rock the Vote
We are huge fans of Rock the Vote’s branding. With consistent messaging throughout and a dedication to storytelling, they are experts at reaching their audience. To this end, the annual report does a great job of highlighting the partners that are so essential to increasing their reach. We love when groups emphasize the people power behind all the work they do.
6. Environment America
Environment America uses page breaks with vivid nature images to delineate their various areas of interest. Not only are the pictures themselves beautiful, but it’s a great way to visually change the subject and keep readers engaged throughout.
7. Broadway Cares
Broadway Cares demonstrates the importance of consistency from year to year when creating your annual reports. When you have long term donors, you want to make sure they can easily access the information they’re looking for quickly. By hosting the information directly on their website (without download) patrons will be able to track their impact over the years, no matter how long they’ve been donating.
8. Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution Annual Report is comprehensive. One of its best features is the inclusion of the strategic plan at the end of the report. This helps shift the reader’s perspective from the impact of the past year to what they can help accomplish in the future.
Click below to download our guide to putting together an annual report for your organization that will impress and inspire your donors!