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As many nonprofits are in full swing of planning, thanking their donors well from 2020, and meeting their fundraising goals for 2021, it is important to let your donors know how their 2020 donations are being used wisely. How can you do this? Create an annual report or “Impact Report.”!

An annual report is a document that highlights the impact you had this year. An annual report is like a yearbook, it shows metrics or bullets of successes or progress in the last year, and a pie chart of your income and a separate pie chart of your expenses, and pulls on heartstrings with a testimonial of at least one life that has been impacted by your organization. Meet with your team and pick out some of your favorite impact stories! 

It is recommended that annual reports should be published within 6 months of the end of your fiscal year. This means that if your nonprofit’s year ends in December, before June an annual report should be sent out to donors and available on your website for the rest of the year for transparency. 

Showing your income and expenses will set you apart as a nonprofit! Donors like to see transparency. Donors like to see “up and to the right” growth. Consider including a chart of the last 3-5 years and the growth you have experienced. Including your financial metrics can show donors that donating to your organization is a wise investment.

A sample, good Annual Report includes a letter from the president opening the report, bullets of success and metrics, measurable indicators, and also could include a page about looking ahead and plans for the future. Looking ahead can get donors even excited for what your nonprofit is doing!

Annual reports build trust and confidence with donors and keep your donors giving year after year. A successful annual report can help your nonprofit achieve its fundraising goals for the next fiscal year and serves as a marketing brochure that your donors can share with friends.