February 20, 2011

Online Annual Reports: a Sampling

More and more charities are creating all-digital editions of their annual reports. The new versions make liberal use of audio, animation, and video rather than long, text-heavy articles. Following are some examples of how some groups are presenting their annual reports online:


Image from the front page of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation's online annual report.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

The Mott foundation showcased its grant making in South Africa by featuring audio essays by four of that nation's luminaries, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, as an addendum to other information about the grant programs.


Image from the front page of the Duke Endowment's online annual report.

The Duke Endowment

The Duke Endowment's online annual report emphasizes the fund's history, while also offering photos, articles, and video depicting its grant programs in the areas of preventing child abuse, fighting hunger, and improving mental health.


Image from the front page of VolunteerMatch's online annual report.


VolunteerMatch, a group the recruits volunteers for charities around the country, uses animation and small blocks of text in its digital report and heavily emphasizes the use of social networks as it tells readers about its work.


Image from the front page of the Salvation Army's online annual report.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, which no longer produces a hard-copy annual report, includes plenty of video in its digital version, with a message from the organization's leader and the stories of people helped by the charity. It also includes interactive graphics detailing its financial status.


Image from the front page of the Education Development Center's online annual report.

Education Development Center

Education Development Center, an international charity, pared back text to as little as 100 words per article. The online report is presented as a slide show, which takes 90 seconds to watch—the amount of time most readers spend with nonprofit annual reports.


Image from the front page of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation's online annual report.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's annual report is presented on a special site titled "Dispatches" that features videos about four grantees and a database of every organization the foundation helped support in 2010.