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Tips and Tools for Better Annual Reports

At the start of a new year, many nonprofits take stock of their work during the past year and search for effective ways to share accomplishments with donors. Annual reports — which are not legally required but are considered a necessary best practice — can help organizations stay accountable to supporters and educate new audiences.

Below are links to articles from The Chronicle that offer examples of creative approaches and ideas for more efficient production of your next annual report.

  • Advice

    Dos and Don’ts for a Compelling Nonprofit Annual Report

    Tips for creating a yearly summary that will help you hold on to supporters and attract new ones, no matter your organization’s size.
  • Advice

    Advice: 7 Tips for Enlivening Your Nonprofit’s Annual Report

    Avoid data overload; share accomplishments, not activities; and other ways to keep readers’ attention.
  • Advice

    Case Study: Crowdfunding Website Watsi Creates Interactive Year-in-Review Webpage

    The nonprofit website, which allows donors to support people’s medical expenses in the developing world, is committed to “radical transparency.” Its annual report microsite aims to accomplish this goal.
  • Advice

    Houston Nonprofit Experiments With Instagram to Draw Attention to Annual Report

    In mid-December, Neighborhood Centers posted a series of 60 pictures to the photo- sharing app. Each photo’s caption contains a sentence or two about the nonprofit’s work during the past year, and each image prompts viewers to click the link in the group’s profile, which takes them to its full online annual report.
  • Advice

    Taking Annual Reports Digital

    Online reports have many advantages over print versions: They can be cheaper to produce, and they allow charities to use video, interactive features, and dynamic data visualization.
  • News

    Online Annual Reports: a Sampling

    More and more charities are creating all-digital editions of their yearly reports. The new versions make liberal use of audio, animation, and video rather than long, text-heavy articles. These are some examples of the next generation of annual reports.
  • News

    Annual Report Gets Video-Game Feel

    VolunteerMatch saved $12,000 taking its annual report online in an unusual presentation that makes reading the report feel like playing a video game. The San Francisco charity used a new technology tool called Prezi to give the report zoom effects for text and photos. “It makes it so much easier to…
  • News

    How to Move From Paper to Digital Annual Reports

    A growing number of nonprofits and foundations seek to save money and get creative by using new formats for detailing finances and accomplishments.