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4 New and Improved Ways NGOs could Make Annual Reports

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Annual reports are usually prepared by non-profits as one of the statutory documents to show stakeholders, donors and the general public the result of their activities over the course of the year. Traditionally, this is a very difficult since making that compilation is laborious and yields a 20-40 paged result.

Another challenge with the traditional model of writing annual reports is that it doesn’t get read through by the stakeholders.

Many nonprofits are realizing that it’s time to remake the traditional annual report into something that works better for today – a communications piece that’s shorter, more personal, and more timely for readers, while also taking less work to produce.

Below are four improved ways non-profits can remake their annual reports:

  1. The two-paged Annual Report: The annual report is supposed to be a summary of all activities that were undergone throughout the year. With this new improved model, non-profits can experiment with highlighting key milestones, challenges and financials in a more dynamic and exciting way. Examples of this model can be found from the Non-Profit annual reports Wiki
  2. Infographics: Infographics have been used in big data analytic and can easily be integrated into a non-profit annual report model. They are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can be used to present the impact and represent financials. Examples of infograhic annual reports can be found here
  3. Postcards: A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. The post cards model has been experimented by non-profits and has been found to be a great summarizing tool and an alternative to the long traditional annual reports. Examples of this postcard annual report can be found on this Pinterest Board.
  4. Videos: This was one of our social media predictions for 2014. For example, in 2012, the Humane Society of the United States, the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Nature Conservancy all released two-three minute videos on their 2012 victories. Each video quickly highlighted 10-12 accomplishments – out of literally hundreds of possibilities at each organization — usually with just one or two sentences per accomplishment. Of course, the photography and live video adds immensely to the story, leaving viewers with a real sense of progress. For more video examples view this YouTube Channel.

In addition to the compactness of these new methods, the annual reports are easily circulated through online media and can reach more persons that the traditional one could reach.

We love to hear your views on other improved ways!

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