Nonprofit Annual Reports 101

Nonprofit Annual Reports 101

Writing an annual report for your organization can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve broken down the four major components of a nonprofit Annual Report and provided a sample table of contents to help you start creating yours.

Share What You Have Accomplished

How did you make a difference over the past 12 months? What have you accomplished, and how does it contribute to the broader goals of your nonprofit? What impact is your organization having on the cause you serve? With an annual report, one should share an overview of who the organization is and a review of the accomplishments made during the fiscal year.

Breakdown Your Financials

While your 990 is available to the public and can be used by supporters to track your organization’s financials, you should also provide a transparent explanation of the funds raised by your organization and how they are used. A combination of graphics and written descriptions will allow your donors to see that your organization is effective and responsible with the funds raised.

Use Storytelling

The most effective way to show how your organization is making a difference is through storytelling. Sharing the stories of those that have been impacted by your organization is useful because it evokes emotions, creates more reliable connections to your mission, and proves that your organization is having an impact.

Recognize your supporters

Share lists of your staff, board of directors, donors, corporate sponsors, and any other supporter groups that you feel should be recognized. Sharing these lists may seem repetitive, but it reinforces the community you have created and shows your supporters that you appreciate their contributions.

Sample Table Of Contents

  • Welcome Letter from President
  • Board of Directors List
  • Overview of Mission + Programs
  • Financial Breakdown
  • Staff List
  • Highlight Accomplishments
  • Story 1
  • Story 2
  • Story 3
  • Donor + Sponsor Lists
  • Call to Action + Stay In Touch

While creating a nonprofit annual report is a massive task, it doesn’t have to be so daunting if you follow this guide and give yourself ample time to review and edit the report!

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