A Word on the Annual Report

Ok.  It’s the end of the year.  Dollars have been raised.  Dollars have been spent.  Objectives have been established.  Objectives (hopefully) have been met.  Now, it’s time to shot it from the mountaintops!  Or, more likely, get it down on paper and into an electronic or printed format that looks just awesome.  After all, it’s the Annual Report for crying out loud!

We give a lot weight to this tool, and sometimes, perhaps too much weight.  Accurate, compelling, and transparent reporting on our finances and key metrics every year is a unique privilege and responsibility that we must execute.  However, if we feel like it’s our one and only shot to impress, encourage, and inform our community of support we have missed many opportunities for more frequent touches.

That said, the Annual Report is an important deliverable and naturally we want to really exceed expectations.  To increase the likelihood of doing that, here are some key questions that must be addressed regardless of formatting decisions:

  1. How much income was generated and how was it spent?
  2. What were our key metrics of operational results and were they met?
  3. What is on the mind of our executive leadership?
  4. What impact has giving had on the mission?
  5. What challenges have we faced?
  6. What are the priorities as we move into the next fiscal year?

Again, it is really important that we are clear, creative, and compelling.  It’s also important that we provide this electronically even if we decide to also print it.  There are some amazing examples out there and if you are seeking inspiration and additional insight.  Check out these winners.

What Annual Reports have gotten your attention?  Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog

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