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News > General > Three Ways To Get More Out Of Your Annual Report

Three Ways To Get More Out Of Your Annual Report

21 Apr 2021
Written by Kasandrea Sereno


It’s that time of year where you need to create an annual or impact report for your nonprofit, foundation or association because you have to. Maybe you even put it off and you certainly are thinking hard about the budget vs. time spent. The deadline is getting closer and it’s definitely nice to have a summary of community impact for stakeholders to look at. 

Even if you put in an effort to make the report look really nice, far too often the document ends up sitting on your website or in someone’s office and you’re not even sure if it’s being used. All that leads to leaving fundraising dollars on the table!

Consider letting your report move from a static document to becoming a marketing tool for your fundraising efforts.

Here are 3 ways you can  leverage your annual report as a marketing tool and assist with fundraising:

  • Use Your Board’s Contacts: You probably already share the report with your board members, but don’t be shy to specifically ask if they can utilize their network as a distribution channel targeting prospective donors.

    While board members are often on the lookout for new individual and corporate donors for your organization, you can arm them with the powerful tool that is your annual report, to help them start conversations and open doors. Your goal here should be to ask for introductions.
  • Social Media Announcement Using Storytelling: Sharing your annual report over social media is a great way to get exposure, but make sure you spend your efforts targeting the right audience. There is value to posting it on LinkedIn and using hashtags like #annualreport or #impactreport, but if you want to reach an audience of potential donors, use your posts to highlight specific stories about your impact, rather than relying solely on the fact that you published your report. There is a great example here from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, as they used Yearly to publish their digital annual report. Yearly is a platform for nonprofits to make engaging and interactive digital reports.

    To give an example, think about if a person tied to your cause do something with or for your brand that differentiates your organization from others? Did you have a record breaking year? Share those stories with a teaser and allow readers to click a link to read more within your report. You might be able to generate multiple pieces of social media content and post about this once per week.
  • Email Campaign to Existing Donors: As one tactic in your promotional strategy to earn individual giving dollars from donors, send an them an email directing them to view your report on your website. It gets them involved, excited and keeps them informed. It can even compliment other updates you provide that audience through efforts like your end of year campaign or upcoming events they could attend, that they might find on your website once you drive them there.

Don’t let your annual report sit there, make it work for you. Are there other tactics you can think of?

About the Author:
Josh Kligman is the co-founder of Yearly, a platform for nonprofits, universities and colleges to make digital reports. Join over 1,100 organizations, including Harvard University, and make your next report today.

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