Annual report writing tips
An annual report is a great way to market your business. Nonprofit organizations use annual reports to find new donors and to demonstrate your businesses accomplishments to your existing donors. Writing an annual report can be difficult so to help, we have created a simple guide that includes some of the basic things you need to include in your annual report:
1. What did you do over the past year? Write down all the things that your company accomplished over the past year so you can prioritize them and decide which ones you need to list in your annual report. As you list all of the things your company accomplished, be sure to add in some of the reasons why you did these things in order to make sure they correspond with your vision and mission statement.
2. Write a compelling opening statement. This statement should include a few reasons why you are in business and what you hope to accomplish. Don't make it too long, but long enough to gain your target audience's attention. Some companies just use their vision statement instead of writing a new paragraph to talk about some of the big achievements of the company.
3. Be careful about praising yourself too much. When you add in too much information about how much good your company did, some of your customers may be annoyed with you. If you are doing some things like fundraising, your customers do want to see your efforts but they do not want a long list of all the little things you have done. While your investors and customers want to see how you are able to raise money, they want to see what you are actually doing with this money. Your annual report will have a financial section and that is where you want to include a long list of all the details about your fundraising efforts.
4. Include some pictures in your annual report to break up all the wording and numbers in it. Adding photos will allow some people to flip through your annual report in a matter of seconds as some people don't like to read annual reports. Adding pictures is a great way to add an artistic touch to your annual report.
5. Underneath the pictures, add some small captions that will quickly tell your audience what you have been doing. Text box captions are another great way to tell your story and it helps to break up some of the mundane pages of just text.
6. Bar graphs and financial figures are a must in an annual report as they also help to break up some of the boring aspects of an annual report.
7. Tell your donors who is working for your company. You want to tell your story along with a picture so your customers can associate a face with the annual report. Your personal profiles should highlight a few of your accomplishments. Ask each employee to come up with one story that they would like to share with your customers and donors.
8. Add some stories from your donors or people that have been helped by your company in some way. Personal stories will soften the hearts of other people and you will be able to attract some new donors with their help.
9. Add information about your company's finances but keep it short. Some people want to read through all the details but most people won't read it, they will just look at it briefly. Just quickly explain to your customers where the money comes from and where the money goes. You can also include a small text box that discusses what you would like to try and do to save money for the upcoming year.