How to make your Annual Review shine
Every year, organisations must produce an annual report. This usually includes a statement of accounts for the past year, but it can be so much more!
For charities, this review is a chance to shine. You can showcase the difference you have made in the past 12 months and share your strategic plans for the year ahead. Most importantly, you can demonstrate your impact, something which is so vital for charities that rely on donations to provide services.
So, how do you bring your Annual Review to life and make it memorable?
Here's my top tips...
Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner suggests we are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it has been wrapped in a story. In your Annual Review, tell the story of your charity, your beneficiaries and your staff.
The personal voices of the people involved in the past year will say it better than any slogan, and you will produce a report that people actually want to read.
Make the numbers pretty
Personally, I'm not a fan of numbers. However, they also tell a story and often it's a great way to show your impact. So, presenting key statistics in a visually appealing way will make a difference to your Annual Review. You could include...
How many people you supported
How many enquiries you answered
How many events you hosted
How many fundraisers you had
How many people visited your website
How many volunteers you had
How much money you raised
Also, when is comes to presenting your accounts (which is a requirement of Annual Reviews), I recommend colourful pie charts and diagrams sit alongside the figures, so people can see at a glance how you make and spend your income.
Say thank you
It's highly likely many people made your work possible over the past year, so say thank you. Mention your major donors by name and thank your individual fundraisers, volunteers and Board members.
Brand, brand, brand
As with all public documents, remember to ensure your brand is embedded in your Annual Review. This includes making sure you have your full name, address and Charity Number included somewhere, as well as your logo and the logos of any funders. Don't forget to signpost readers to your website and social media channels as well so they can stay updated with your work.
Try something completely different
If you have been producing Annual Review documents for a while, why not try something different? You could create an animated film showcasing a typical service user's journey. Why not offer an audio version of your Annual Review for people to listen to? Or perhaps ask your stakeholders to send in their stories and bring them all together in a unique way?
It's worth thinking about who you want to see your Annual Review and tailoring the format to your primary audience.
Don't forget to share it!
If you feel it is important to take the time to produce an Annual Review, you need to have a plan in place to share it. Your work matters so take the time to consider who to send your Annual Review to, whether you want to gather feedback about it and where to direct people for more information.
Don't just leave it gathering dust on a website page for a year until the next one. Celebrate your story!
Get in touch if you'd like some support...
If you need any help getting your Annual Review to shine please email Laura today or call 07568 398908.