How To Write a Non-Profit Annual Report That Attracts Donors

How To Write a Non-Profit Annual Report That Attracts Donors

In my role as Board Chair of Refugee Artisan Initiative, I have a responsibility to support sharing our mission and vision to stakeholders and the community at large.

Working with our magnificent grant writer, marketing specialist and fellow Board member, I was fortunate to help write a non-profit annual report that attracts donors.

I know this because our annual report does a beautiful job of depicting the organization's successes as well as highlights exciting opportunities for growth.

Through a well written annual report, our Board, staff and current supporters will attract other like-minded stakeholders that value our vision of creating a welcoming community that invests in refugee and immigrant women as they achieve healthy, stable, and fulfilling lives in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Learn how to write a non-profit annual report that attracts donors. Employ these tips to presenting your organization in a way that can be used to share your mission and support for programming. #nonprofit #nonprofits #CEO #executivedirector #developmentdirector #NFP #nonprofitorganization

Tools to Write a Professional Non-Profit Annual Report

If you're like me and find yourself volunteering for projects that require more time than you actually have, you'll want to know about these tools to create professional non-profit annual reports that shine.

Start by creating a profile for the free Canva plan that affords you access to hundreds of great looking annual report templates.

Annual Report and White Paper Design Principles

When using a tool such as Canva there are a few design tenets to put to use for an easy to read and well-crafted report.

Use the rule of three.

Optimize readability by using three fonts - two of one style and one of another or three in the same family.

Break font styles into Headline, sub-header and body text.

Use three colors in a complementary palette. Use Canva or other tool to help you select colors that work well together for headers, font color and design elements to highlight information and data.

Include high-quality photos from your with your community. Showcase people doing great things! 

If you need to find excellent stock photography, use a free service such as Unsplash.

Care to Mingle?

Let’s connect over social media. Follow the fun on Pinterest and Instagram. Tag #satsumasmiles to share your creativity and I'll share back. 

Why Write a Non-Profit Organization Annual Report

There are numerous reasons to write an Annual Report for a non-profit organization. Here are a handful for reference:

  • Builds a framework to reflect on successes and challenges from the previous year's work
  • Provides updates to supporters, partners, staff, Board and other stakeholders
  • Transparency to build legitimacy and support within your sphere
  • Create an institutional knowledge foundation that can be use for future Board, staff and stakeholders
  • Set explicit and ambitious goals that require follow-through and accountability

When To Write A Non-Profit Annual Report

Aim to publish a non-profit organization's annual report by the beginning of February that will focus attention on the preceding year's efforts.

Engage staff or a Board committee to begin pulling together data, financials, and testimonials from partners and clients in November, before year's end.

Having a skeleton outline in hand for end of year financials will make writing the rest of the annual report a breeze.

Learn how to write a non-profit annual report that attracts donors. Employ these tips to presenting your organization in a way that can be used to share your mission and support for programming. #nonprofit #nonprofits #CEO #executivedirector #developmentdirector #NFP #nonprofitorganization

How to Create an Inspiring Mission Statement for Your Non-Profit Organization

Before you draft you annual report, ensure that you have the components in place to best tell your story.

In addition to a solid business plan that maps out who you will serve and how you will pay for it, create a mission statement that helps drive your work.

I've written a helpful blog post about how to create an inspiring mission statement.

Essential Elements of a Non-Profit Annual Report That Attracts Donors

A driving purpose of creating a non-profit annual report is to both share what has been accomplished in a preceding year, but also focus on future opportunities for the organization.

Next follow fundamental components of non-profit annual report that will serve to reflect and project.

  1. Introduction with Table of Contents
  2. Letter from Executive Director and Board President
  3. Mission and Vision Statements
  4. History of organization successfully depicted in a timeline for easy reading and comprehension
  5. Served population
  6. Method and philosophy of service
  7. Current programming
  8. Future goals
  9. Year's financials
  10. Donor, supporter, partner, staff, volunteer and board thanks
  11. Contact information

Additional Helpful and Impactful Elements to help tell the organization's story include:

  • Client/service population testimonies
  • Partner testimonies
  • Board testimonies
  • Press coverage


Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

sign up for Satsuma's email newsletter