Including staff in your not-for-profit annual report is very important, their value should never be underestimated. They make the organisation, so it is important to give them the respect they deserve. They are the not only the face of your not-for-profit or charity, they add enormous value and credibility of your brand, so why are they generally overlooked when it comes to this critical marketing document?
Fundraising for charities and even more broadly, not-for-profits, is an important component of the organisation. Whether the amount raised constitutes a small or large proportion of the organisations annual funding, in the eyes of the public it will always be seen as a major activity. When it comes to drafting your Annual Report fundraising will need a dedicated section.
A charities Annual Report should be regarded as a major marketing opportunity. While there are plenty of guides and requirements for annual financial reporting (like the one in the link by CPA), the same can't be said for the communications around it, until now. Tips for reporting on fundraising for charities is just of over 20 areas covered in this free e-book.
What to cover under fundraising
1. Major events and activities during the year. It is easy to fill pages with photos and too much detail about the events themselves. It is better to talk to the highlights, the targets which were set and whether they were reached. Include any significant outcomes which resulted from the activity such as any media coverage (referencing the table which should appear in the CEO section for overall coverage).
2. The methods and costs used for fundraising. If for example, for every $1000 you spend on fundraising, you make $3000, there is nothing wrong with showing this return on investment. Let people know what activities are the most successful.
3. You can also include grant writing as part of this equation if a good deal of time is spent on it, netting good returns.
4. Don’t forget to thank everyone, whether it’s government of small donors. You can’t name everyone who has given $2, but you can thank them broadly. Once people give a certain amount, if they are happy for their details to be included, they should be thanked.
5. Talk about how you far the donations will stretch in terms of sustainability. How the money will be spent is too often glossed over. Don't be afraid to say a certain percentage or dollar amount is put aside for future investments. Fundraising for charities is as much about the long-term viability of the organisation as it is for raising funds for a particular item or project.
Give it the space it deserves
When you are putting together an Annual Report, be careful not to let fundraising dominate any more than it should relative to your organisation. In many cases, this section may be more correctly titled, funding, because there are limited sources of income which constitute the majority.
It is ok and generally expected that you will also add in a reference or ad as to how and why to donate, towards the back (often the back cover) of the report. Remember an Annual Report is a key marketing tool for the organisation, so it is worth spending the time to get it right.
For more tips on how to get maximum value out of your charities next Annual Report, including information on what to include in the CEO Review, Board Chair Report, Operations Reports and much more, please download our free e-book.
A report from the CEO of your non-for-profit is a critical component of an Annual Report. Whether yo ucall it a CEO Review or Report, it plays a pivotal role in helping tell the story of the organisation, and the annual report itself. The following is an excerpt from a free e-book I have put together, to help guide you on what to include in your charity or not-for-profit annual report.
"Whether the title is CEO or General Manager or Managing Director, whoever is in charge of the day to day running of the organisation at a strategic level needs to be writing a report. This is the next level down of
One of the important topics to cover in this report is about relationships with other organisations. Collaboration is a buzz word, and it is what governments and funders want to read more about. It means organisations are working less in silos.
Remember also to cover off sustainability measures, so anyone involved with the organisation (be they a
If you have had any media coverage during the year, it is worth noting the major ones in the report itself. If you have managed a few (and media these days can extend to social media), it is worth putting together a table which summarises the positives versus the negative coverage and its reach.
Don’t forget to also thank the staff and the Board. Include this report after the Board Chair."
Make sure your not-for-profit CEO Report covers:
- High-level achievements
- Direction of the organisation
- Significant events
- Collaboration and partnerships
- Media coverage
- Thank funders, staff and board
The Annual Report story
Every annual report needs a theme to connect the story of the
The ACNC may have introduced its tick-of-approval system, for acknowledging the financials, but this is not enough. Remember, as I have written about previously, a well-written CEO Report (just because you are the CEO does not mean you are a brilliant writer - so don't be afraid to ask or hire help) will be the key to giving your charity or not-for-profit the real tick of approval if needs from its stakeholders.
Make sure your NGO (non government organisation), (NFP) not-for-profit, non-profit, charity Annual Report contains all the vital information it needs to an asset, which helps build your brand and grow your audience. The not-for-profit CEO Review is just one tip. Download the e-book for all the information you need to get started.
Where can you find a charity review and what should be in it? Indeed should charities produce a review in the first place? Isn't it better to just stick an emotional ask and spare people the detailed financial information? Who really wants to read a charity review anyway?
There are two perspectives to consider:
Whether required by the charity regulator, the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) or not, every charity needs an annual report. We are not talking a basic word document or something put together internally. Every charity needs an annual report which is essentially a marketing document. A chance to fill people in on your charities story.
You can download a free e-book here with over 20 tips to produce an Annual Report which will greatly assist your charities marketing.
Is it worth spending time and money on Annual Report?
YES - YES - YES !!! There is absolutely no question of the value of not-for-profit Annual Reports, particularly for charities. Any community organisation will spend most of its time focussing on providing products or services which further its cause. An Annual Report is the one document which allows you to escape this cycle and talk openly about your achievements and future strategies.
Charities Register - the good and the bad
There is a new charities register where anyone can look up details of an organisation. Check out the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) register here. There are some good and bad things which come from this register. The real pity about it is, the bad can quickly outweigh the value of the good if organisations are not careful.
An annual report becomes more critical in times financial uncertainty
The financial year closed. Everybody is talking market crashes and interest rates. We are all left wondering how it will impact. Amongst all that, you are faced with compiling an annual report. You have my sympathy.