I’m studying for my Communications class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?
Respond to two peers’ initial posts with additional recommendations on content or strategies to find content relevant to building a more thorough understanding of their agency in its community context.
Student post down below:
When I think about an annual report, I feel a bit overwhelmed because I begin to think it will take a lot of time and research to complete. Reviewing the information for the agency in Riverbend City helped to put things into perspective. Prior to that, I did not know where to begin, what information would be considered important, and how I would go about gathering it.
I found that most of the information was important. Depending on who is reading the agency’s data would determine what areas would be most interesting. Personally, I took an interest in the mission, vision, and highlights which included important details about the programs being offered. After reviewing the annual report for Riverbend City, I realized the importance of such a report. Although they can be used for several types of review, a nonprofit’s goal should be to focus on mission, vision, thanking volunteers and supporters, or creating a reason for others to donate to the organization (National Council of Nonprofits, 2020).
When thinking about an annual report, the beginning of one’s strategy should be to answer two questions, a) who is the organization’s audience and b) what are the goals of the organization (National Council of Nonprofits, 2020). Donor Search (2018) provides an example of a good strategy created specifically for the purpose of raising funds for the organization which includes:
- Create a plan for the report – determine the organization’s purpose and audience, focusing on the needs of the organization. Once that is done, then delegate responsibilities and timelines, gather supporters’ feedback, compile financial statements, collect key metrics from campaigns.
- Include all annual report requirements – include a clear mission and vision, list of projects initiated by the organization, financial statements, an account of major contributors.
- Focus your report on your donor’s accomplishments – instead of focusing on the organization’s single achievements, including the achievements of the organization’s donors. This will show readers that the organization is focused on the projects and programs of their supporters and how they can help the organization reach its goals.
- Use visuals in the report to engage readers – the idea is to share the information about the organization into a small document is difficult so using visuals will be helpful. Visuals break up text, help readers enjoy the experience, makes difficult data easy to understand, puts the readers in the shoes of the cause they are supporting.
- Be honest about the nonprofit’s progress – be honest, discuss the changes the organization is going to make in the future, plans for implementing feedback to supporters, and the causes of the organization’s feedback.
- Highlight major contributors in the nonprofit – list highlights of those who support the organization (other organizations, volunteers, etc.), include their names and the project they contributed to.
- Inspire supporters to take action – once the annual report reflects clear goals, begin to work on getting people, businesses, and other organizations to contribute to the fundraising project the organization is presenting. Include in the report, ways that the potential supporters can help support the cause (volunteering, corporate gift programs, etc.).
- This particular assignment was enlightening. As the person responsible for growing my nonprofit, I am working on learning more about the tools and techniques that I hear other organizational leaders talk about but have never used myself. The annual report is common to me but not as a creator. This was very helpful information.