A Better Way to Share Annual Reports?

Each year, nonprofit organizations spend valuable time and money on pulling together an annual report. The report may be the organizations’ one and only ‘about us’ piece that they give to donors and prospects. It is filled with the usual list of contents, a letter from the chair and/or executive director, several stories of beneficiaries and donors, a donor list and financial statements, and maybe a listing or samples of projects showcasing its accomplishments.

I think annual reports are important because it allows the organization to report back to their donors and the community on how charitable funds are used. In general, the organization is practicing good donor stewardship and being transparent with its work – besides, if you don’t have one, funders get upset since it is the norm nowadays.

Is there a better way to reach the same goals but with less time, effort and money?

Debra Askanase at Sociabrite has a great blog piece showcasing several nonprofits that have transformed their printed annual report to a video report. She writes:

Video is a natural medium for storytelling, and that’s what the annual report should be. There are some significant benefits to a video report: lasting content on the Web, video footage for reuse and changing a report into a discussion.

What do you think? Would a donor be more likely to watch a short video? I think so. Especially if your donors are all holding smartphones, ipads and even the kindle fire.

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