Creating Engaging Annual Reports: 3 Focus Areas

Friends of the Children 2019 annual report

BCG Connect is a steadfast supporter and advocate of Friends of the Children-Boston (Friends-Boston), a nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring. To achieve this, Friends-Boston pro-actively identifies kindergartners who possess untapped limitless potential but face the most significant barriers to future success. They then relentlessly dedicate their resources to them for the child’s entire school aged years – kindergarten through graduation, no matter what. That’s 12+ years!

One of BCG’s most recent collaborations with Friends of the Children was their 2019 Milestone Report. The challenge was to create an inviting and informative report that everyone wanted to read. It was important to understand that these readers were already supporters, so the message had to be tailored to them. Friends of the Children also stressed their desire for this report to have a contemporary feel, complete with story-like infographics and interesting data visualization.

Some of the areas highlighted to achieve this can be applied universally.

Here are 3 focus areas for engaging annual reports:

  • Understand the organization’s mission

An organization’s mission statement is its lifeblood, and they must find meaningful ways for donors to contribute to that mission. It is essential to understand, highlight, and appreciate this in order to convey its message successfully.

  • Mention successes and failures

It’s important to highlight the organization’s progress, which includes the good, the bad, and everything in between. Executive Director of Friends of the Children, Yi-Chin Chen beautifully expresses this as the ability to “Fail Louder” in future endeavors.

  • Communicate data visually

Data is one of the most compelling engagement tools in fundraising, as donors want to know how their gift has impacted an organization. It’s often difficult to translate these stats into an eye-catching format. Stick to simple numbers, appropriate chart types, and consistent formatting.

One recipient of the 2019 Annual Report shared:

“I just received the 2019 milestone report in the mail – congratulations on a really beautiful publication. I immediately wanted to read it and found it really engaging and inspiring. I love how it’s on-brand, authentic, compelling, and provides easy ways to see how anyone in the community might engage.”

-Anonymous recipient

You can view the Friends of the Children 2019 Annual Report here.

For more information on how BCG Connect can create similar projects for you, contact us today.

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Christina Sullivan