16 Dec, 2019

NGOs (non-governmental organizations) also publish annual reports. The report details all aspects of the NGOs dealings for the past year.

This brief guide will try to explain the meaning of an NGO’s annual report, along with its objectives, purpose, and best practises when preparing the report.

For the best results, it is imperative to hire an award-winning annual report design agency. The agency adopts visual storytelling ideas to transform a dull annual report into a strong piece of brand communication. Let’s get right into the intricacies of an NGO annual report.

What is the meaning of an NGO annual report?

Non-profit annual reports are an in-depth and comprehensive reporting of an NGO’s activities. It outlines an NGO’s accomplishments. An audited annual accounts section is also added to the report. The report also acts as a marketing tool.

The sections and contents within an NGO annual report slightly differ from a corporate annual report. The sections within an NGO annual report include:

  • An introductory message by the President of the NGO (or a leading authority)
  • List of governing body members
  • NGO organizational chart & governance structure
  • List of projects and activities conducted
  • Achievements of the NGO
  • NGO case studies, with NGO success stories
  • An audited NGO accounts summary

Why are the reasons for creating an NGO annual report?

The first reason is compliance. The submission of an annual report is mandatory for a non-government organization when filing their returns.

The second reason is outreach. The annual report allows NGOs to fellow members, volunteers, partners, and donors. The final reason is building credibility. The branding of the NGO gets a major fillip, thanks to an engaging annual report.

What is the objective if an NGO annual report?

The major objective is fund-raising. By demonstrating the work done during the preceding year, the NGO can reach out to prospective donors and other agencies for donations.

The report also serves as a historical progress report. Publishing an annual report is a good management practise. It acts as inspiration for existing staff, members, volunteers and stakeholders.

An annual report encourages engagement and readership, further increasing accountability.

Best practises of an NGO annual report

The report published by an NGO must be attractive and comprehensive. The former can only be achieved by hiring an annual report design expert.

The report should contain sufficient information about the NGO’s activities, written in simple language. The balance between creativity and information can only be maintained by a design agency.

The agency also ensures the report convey a story. Human experiences are showcased through team photos, volunteer testimonies, project case studies, etc.

The report needs to also touch upon the impact of the NGO on social issues. Future projects can get a mention as well.

Why hire a top report design agency?

The perks of hiring an annual report design agency are many. Some best practises adopted by an agency are:

The audience is always at the forefront. For a non-profit annual report or even a CSR report, the right format makes a huge difference. If donors for the NGO are spending more time online, then a digital format makes sense. A video NGO annual report maybe?

This doesn’t mean the print annual report is neglected. A multi-page microsite & a regular printed annual report can suffice both online and offline audiences.

The use of high-quality imagery is a no-brainer. Some of the best examples of annual reports contain visual elements & high-impact imagery. These design elements elevate a dull report to a powerful branding tool.

Stories have no sell-by date. They remain original and evoke empathy. This adds to the visual storytelling. After all, the report is meant to build relations. What better than telling a story for the past year?