Monday, August 18, 2008

Reader Question: What should be included in our organization's annual report?

An organization's annual report should include:

  • Description of the organization’s purpose

This should include the organization's mission and vision statements.

  • Description of its program activities, accomplishments and geographic area served

It is a nice touch to also include quotes from program participants or community partners about your programs.

  • Summary of the total cost of each major program (to the extent required in the IRS Form 990)

This includes listing the cost for each major program, and your fundraising and management costs. Most organizations list both income and expenses. Using charts, like a pie chart, can help your constituents visualize your expenses and income.

  • List of the organization’s board of directors

This includes listing their titles (Board Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary). I also recommend including a staff listing if the organization has less than 15 staff.

Final thoughts- make sure to get a PDF of your annual report and put it on your website. Many donors prefer to use your website to receive information and it helps save on paper.