The purpose of an Annual Report is to ensure that your organization communicates its past performance and future goals in a clear and concise way so as to convince and attract your shareholders and donors to continue their contributions.
Why it is important to write Annual Report :
An Annual Report is a single tool of marketing of NGO which is sent to various stakeholders of organization. Purpose of sending an annual report is to familiarize them with organization’s objectives, mission, projects and people. Annual Report is very significant document for the donors of organization. Organization establishes its accountability towards their donors through annual report. In annual report, donors should be given concrete evidences of activities for which they have paid an amount. Annual report is a piece through which organization shows that donations made by them are used wisely. Annual report is a general document which helps organization in generating their trust in the society.
Key purposes of having an Annual Report are as under.
• Submission of annual report is mandatory for any NGO at the time of filling their returns
• Annual report is given to donors, stakeholders, partners, and people with public figure to inform them about activities and impact of NGO
• Annual Report as an important instrument to establish credibility of organization Essentials of good Annual Report:
• The Annual Report contains a description of the main activities, a review of the progress and results achieved in the year; and information on the Board members’ names, position in the Board, remuneration or reimbursement and should contain brief financial details
• Maintain a right balance between an informative and creative part of annual report.
• The design of your annual report is as important as its content. Both works together to project a professional image of your organization.
• Innovative graphic designs should be given in Annual Report to meet your projects goals
• Annual Report requires to be properly conceptualized with suitable size, format and paper
• People should feel “wow” while picking up your annual report.
• Be environment friendly and email your annual reports to stakeholders.
Useful templates for Annual Reports are given below :
Template I – Annual Report by Population Foundation of India
1. Index / Contents :
It contains the list of each chapter written in annual report. Precise relevant titles should be given to these chapters along with page numbers.
2. Governing Board :
Brief description about the people sitting on the board. Brief profile and achievements of Chairperson can be given in single paragraph
3. Advisory Council :
Brief description about the people sitting on the advisory council. Brief profile and achievements of Chairperson can be given in single paragraph
4. Statement by Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson :
One or two page note by any one of them that will explain the overall impact of the organization which has been made in the entire financial year. They can also mention about the major success stories and overall growth of organization in various aspects.
5. Acknowledgements :
Acknowledgements should be given to Board as well as advisors of organization. Also we need to mention the Funding Agencies, Corporates & Government Departments who have funded the organization through various projects.
6. Photo Memories of Governing Board for the —————————————– (Name of organization)
7. Quotes stating the success of the organization on one single page
8. Project Interventions :
This includes detailed report about the implementation of a particular project which explains the nature of activities undertaken, number of beneficiaries served through programme, achievements, nature of partnerships, new initiatives as well as scope for replication. It can also include the Success Stories. Photographs should also be included in this section which will be self explanatory for various activities.
9. Capacity Building :
Here you can mention about your efforts that you undertake to train the staff of your organization. It should explain all the components which you focused for capacity building of their own NGO. Number of training programmes, photographs, number of staff who attended the same should be written in this section.
10. Research Studies & Evaluation :
Explain about your monitoring & evaluation systems which will support your efforts. Write about your research activities undertook throughout the year. Give the information in such kind of documentation which will support your advocacy efforts. Explain about brief subject of research. Explain about your geographical focus. Explain your sample size and design followed by key findings. You can have a separate text box for the information of any activity which has been undertaken in the direction of research and advocacy.
11. Advocacy and Communication :
Explain your advocacy and communication strategies and initiatives. Give details about the people to whom you approach through advocacy efforts.
12. Scaling up the pilot projects :
Give description about the pilot projects which you have started to implement. It also explains the opportunity for the NGO across the sector.
13. Publications :
Give the names of all your publications and the brief introduction about each of them.
14. Financial Summary :
Give your audited balance sheet and statement of Income & Expenditure for the financial year ended.