Oh, the overwhelming annual report. For many of us, the annual report can be a little challenging, especially when budget and staffing concerns are on the table. It can be easy to lose track of how much time, effort, and money goes into your annual report.

That being said, it’s important that your annual report make an impact just like your organization. Your annual report should focus how much of an impact you’re having in your recipients’ lives while simultaneously fulfilling your donor’s needs. The annual report is a golden opportunity to shine a light on the hard work that happens each day, so don’t shy away from making it vibrant and memorable.

Below are some ways your charity organization can turn your annual report into a powerful statement.

1) Include beneficiary stories

There’s no doubt that success stories make a big impact on anyone who sees them. It’s human nature to have a need for results, so retrospective stories and looking ahead stories are key elements you can include in your yearly report. If you’re not quite sure of the difference, retrospective stories highlight the impact you’ve had so far and boost your organization’s credibility, whereas looking ahead stories showcase your organization’s potential impact.

Retrospective stories are so impactful because they prove how much your organization has done so far with your donors’ help. It’s these results that will encourage your donors to stick with your organization.

Looking ahead stories work in tandem to give your donors a preview of what’s coming up. The idea is to focus on how your organization will accomplish the same good work and amount of success.

2) Pepper it with testimonials

Words are powerful, this we know. When your annual report contains testimonials from beneficiaries and donors alike, it brings the numbers and information to life. It’s great to see the black and white numbers of what you’re doing, but there should be a face to go along with them. For instance, having a testimonial that highlights a donor’s relationship with you organization is a great way to keep the momentum going. And when your report contains beneficiary testimonials, your readers will come face to face with the impact you’re making together.