There are more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. Public charities, private foundations, chambers of commerce — all of these organizations raise money for a social or political purpose. But with so many nonprofits out there, how do you get your message across? This is where a good impact report comes in. Think of your impact report as a thank you letter that you’re sending to your supporters — thank them for their donations and highlight your mission.
Come Up With a Killer Title
Your title is the first thing readers see on your impact report, so think of a good one. Telling your supporters how much money you raised over the last month or year is great, but announcing a positive outcome that shows improvement to peoples’ lives or communities is even better — “We placed 240 foster children in forever homes,” for example.
Alternatively, tell the world about a recent milestone: “Celebrating 10 years!” Don’t forget to include your logo at the top of your impact report, either.
Present Your Financials in a Clear and Concise Way
You don’t have much space to tell your supporters about all the great work you do. But you need to include some financials that prove your organization is a bonafide success. “How do your donors know that the money they give you is making a difference? The answer is that they don’t — unless you tell them,” says charitable organization New Philanthropy Capital.
Provide evidence for your outcomes without going into too much detail. Charts and graphs are a great way to show financial data in visual form. They add a splash of color to your impact report, too. You could also include photos of recent charity drives or fundraising events and use bold graphics that break down big blocks of text.
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Connect With Your Supporters
Leveraging funds, community-driven action, capacity-building — don’t use these nonprofit cliches. Connect with your supporters, instead. Write in the first person, use a conversational tone and include all of your contact information. Convey hard data in a way that your readers will understand — don’t just include a list of statistics in your report. Infographics, for example, let you present complex information in a simple way.
People choose good causes that mean something to them. They give money to nonprofits based on their personal taste, and not a real perceived need. Therefore, choose the language you use in your impact report wisely. You can resonate with readers on a deeper level with the right words.
Tell a Story
Make your impact report a must-read. Tell a story about a recent charity project that will make your readers want to donate. Alternatively, focus on an upcoming fundraising event and make it relatable to your supporters. Stories trigger an emotional response in your readers and are much easier to remember than facts and figures.
All good stories inspire volunteers and motivate your readers to take action. If supporters have an emotional connection with your organization, they are more likely to read your impact report. So, get writing!
Want to create an awesome impact report? Follow the four tips on this list to better connect with your supporters. As a result, you will boost volunteers and donations and increase the visibility of your organization.