Cancel your nonprofit annual report now!

Nonprofit annual reports are among the most stressful projects out there. The stakes are always too high, and there are many opinions flying freely, a lot of them poorly informed. I have a personal policy of never working on them. No level of compensation makes it worthwhile.

Maybe you’ve suffered through an annual report or two. If so, read this post from the Better Fundraising Blog: Is Your Annual Report Worth it?

Spoiler alert: It’s probably not worth it!

I have cancelled a bunch of annual reports over the last ten years. We have NEVER seen a drop in giving. Not even once.

That’s right. Chances are the only things you’ll lose by not producing an annual report will be a few weeks of torment.

Instead, spend the effort on a much more effective way of cementing donor relationships: A donor newsletter. As Better Fundraising says:

[I]f you have a good donor-centered newsletter, published multiple times per year, you don’t need to send your annual report to the vast majority of your donors.

Break free! You have nothing to lose but those annual report chains that waste your time, your money, your energy and your work relationships!

Free online workshop: 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Bequest Fundraising Program with Christiana Stergiou. October 17 and 18. A must for serious fundraisers … and it’s FREE.


Comments

2 responses to “Cancel your nonprofit annual report now!”

  1. Having come from the foundation side and typically worked with organizations that derived a good deal of funding from foundation grants, I’ve always appreciated annual reports. From an organizational standpoint, when done well, they represent a tremendous revenue opportunity. I wrote my first *Gratitude* report in 2004 and that is the model we teach in our Annual Report class. We’ve got several examples of the extraordinary Gratitude Reports done by Agents of Good over at our site.

  2. Having come from the foundation side and typically worked with organizations that derived a good deal of funding from foundation grants, I’ve always appreciated annual reports. From an organizational standpoint, when done well, they represent a tremendous revenue opportunity. I wrote my first *Gratitude* report in 2004 and that is the model we teach in our Annual Report class. We’ve got several examples of the extraordinary Gratitude Reports done by Agents of Good over at our site.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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