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Annual reports

  • 1.  Annual reports

    Posted 05-12-2020 11:17 AM
    Hi!  We are in the time of year when we typically start our process for our annual report.  There has been discussion about doing something shorter this year.  Are your orgs still planning to do robust designed and printed annual reports as usual or are you planning a scaled-back version (doing something shorter; online-only; skipping an annual report in favor of a letter, etc.).  Also, so you still include donor honor rolls in your reports?

    Thank you, 

    Beth Friedmann
    Director of Development Operations
    American Jewish World Service

  • 2.  RE: Annual reports

    Posted 05-12-2020 11:58 AM
    We don't do an Annual Report, but we are actually beefing up our honor roll this year. We had to cancel our donor recognition and thank you event, so we are adding more to what would have been that printed program listing donors and giving groups, and creating a video montage of thank you messages from our President and students, and a tour of the new space that would have been part of the celebration.

  • 3.  RE: Annual reports

    Posted 05-13-2020 03:48 PM
    We just sent out our Report of Appreciation but primarily by email, which was a first for us. We printed a small number for donors that we don't have email addresses for, for the donors and volunteers that we profiled in the report, and to have some copies to display on campus. This allowed us to save money and get it out faster after the publication was delayed after we all started working from home.

    We've been considering moving the entire publication online or doing a hybrid version where we print and mail donor and volunteer profiles but post the honor roll online only (our honor roll lists donors by constituency and doesn't mention amounts or levels).

    While we certainly didn't plan it this way at the beginning, current events gave us an opportunity to experiment and test how our constituents would respond to a different format. It's still too early to judge the results, but I imagine we'll be asking some of the same questions when we start thinking about next year's report.


    Patrick J. Buckley
    Director of Stewardship & Operations
    Holderness School
    Plymouth, NH

  • 4.  RE: Annual reports

    Posted 25 days ago

    Have you gotten any responses (positive or negative) so far from your constituents? When I worked in HigherEd we stopped doing the annual report one year and did not get a single constituent reaching out to say they missed it. We usually got several complaints because folk's names were misspelled or they felt they should have been listed at a higher level, etc. 

    I would wait a bit to make a final call but if you don't get people wanting it you have a good case to adjust how you are doing it. I have also seen more and more organizations move away from Annual Reports/Honor Rolls to Impact Statements. They tend to be a more effective way of stewarding donors. One of my clients who did an online annual report/donor honor rolls took some time to look at the website traffic and saw that it was very low. They are using this to go to senior leadership to work on making their report simpler. They currently pull folks in many different ways (class giving, annual giving, campaign giving, tribute giving, parent giving by class, etc. and are hoping to move to just one list of all donors.

    Frederick Sollog
    Founder & CEO
    The Sollog Group