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Your Nonprofit Annual Report: Template and Examples to Inspire You This Year

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Published December 8, 2023 Reading Time: 5 minutes

A nonprofit annual report is a great opportunity for donors to see exactly how their contributions made an impact on your organization in the past year. 

People want to build deeper connections with the organizations they support, and your annual report is a great way to share the big picture of every action they take. It’s also a great way to instantly share updates with board members, corporate partners, and the general public. 

Grab everything you need below to package your year into a simple and compelling resource, including a nonprofit annual report template and examples to take things to the next level in the coming year.

What Is a Nonprofit Annual Report?

Nonprofit annual reports provide a thorough account of what you’ve accomplished in one year, with the support of donors, partners, sponsors, and the wider community. These reports typically include visuals that bring data, stories, and milestones to life in an appealing and digestible way.

Purposes of a nonprofit annual report:

  • Emphasize your organization’s mission statement.
  • Express gratitude for your supporters and corporate partnerships.
  • Showcase your organization’s most successful initiatives.
  • Celebrate your beneficiaries and their stories.
  • Deliver financial transparency to stakeholders.
  • Build trust with your community.
  • Demonstrate a clear impact of fundraising. 
  • Look ahead to the coming year.

Unlike a Form 990, a required annual information return or notice with the IRS for any tax-exempt organization, an annual report is an optional resource nonprofit organizations can create. 

Nonprofits that flex their creativity have the ability to offer financial insights alongside a more emotional appeal that captures a reader’s attention, strengthens relationships, and appeals to what connects donors to the missions they fuel. 

Loyal donors shared the following top emotional benefits from charitable giving in Classy’s Why America Gives report:

  1. Feeling gratitude for the work nonprofits do
  2. Feeling part of a greater solution
  3. Feeling good about themselves

Choosing the Right Nonprofit Annual Report Format 

The report format will depend on your organization’s size and bandwidth. It may be a one-page, straightforward PDF of essential information donors can download and print. You could also bring it to life as an interactive page on your website that you update throughout the year.

Digital formats increase the likelihood that supporters will discover and engage with your content. So if you have donors who prefer direct mailers, send them a postcard with a QR code to the full digital annual report. 

Benefits of a one-page PDF annual report:

  • Delivers via email or social media with ease
  • Allows donors to print and reference later
  • Converts into an image for social sharing in minutes
  • Links to in-depth web pages that reveal additional context

Benefits of an annual report website

  • Provides an easily accessible live experience
  • Shows donors your story with engaging visuals
  • Brings interactive components, like moving graphs, drop-downs, and menus
  • Downloads with ease as a PDF from the site
  • Represents your brand with a cohesive, streamlined design

Remember that any format you choose should reflect your nonprofit’s brand with signature elements, like fonts, graphic design, imagery, and color palettes, that leave a lasting impression on your supporters. 

Nonprofit Annual Report Template

It’s always helpful to picture what your annual report could look like with a visual. We’ve put together the following template to help guide you on a good blend of imagery, videos, and text to communicate your incredible year.


Nonprofit Report Examples We Love

PRX 2023 Annual Report

This interactive site brings the “choose your own adventure” concept to a simple online experience. 

Readers can easily navigate the annual report through a tailored flow depending on their relationship with PRX: network, creator, or listener. Creative visuals, like lines and arrows, guide the eye to crucial aspects, such as video clips, statistics, images, quotes, and podcast episodes. 

Plus, a clear call to action to donate remains ever-present to encourage giving when inspiration occurs.


Direct Relief: 2023 Impact Report

We love how this impact report reads like an online article or news story to showcase and quantify the incredible year Direct Relief has supplied medical and financial assistance to 87 countries.

The combination of powerful images from response sites like the Turkey-Syria earthquake and Maui wildfires help to recall the timely events that rallied people to take action worldwide.

Readers can share the report through social media or email to bring more awareness to Direct Relief, headed into what’s sure to be another fantastic year of impact.


Avera 2023 Annual Report 

This annual report from Avera appeals to skimmers and readers who want every detail within an online annual report but expect an excellent user experience. 

The report is also intuitive, making it easy for readers to dig into areas of interest across the organization’s three gospel values of compassion, hospitality, and stewardship.  

With a few clicks, one can see detailed numbers celebrating how each value has translated to community impact. Avera brings multimedia elements, like videos, infographics, and photos, together in a way that feels authentic to the organization and the people who rally around its mission.


The Trevor Project Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report 

The Trevor Project’s annual report lives in PDF format and is easily shareable through a simple link. The organization’s culture and spirit shine through each meaningful visual of LGBTQ+ young people featured within the report. These photos help invoke a deeper connection between the organization’s mission and the reader. 

The branding is authentic and consistent, bringing powerful numbers and messages to the forefront for anyone to understand just how much their support matters.


Turkish Philanthropy Funds’ Anniversary Impact Report

Turkish Philanthropy Funds celebrates the collective impact of over 120,000 individuals coming together on the anniversary of the earthquakes in Southeast Türkiye. The timely report opens with a heartfelt letter from the organization’s executive director to introduce the journey from the initial crisis to the ongoing response. The PDF version of the report also segways into the continued impact of the Turkish Philanthropy Funds to build loyal relationships with readers.

We love how the Turkish Philanthropy Funds turned its anniversary impact report into a video as another outlet for people to engage with. The brief YouTube video format aligns with the modern TikTok and Instagram Reel user experience modern donors have come to love.

Ready to Get Started on Your Nonprofit Annual Report?

Take advantage of the opportunity to get potential donors, corporate partners, and others interested in your nonprofit for maximum impact. Remember, you spent all year doing the hard work. Now, it’s time to showcase that to the masses and build momentum for another impactful year ahead.

If you’re looking for design resources, check out Canva’s free design templates as part of a free Canva Pro account.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Templated Fundraising Campaign

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