In this tech-inspired age, every enterprise is keen on leveraging the benefits of technology, however minimal. Because technology has often proved to be a cost-efficient and productive solution in the long run. Non-profit organizations too, are looking for ways to increase their reach and receive more funds to support their cause. And technology has helped them achieve this aim quite efficiently.
However, a lot of associations and societies are still operating offline, performing tasks manually that can be easily done within minutes with the help of digitization. But either due to lack of awareness of the available tools or lack of knowledge to implement these digital tools, they end up doing things the old-fashioned way. Like inability to move to digital alternaties like e-reports.
Take annual reports, for example, a lot of associations are still publishing printed copies of annual reports for their members. Now, this process is not only time consuming, but also expensive.
Today, when digitization has brought in so many options to make our lives easier, we must leverage them to their full potential. Moreover, people are increasingly relying on their smartphones to stay updated on news and connect with each other.
Therefore, when it comes to creating and publishing your annual report, you must use a digital publishing solution. Using such software, one can create and distribute eBooks, brochures, reports and all such documents online. And members can easily access them on their mobiles, tablets, and laptops.
The best part about using an eBook creation platform is that not only is the content simple to create, but also easy to distribute and also reduces publishing expenses. And you don’t even need to have any knowledge of coding. All you need is a tool to help you create and distribute your e-Report. Here’s more on finding the best ebook creator.
Here are some guidelines to help you create an e-Report.
1. Keep the First Page Visually Appealing
Entice the reader with a well-designed first page, compelling them to read further. We all know that the contents of an e-Report are all facts and figures, so keep it as visually light and appealing as possible. Especially, since it will be viewed on a small screen, unlike a physical brochure or a booklet.
Start the e-Report with a message from a member of the leadership team as it gives credibility to the report. Moreover, it is always good to know that the management team is equally invested in the motto and cause of the organization as the other members and volunteers.
The annual e-Report doesn’t necessarily have to flow into multiple pages. You can also –
- Create a smart infographic with facts and figures
- Create a brochure with a summary of the events and financial information of the past year
It all depends on how you want to present the data.
2. State the Objectives of the Organization
An e-Report is expected to be a detailed summary of the association’s actions. It is a good idea to start the report with the mission statement. Remind the followers, foundations and other members of the association about the objective of your non-profit organization.
And if you are making the report public by posting it on the website, then this step is important as not everyone might know about the work that your organization does, so it’s a good thing to state the association’s objectives right in the beginning of the report.
3. Highlight Accomplishments
People who are involved with your organization and spend their time and money would want to know the impact they have created. Now is a good time to highlight all the accomplishments made throughout the year. This is a section where you can show that the money that was raised has been put to good use. But make sure you show all the highs as well as the lows.
Show all the profits made, new connections acquired, all the good deeds undertaken with the help of your member’s funds and their efforts. But also include pitfalls if any. This shows transparency and makes your readers believe that although you have faced setbacks, you are still determined to work towards your goal.
4. Be Transparent While Presenting the Financial Statement
The financial statement is an important document for every non-profit association. Maintaining transparency in financial statements shows your accountability and trustworthiness. So, avoid any form of ambiguity and include factual information. Present the financial statement in a way that is easy to read and interpret.
To avoid overloading your readers with excess information in an e-Report, you can present the data in a simple manner where you can state where the money came from and where it was spent. To provide more information, you can include a link which people can click to view or download the full financial statement in detail. The information presented must be reliable and accurate.
5. Use Graphs and Charts
Company annual reports often stretch into pages after pages of balance sheets and figures. While creating an e-Report, one must take into consideration that the readers are viewing this report on their mobile devices, tablets or laptops, which means they may not prefer going through extensive reports and texts on their small device screens.
To make it easier on the reader’s eyes, include graphs and charts to show the statistics. You can create an infographic stating all the important points, as they can be easily deciphered and understood at a glance. Use various styles of graphs and charts to keep the e-Report neat and decluttered.
6. Be Sure to Thank Your Donors and Supporters
An association cannot function without the help of its members who offer their time and monetary support. Therefore, it is essential to thank those who have helped you along the way. A word of thanks to all the members goes a long way in building a fruitful relationship with them.
A simple yet important step, ensure you add a note of thanks before coming to the end of the e-Report. You could also highlight the names of the donors and volunteers who did exceptional work to support your cause.
7. Include a CTA
An e-Report is an effective medium for you to make a case for support or donation. We assume one of your likely objectives is to inspire people to join your association. How do you do that? One of the advantages of going digital with your annual report is that you can include links in the e-Report.
Let readers know how they can support your cause and contribute to your fund-raising campaigns. Include hyperlinks for people who might be considering becoming a donor or would want to volunteer.
Your call to action can be designed for people to discover the following opportunities:
- Contact information for members to contact you
- Volunteering opportunities
- Registration link for a program or service
- Social media icons
- Signing up for email updates
- Membership registration link
With these steps in mind, you can design an e-Report that will capture the society members’ attention and also perhaps get them to share the report with their peers to spread the word about the work done by your organization.
Using an epublishing software will not only make your work easier, but will also help you save costs by eliminating the printing expenses. So, with just a few drag and drop widgets, you can create a compelling and informative e-report for the members of your association and establish yourself as a digitally-savvy organization that’s willing to adopt new changes for the benefit of the community.