It’s Annual Report season (and we’re here to inspire you with some great examples) - Bright - A design agency for nonprofits

It’s Annual Report season (and we’re here to inspire you with some great examples)

September 2022

Written by Paul, Creative Director at Bright

Your annual report is so much more than a mandatory requirement for reporting to stakeholders or funding bodies. It’s an opportunity to connect with your supporters and partners, your team and your community; to celebrate your people, tell stories of your impact and share the successes of the year.

We’re suckers for a printed booklet. There’s something about holding the finished product in your hands and skimming the pages as the words lift off the page. But we also love digital and are always exploring ways to better connect with audiences and present information.

When weighing up the best way to publish your annual report there are essentially two options. You can produce a booklet to be printed and distributed (or made available as a PDF online), or you can design and build the report as its own website or microsite. Digital annual reports have gained traction in recent years – the appeal being that you can use interactive components to better engage with your reader and enhance their experience. There are benefits and challenges to both options, with deadlines, budget, accessibility and measuring results all factors to be considered when choosing which way to go.

Whilst we love publishing printed reports of all kinds for our NGO and NFP clients we wanted to inspire you with a few great examples of digital annual reports as we head into the end of the year.

Girls Who Code
Whilst a few years old now, we love this digital annual report as much as when we first found it. The strong branding and great use of infographics makes it easy to navigate whilst promoting the organisation’s identity and positioning.

Dig Deep
This single-page digital report is a great example of how scrolling through content when separated into sections and enhanced with engaging visuals allows you to tell the complete story from start to finish (or top to bottom).

Boston University
This digital annual report uses sections (each one really engaging) and a simplified home page to guide the reader through top-level content they can then delve deeper into.

Argyle Housing
Every year we partner with Argyle to produce their Annual Report. In recent years we’ve worked together to transition the document from a printed publication to an online resource, but rather than simply create an interactive PDF we custom-built an engaging and easy-to-use website. You can also view this report on our website.

Whilst annual reports will always be an important inclusion in your marketing calendar, digital opportunities have expanded on what we can do and how we can do it. The examples above give you some insight into how you can take content that might usually sit static on a printed page and bring it to life with animations, transitions and interactivity that contributes to the story and makes navigating the report more engaging. A digital annual report will ensure you connect with your most important audiences and spread awareness of your organisation much further than a printed booklet can.

There is a place for print and we will always love producing reports that can be held in your hands and read from the page. Digital annual reports aren’t for every organisation, but they’re an option worth considering as we move to a predominantly-online world.

If you’re looking for help in getting your annual report produced we’d love to hear from you!

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