As a nonprofit, you know your efforts are worthwhile. And you know your organization’s doing important work. But how do you convey the fruits of your labor to existing and potential contributors in a clear, concise and compelling manner?
Look no further than a nonprofit annual report.
When done well, these documents do much more than summarize your fundraising campaigns and financial activities from the previous year. They communicate vital information that demonstrates accountability, builds trust with your audience and has the potential to drum up further support.
But to achieve all this, you’ll want your annual nonprofit report to be as visually appealing, effortlessly engaging and easy-to-understand as possible.
With this in mind, I’ve outlined 12+ nonprofit annual report examples to serve as your guide to creating a truly outstanding document. (P.S. all you need to do is choose a template and use Venngage’s Report Maker to get started.)
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a nonprofit annual report?
- Reasons to make a nonprofit annual report
- 12+ nonprofit annual report examples and templates
- Annual Report Infographic
- Year In Review Infographic
- Purple Nonprofit Annual Report
- Pink Nonprofit Annual Report
- Green Charity Nonprofit Annual Report
- Nonprofit Financial Report
- Nonprofit Treasurer Report
- Nonprofit Impact Report
- Illustrative Medical Nonprofit Annual Report
- Children/Community-Focused Nonprofit Impact Report
- Hunger-Focused Nonprofit Annual Report
- Nonprofit annual report FAQ
What is a nonprofit annual report?
Akin to the annual reports published by businesses, a nonprofit annual report is an in-depth, comprehensive document that provides an overview of a not-for-profit organization’s objectives, achievements and key metrics from the preceding year.
These reports are often used as marketing tools to impress stakeholders, attract new donors and showcase an organization’s impact.
Though their contents can vary, nonprofit annual reports typically contain a high-level rundown of an organization’s mission, milestones and objectives, along with financial and stakeholder-specific information.
Check out this nonprofit report example to see a typical layout.
Nonprofit annual reports can be housed as a digital file, or exist as a physical document to be sent out to donors, distributors and anyone else who’s been instrumental to the cause.
For more information, check out our nonprofit annual report FAQ at the bottom of this article.
Reasons to make a nonprofit annual report
Before we dive into some nonprofit annual report examples and templates, let’s take a moment to touch on the benefits that come from their creation. Aside from providing a summary of an organization’s year, there are many advantages these documents offer…
Highlight the importance and impact of your organization
In summarizing their objectives, metrics and motivations, a nonprofit annual report highlights key information about an organization’s impact, direction and leadership.
Translation: these documents pack quite the illuminating punch.
For example, donors can get a glimpse at how successful a nonprofit is at executing on their initiatives, and see if resources were allocated accordingly. Readers of these reports can also gain insights over a nonprofit’s decision-making processes, and where the organization is headed.
Build trust through financial transparency
Let’s face it: the misappropriation of funds is nothing new. (Ahem, Trump Foundation anyone?).
So by providing information about an organization’s revenue streams and allocation of funds – in other words, the amount of money they’ve raised and the ways it’s been spent — nonprofit annual reports help assure donors that their contributions are being put to good use.
Check how this annual report template provides a snapshot of a nonprofit’s financials, alongside impact, to validate the cause:
Even if revenue targets and charitable impact goals were not achieved, being forthright about the flow of funds affirms an organization’s legitimacy. There’s no need for platitudes or promises when anxieties can be quelled, and confidence conferred, just by checking over a document.
Raise awareness and attract potential donors
Did you know only 56% of Americans trust nonprofits?
Combine that statistic with the fact there’s an ever-increasing pool of competition, and you’ll understand why accountability is key for potential backers’ buy-in. After all, folks are more likely to support your cause — and feel comfortable donating — when they see evidence that they can trust you with their money, time and energy. Luckily, a nonprofit annual report does just that.
What’s more, upping the engagement factor with appealing visuals can spark new interest in your cause. These components liven up dry information, make complex data digestible and can even reinforce your organization’s branding.
No design skills? No problem! Simply choose one of the templates below and use Venngage’s My Brand Kit (available with a Business account) to apply your brand colors with one click. Then, drag and drop in data visualizations throughout.
Express gratitude to contributors and stakeholders
Last but certainly not least, nonprofit annual reports are a great opportunity to thank all those who’ve contributed over the last year. Your gratitude goes a long way in building loyalty and rapport with donors, volunteers and board members (whose ongoing support is your key to accomplishing anything).
As Mother Teresa so aptly said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Nonprofit annual report examples and templates
Annual Report Infographic
This Annual Report Infographic Template is perfect for nonprofit organizations that are new to the game, or those looking to give fast facts. Taking the form of an infographic, this compact design provides an overview of a nonprofit’s funding, supporters and impact on a single page. You can also customize the contents to showcase any other info you want to relay by the numbers.
A note: while this template works fabulously as a one-glance visual aid, you’ll have to explore other templates for more in-depth business reporting.
Year In Review Infographic
Keen to express yearly accomplishments in an orderly and engaging way? Look no further than our Year In Review Infographic Template. This one-page design is perfect for showcasing an organization’s milestones and achievements at a glance. Plus, there’s space provided to add information about your donors and distribution channels.
Purple Nonprofit Annual Report
Dazzling with your document is easy with this template. Featuring a captivating aqua and purple color scheme, this five-page report is the perfect canvas for any high-level organizational overview. All you need to do is swap out the text, add (or import) your own values to the pie charts and choose from a diverse selection of icons.
Pink Nonprofit Annual Report
Ready to think in pink? Then this Nonprofit Annual Report template is for you!
Featuring icon lists, image lists, pie charts and text, this polished and modern report paints a succinct picture of your organization’s prior year. I particularly like how each section starts off with a takeaway (and I’m sure any audience keen on gaining insights would appreciate that too!)
Green Charity Nonprofit Annual Report
For those looking to facilitate a deeper dive, this Green Charity Annual Report is a great option. Ample space is provided so you can communicate background info, any ongoing initiatives and their impact, alongside financial data, future projects and ways to show support. This makes it a top choice for organizations looking to invite further participation and donations.
Nonprofit Financial Report
Sometimes you want the numbers to do all (or most) of the talking – this Nonprofit Annual Report template does just that. Those aiming to educate viewers on the financial side of things will appreciate how it reads like a financial statement or balance sheet. For a light touch of visual interest, pie charts summarize an organization’s funding sources.
Nonprofit Treasurer Report
This minimalist template is different from the above examples, as it solely focuses on income and expenses over time. This makes it a great choice for those interested in a concise summary of treasurer information. While financial insights such as these can be standalone documents, attaching it to your annual report certainly ups the convenience factor.
Nonprofit Impact Report
This Company Nonprofit Impact Report offers a calming blue color scheme, and uses bold iconography to capture reader’s attention. Along with a financial summary, organizations looking to showcase their leadership, current standing and tangible achievements over the past year will find this template useful.
Illustrative Medical Nonprofit Annual Report
Adorned with stylized elements, this Illustrative Medical Annual Report Template is an excellent choice for nonprofits in the medical field. An opening letter from leadership provides a personal touch before a concise review of financial matters and donor information follows. Instead of using real-life images of affected patients (which could stir up difficult emotions, given the subject matter), pictographics add a lighthearted quality to the report.
Children/Community-Focused Nonprofit Impact Report
If your cause is centered around children or community development, look no further than this template. From its cheery rainbow color palette to its extensive use of visuals, this report is perfect for engaging readers from start to finish. A page for contact info is provided to inspire more interaction.
Hunger-Focused Nonprofit Annual Report
Fighting world hunger?
First of all, you’re the best. Second of all, our Hunger Nonprofit Annual Report Template has your name written all over it. This two-page template uses charts, icons and stats to rouse interest by breaking up the text with visuals.
Pro tip: while this template is geared towards organizations dealing in food insecurity, don’t be scared to make it speak to your own cause! Venngage’s powerful editor lets you easily customize your design – simply swap out any visual elements for ones that suit your needs.
Nonprofit annual report FAQ
Is an annual report required for nonprofits?
Unlike publicly-traded companies, nonprofit organizations aren’t required to file an annual report with the government or revenue services. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip out on creating one!
Particularly as a not-for-profit entity, accountability re: your finances and activities is key — and an annual report is a great way to show stakeholders exactly what you’ve achieved. Use them as a tool to reaffirm your mission, actions and progress.
What should be included in a nonprofit annual report?
Above all, nonprofit annual reports are an opportunity to showcase an organization’s overarching goals, financial activities and major achievements. By relaying it all in one compelling document, you can demonstrate your commitment to transparency and instill confidence in stakeholders. You’ll also have the chance to thank donors for their support along the way.
Looking for specifics? Here’s a breakdown of the info typically found in most nonprofit annual reports:
- Information about your organization – This includes background details about your organization, as well as a summary of the objectives you’re working to achieve. Some examples include vision and mission statements, letters from leadership, future aspirations and your organization’s long-term outlook.
- Major achievements – Outline what you’ve accomplished in the last year, drawing attention to any milestones and success.
- Financial statement – Provide a breakdown of your annual income and expenses.
- Account of contributions – Typically, this section contains both qualitative and quantitative information regarding sponsors and donor contributions. In addition to providing details on the funds and supplies your organization’s accumulated over the last year (i.e. their value, sources and allocation), you may also want to recognize those who’ve contributed along the way.
Is there a difference between an annual report and financial statements?
Yes! While annual reports provide a high-level summary of an organization’s activity over the past year (i.e. objectives and accomplishments) in addition to financial information, financial statements only speak to how funds were managed (i.e. income vs expenses).
The bottom line: don’t confuse a nonprofit annual report with your organization’s yearly tax filing.
How long should an annual report for nonprofits be?
Technically speaking, a non-profit annual report can be as long or as short as you want.
BUT — and this is a big but — you don’t want to dissuade readers from…well…reading. Accidentally turning your document into a dense marketing brochure is certainly one way to do so.
Creating an outline of your report, before reviewing it with your audiences and goals in mind, can help keep things focused. Aim for all content to abide by the 3 C’s: the information presented should be clear, concise and compelling.
Looking to cut down on space? Ask yourself what data visualizations you can use in place of text. (Psst: Venngage’s free Report Maker offers the most user-friendly way to bring dull information and complex data to life through engaging visuals — no graphic design experience required.)
Should my organization upload our nonprofit annual report online?
Many nonprofits have taken to uploading a digital version of their annual reports. While there are some minor drawbacks (e.g., large file size, lack of backup etc.), myself and the rest of the Venngage team believe digitization is the way to go.
Aside from reducing paper waste, online versions tend to reduce production and distribution costs, as the report’s contents can easily be shared through a link, or showcased on a website. Most people do their reading and due diligence online anyways.
How can a nonprofit annual report help those who’ve contributed feel appreciated?
By recapping an organization’s social and financial impact, and thanking the contributors who’ve made it all possible, nonprofit annual reports work to instill a sense of confidence and belonging in vested parties. Donors, volunteers and board members can verify their emotional connection, physical involvement and financial support was not only appreciated, but used in good faith. The document also provides clarity over future initiatives, and reiterates why the effort is worthwhile in the first place.
In essence, a nonprofit annual report is a vehicle for organizational accountability.
Create an annual report for your nonprofit with Venngage
You’ve put in a lot of time and energy towards a worthy cause, so your documents should dazzle accordingly.
A well-executed, beautiful nonprofit annual report design allows you to do just that: effortlessly engage viewers, tell your organization’s story and prove that your fundraising and hard work made a real impact.
With Venngage’s nonprofit report templates and data visualization excellence, you’re guaranteed to achieve all that, in a flash. Simply choose from any of the above templates, swap in your text, desired icons and brand colors and you’re off to the races.