Nonprofit Annual Reports: What’s Included + Examples

Business Annual Reports

If you’re running a nonprofit, you’ve probably heard of the “annual report”. This document is an important part of running a successful nonprofit organization. But, what exactly is an annual report and what should you include in one? This article will discuss the importance of an annual report and show you some examples to get you started.


What is a Nonprofit Annual Report?

Every nonprofit organization is required to produce an annual report. This document is a summary of the activities and finances within the nonprofit for the year. It is meant to provide transparency to donors and inspire them to continue supporting the organization. Annual reports can also be used as a tool to showcase the effectiveness of a nonprofit organization to donors and the board of directors.


Why Should You Create an Annual Report?

Besides the fact that an annual report is required, there are many good reasons to create one. Below are some of the best reasons to create an annual report.

Inspire Your Audience and Donors

One of the best reasons to create an annual report is to inspire your audience. This document is a great way to show off all the good work your nonprofit has done in the past year. When donors see how their money is being used, they will be more likely to continue supporting your organization. Furthermore, the general public will have a more favorable view of your nonprofit if they can see how you are helping the community.

Show Financial Transparency

Another important reason to create an annual report is to show financial transparency. This document will show donors where their money is going and how it is being used. Nonprofit organizations are required to provide this information, but it is also a good way to build trust with your donors. Donors will continue to support an organization that they feel is being truthful about its finances.

Showcase the Effectiveness of Your Organization

An annual report is also a great way to showcase the effectiveness of your nonprofit organization. This document can be used to show off your accomplishments and the impact of your efforts for your board of directors. When they see how well you are doing, they will be more likely to support your organization in the future. It also proves to the general public and the IRS that you are a well-run organization.


What’s Included in a Nonprofit Annual Report?

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of an annual report, let’s take a look at what should be included in one. Below is a list of some of the most important elements of an annual report.

– Executive Summary:  The executive summary is a brief overview of the nonprofit’s activities and finances for the year. It should include the organization’s mission statement, highlights from the past year, and financial information.

– Program Summary: The program summary should provide an overview of the nonprofit’s programs and how they have helped the community. This section should include statistics, success stories, and pictures.

– Financial Information: The financial information section should include a detailed breakdown of the nonprofit’s income and expenses for the year. This section is important, as it shows donors where their money is going.

– Donor List: The donor list should include all individuals and organizations that have donated to the nonprofit in the past year. This section is important to show donors how much their support is appreciated.

– Board of Directors: The board of directors section should include a list of all the individuals who serve on the nonprofit’s board. This section is important to show the public who is responsible for running the organization.

– Staff and Volunteers: The staff and volunteers section should include a list of all the individuals who work for or volunteer with the non-profit. This section is important to show the public how many people are involved with the organization.

– Contact Information: The contact information section should include the nonprofit’s mailing address, phone number, email address, and website. This section is important to show the public how they can get in touch with the organization.

These are just some of the things that should be included in your annual report. For more detailed instructions, you can check out information from websites, such as The National Council of Nonprofits. After you’ve gathered all the necessary information; you’ll be ready to create your own nonprofit annual report.


Tips For Creating A Great Annual Report

Now that you know what should be included in your annual report, it’s time to start putting it together. Here are a few tips to help you create a great annual report.

– Make It Visual: An annual report is more than just a bunch of numbers and text. Include charts, graphs, and pictures to make it more visually appealing.

– Keep It Simple: Don’t try to cram too much information into your report. Stick to the most important points and make them easy to understand.

– Be Creative: Have fun with the design of your report. This is your chance to show off your personality on behalf of the organization.

– Get Feedback: Ask others for their opinion on your annual report. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement.


Examples Of A Nonprofit Annual Report

If you want some good examples of how to format your own nonprofit annual report, check out the examples below.

– The YMCA Of Greater New York: The annual report of the YMCA of Greater New York is a great example of how to make your report visually appealing. Their report includes charts, graphs, and pictures to illustrate their impact.

– Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America: The annual report of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a great example of how to keep your report simple. Their report is easy to read and understand, and it highlights the most important information.

– Habitat For Humanity International: The annual report for Habitat for Humanity International is a superior example of how to be creative with your design. Their report is visually stunning and really shows off their brand.

– The Nature Conservancy: The annual report for the Nature Conservancy is a great example of how to get feedback. Their report includes quotes from staff, volunteers, and donors, demonstrating the impact of their work.



Creating an annual report is a great way to showcase the achievements of your nonprofit organization. These tips and examples will help you create a great report that will inspire your audience and donors.