When You Can’t Call It a Gratitude Report

The Grateful Annual Report

Annual Report samples

Spend half an hour searching nonprofit annual reports, and you’ll find advice that ranges from  ditching your donor recognition lists to stripping the title of “annual report” from your annual review, right down to changing the publication’s name to gratitude report or donor impact report.

And gratitude reports, especially, often read nothing like the annual reports sent to government funders, corporate supporters, grantors, private donors, and the like. Sometimes walking supporters through the story of just a single beneficiary, the focus is full and effusive focus on the individual donor. Due to those differences, gratitude reports can be too big of a leap for your leadership and board of directors. So if you can’t get a gratitude report across the line… if you must adhere to certain reporting requirements of statutory funders… if you want your staff, local partners, and volunteers to know the vital role they play too… and you only have the budget for one report that has to wear all those hats… the grateful annual report is for you. Yes, you can still call it an annual report. Yes, you can bring the good work of your nonprofit to life for all intended readers.  And yes, you can thank everyone involved with heart and joy, and still include key financials and even an honor roll. Annual reports like the ones spotlighted here did precisely that, to warm and wonderful feedback.

“We still look back on this annual report as one of our best. We are absolutely proud of the metrics contained within the report, many of which our programs continue to meet eight years later! While KID has grown and transformed…our core values have remained the same, all of which were incorporated into several of those documents that you wrote and Sandie designed.”

— Mark Dhooge, President/CEO, Kids In Distress