Annual Reports are excellent marketing tools for your nonprofit organisation
Your nonprofit organisation’s annual report allows you to share the story of your organisation and its successes with your various target audiences. It is through your annual report that you build and maintain support for your organisation’s brand. This is achieved by encouraging, inspiring, thanking and motivating current donors, volunteers your organisation’s staff. They are also wonderful marketing tools for potential donors, volunteers and staff.
There is a lot of talk around what makes a good annual report. Today, there is a focus on the report being used to tell a story showing the impact the organisation has in the community. This fresh new approach shows the return on investment and justifies he organisations existence.
Annual Report versus Board Report
It is important at this point to make a clear distinction between the annual report and the board report.
The annual report is a more focused on highlighting the achievements and successes in the year. Let it tell your organisation’s story through real human experiences so that your audience has clear understanding of what it is that you are doing and achieving. Make your language clear and easy to understand, give an explanatory paragraph or two for your financial statements so that non financial people can understand it. Your annual report should also be visually appealing so remember to include relevant photos with captions.
The board report or director’s report is where you share the more in depth facts, figures and administrative details. It is more the nuts and bolts of what needs to be communicated. Here you will share information like you implemented a new back office system and what the results were of that implementation from a more “technical” standpoint.
Annual Report Content
The following information/sections should be included in your annual report – how you lay it out is entirely up to you.
Remember to include your organisation’s basic information. For example, registration information with relevant regulators and contact details:
Your organisation’s vision and mission;
Governance - including:
- An introductory message by the chairperson as the leading authority of the organisation. This introduction is key as it highlights the activities of the past 12 months at the strategic level and also a way forward;
- A list of governing body members with their photographs and/or their background information detailing their individual roles within the organisation i.e. title and brief description. This should include members that resigned and joined the organisation during the course of the year. Qualifications and experience of each board member is important including other board involvements;
- A Governance Structure including activities (aligned to roles and responsibilities of Board) achieved by those structures including the number of meetings attended by the members of each committee and or at board level. Where your organisation does not have committees then the board may just state how it executes its responsibilities;
- Any major changes in your memorandum of association or trust deed or constitution;
- Risk Management including internal controls in place to give assurance that they have been considered and dealt with.
This report is prepared by chief executive officer, executive director or managing director. The operations report may be separated according to functions of the organisation or by strategic objectives lined out on the business or operational plan e.g.
- Organisational chart;
- Depending on the reliability of your data, you may even include a table which details staff compliments/components in terms of Employment Equity Act;
- Indication of permanent staff and volunteers. High impact changes, these should include; the number of new appointments versus dismissed or resigned;
- Awards of long service for volunteers including board and staff.
- Marketing programme summary including aims and objectives for that year and what was achieved;
- Targets for the upcoming year.
This outlines activities, projects or accomplishments carried out by organisation as per 12 months’ business or operational plan. It underscores mission related achievements.
The section covers the stated objectives of the service with a focus on the community needs. It is based on researched facts or management estimates. The achievements should focus on what the planned activities were versus what actually took place. It should also discuss the variances and the reasons for these variances as well as general challenges faced by the organisation. Rather than saying that funding is the biggest challenge - discuss what the funding will be spent on. This will encourage current donors to continue to donate and potential donors to see what is needed and heed the call to action.
Where there ad hoc services or duties were performed in the community, these should be included as new developments and be explained why they are relevant to the organisation’s mission and vision.
- The Need - Solutions to what is foreseen as challenges to achieve such (risk management);
- Estimated impact – pilot;
- What was the problem?
- What was the solution?
- Impact assessment.
Conclusion should include what the organisation intends to do the following. This should take account of future projections; manpower that may be required to accomplish these. The report should be prepared by the chief executive officer or executive director.
The introduction of this report may include the impact of economic (macro and micro level), socio economic indicators’ impact on the organization including the financials legal framework changes, etc. Keep this section short in the annual report. You can go into greater depth in your board report.
Information to include here:
- The budget and/or the actual and major variances clarified in each category of income and expenditure. This should find its basis on what is considered as being material to the board;
- Basic financial analysis of major changes;
- What was not achieved and lessons learned a fresh and approach for the future;
- Major future expenditures - this may be linked to future commitments on the financial statements;
- Audited Financial Statements (AFS).
Also keep this section to a minimum. You can include a link to the really in depth report, but for the annual report make sure that it’s easy to understand by including an introductory paragraph highlighting and summarising the important facts.
- Independent auditor’s report;
- Annual financial statements with notes.
This section should avoid categorising the donors by the amount they have given but rather list them in alphabetic order by government departments, companies, foreign funding and individuals.
Depending on the space; using company logos of company donors would be preferable. In the instances where individuals or companies do not want to be mentioned they can be grouped under anonymous donors.
If you have any questions about effectively creating your organisation’s annual report or how to ensure that your board is operating under good governance guidelines for nonprofit organisation, e-mail to email@example.com.
Blog first appeared on www.gadcs.co.za under articles.
One has now lost count of the number of fraud and corruption incidents that get reported in the media - almost daily. Most would agree that this indicates our corporate governance is collapsing, has completely collapsed or that it needs some serious re-vamp. The fact that fraud and corruption incidents do get reported, confirms that corporate governance still works – but mainly on the detective side. What about the preventative side? Until a balance is struck between preventative and detective controls, combating fraud and corruption will remain as elusive as ever or may even escalate. I have noted three key weak links in our corporate governance structure here in South Africa:
To come out of the quagmire of rampant fraud and corruption, South Africans need to agree on the following recommended minimum governance structure:
- We do not have minimum governance structure expectation from organisations. Until we do that, we will forever be chasing possible fraud and corruption perpetrators only after the action has been done;
- Organisations are not legally required to have internal audit departments. Those that have internal audit departments make such to suffocate within the organisations – adding very minimal value if any, to what they could potentially do to their organisations;
- The fact that organisations have an option to follow King III guidelines or not is a waste of resources - taking into account time and money invested in the research. What is the use if only say 10 percent of organisations follow the King guidelines? It simply means there are no corporate governance guidelines in South Africa.
Organisations should be expected to have the above structure as a minimum requirement - where internal auditors will be concerned with the future, external auditors with the past, board of directors very much concerned with the present, the audit committee with continuous risk assessment and monitoring and the shareholder with the overall performance and results of the organisation. (Governance structures are by no means precluded from interacting). All these governance bodies have direct access to the shareholder. How wonderful? Where can fraud and corruption get a chance with such tight governance? Admitted, it will never be airtight, but fraudsters will have to sweat to achieve what they want.
By allowing fraud and corruption cases to be reported at this rate without strategic countering, governance bodies such as the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Institute of Directors are partly to blame for the high incidents of fraud – not as active participants, but as passive participants. Most internal auditors are not comfortable with the position of internal audit in their organisation organograms, but are afraid to say it because it may have career limiting consequences. The institute of directors is quite aware that until King III guidelines are made legally enforceable, governance will remain poor - but they do not push for King Guidelines to be enforced. Why?
Internal audit is one function that could be relegated to the heap of history if it does not re-invent itself and position itself as a catalyst in the fight against fraud and corruption – through proactive systems and controls. Whenever fraud and corruption incidents are reported, one hears very little or nothing from internal auditors. Their role has become that of a lame duck or a toothless bull dog – bucking loudly, but unfortunately not able to bite.
To re-invent itself, internal audit has to fight for legal recognition. The current status is that organisations may opt to have or not to have internal auditors in their structures. We need legalised internal audit for these reasons:
In conclusion, the re-vamping of both the Institute of Internal Auditors as well as the Institute of Directors as effective governance structures will help achieve three goals at once; prevent fraud and corruption before it happens; help with continuous training; help create quality employment for the youth especially.
- Once given a legal standing, internal auditors should be elevated to report not to management but to the shareholder. This will give internal auditors the necessary muscle to do their work without fear of reprisal from management;
- Preventative controls will be entrenched in all organisations. The likelihood of fraud and corruption being reported once it has occurred will be significantly reduced;
- Inefficient, ineffective and uneconomical control environment will be discovered and reported sooner rather than later;
- On-the-job training for inexperienced youths could be housed in this department. With a well run internal audit department, managers have a pleasure to recruit from the internal audit department because recruitees would have had some exposure to business processes and procedures within the organisation;
- Like external auditors, internal auditors should have their reports included in the annual reports;
- If legalised, so many new quality job opportunities will be created for youths entering the market – this is where the job fund could come in handy.
- Kgosiemang Esau Moloko, Mobile: 084 700 4784
- Founded:2007Our mission is to achieve good governance and sustainable settlements through participatory methods that empower the poor communities of the Eastern Cape.
- Management Accounting for Non Governmental Organisations (MANGO), a NGO whose mission is to strengthen the financial management of Non Governmental Organisations, conducting a one-day course entitled ‘Assessing and Building Partners: Financial Management Capacity’ on 23 August 2010 in Pretoria.
The purpose of this course is to build the confidence and skills of NGO staff to assess and strengthen local partner NGOs' financial management systems and capacity. This course is designed for both finance and non-finance staff in international NGOs whose role includes supporting programmes implemented by local partner NGOs, and assessing the partners' capacity to manage project funds. Content includes using assessment checklists and tools, interpreting financial information and identifying strategies for strengthening systems.
For those with no previous financial management experience or training, it is recommended that they first attend the companion course - FM3: Financial Management for Effective Programmes: a Programme Officer's Survival Course - which takes place immediately before the FM9.
This course is designed for staff in international NGOs whose role includes supporting programmes implemented by local partner NGOs and assessing the partners’ capacity to manage project funds.
For those with no previous financial management experience or training it is recommended that they first attend the companion course – FM3UK Financial Management for Effective Programmes: a Programme Officer’s Survival Course – which takes place immediately before the FM9.
The final balance of course content will be decided by those attending the course, according to their interests and training needs. Also see below for the Programme Guide.
The core components of this course include:
- Frameworks and checklists for assessing capacity and analysing financial risk
- Interpreting partners’ financial reports
- Identifying strategies to build on strengths and improve on weaknesses
Registration: Click Here.If you have any problems with the online booking form please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, click here.Event start date:23/08/2010Event venue:PretoriaEvent type:Training
- Acronym:OMFFounded:1999Integration of poor and marginalised communities into the mainstream economy.
- Junior Chamber International (JCI), a global agency with a chapter in Rwanda, has trained over 1 500 entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses in the last eight months.
JCI Rwanda's incoming president, Fabrice Ngoga, says that the agency will continue partnering in the country's development especially through empowering young people with skills to do business.
"We have a mandate of changing lives, we are happy with the activities in the past year and JCI will continue reaching out and impacting people," argues Ngoga.
To read the article titled, “Local NGO trains over 1 500 entrepreneurs,” click here.Source:All Africa
- As part of efforts to strengthen civil society in Rwanda, the Public Sector Capacity Building Secretariat (PSCBS), has kicked off a two-week training that targets 60 elected civil society representatives from all districts.
The training is under the $0.4m project for Civil Society Institutional Support and Capacity Building that is being funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).
PSCBS executive secretary, Charles Karake, underscored the importance of civil society to the national development agenda.
"The recently conducted national skills audit revealed that the civil society badly needs capacity in project management, advocacy, negotiating skills and packaging of projects so as to play a meaningful role in the country's development,” says Karake.
To read the article titled, “Civil society get capacity building boost,” click here.Source:All Africa
- 45 officials representing government and civil society have participated in training in drafting legislations, a move that equips them with skills to draft laws before they are tabled in parliament.
Denis A. Roumestan, a senior technical expert in legal process strengthening, points out that, "It is very impressive that after evaluation of different exams, all the trainees beat the 60 percent pass mark."
Roumestan states that, "We are therefore glad that the message was delivered successfully and all those who scored above 80 percent will train the next generations in legal drafting."
To read the article titled, “45 acquire legal drafting skills,” click here.
Source:<br /> All Africa
- This lively book argues that in the development process, communication is everything. The authors, world experts in this field as teachers, practitioners and theorists, argue that Communication for Development is a creative and innovative way of thinking that can permeate the overall approach to any development initiative.
They illustrate their argument with vivid case studies and tools for the reader, drawing on the stories of individual project leaders who have championed development for communication, and using a range of situations to show the different possibilities in various contexts. Free from jargon, and keeping a close look at how development is actually being implemented at ground level, this book is an important contribution to development studies not just for students but also for development practitioners and policy makers.
For more information and to acquire the book, click here.
- Fundamentals of Monitoring and Evaluation Training Offered by Wazima Development Solutions OBJECTIVE OF THE TRAINING The overriding objective of the training will be for participants to be able to come away from the training having drafted an M&E framework or improved upon their existing one to make it more management orientated while being fully complaint to donour needs. OUTCOMES OF THE TRAINING Participants will gain the understanding to, and begin to develop their own: • Results Framework with appropriate indicators • Audience analysis • Data management plan • Data quality plan • Draft data collection instruments • Draft data collation instruments • Understanding of its M&E database design needs • Reporting of M&E data DESIGN OF THE TRAINING The design of the training will be as follows: • Theoretical, knowledge based sessions introducing the M&E concepts explained through ample real-life examples • Followed by practical group work to allow for contextualized learning and results in practical outputs for participants. WHO SHOULD ATTEND The training is targeting M&E related staff, programme managers and data based decision makers within the organisation. Due to the interactive nature of the training and hands-on work with programme’s individual contexts, it is highly advisable for two or more staff members from each organisation to attend. Wazima views this to be pivotal to the transmission of concepts being delivered in this training. This training is intended to supplement the need for external M&E consultants who would come in to an organisation to design an M&E framework/system or assist with data management. TRAINING DATES Wazima will be offering two, three-day, Fundamentals of M&E trainings in Johannesburg, on: • 26 – 28 October, 2009 • 1 – 3 November, 2009. COST OF THE TRAINING The cost for the training per participant is R6 000. The maximum number of participants at each training will not exceed 12, so as to allow for adequate individual time with each participant / organisation. CONTACT INFORMATION For queries and reservations, please contact: Ana Stiglic Cell: +27 84 266 0441 Alt Cell: +27 83 460 7752 Office: +11 880 6643 (ext 315) Email: email@example.com Alt Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: www.wazima.co.za