Exploring the digital side of annual reports
The days of glossy annual reports that require half of the nonprofit marketing budget are long gone. Say goodbye to long text-heavy articles, adios to hours licking envelopes with volunteers, and au revoir to bulk postage accounts that only accept checks.These days, the annual report has gone digital and more and more nonprofits are taking to the Web to create all digital editions of their yearly reports. Say hello to audio, animation and video.

The Salvation Army discovered a few years ago that nobody opened about half the 28,800 printed annual reports it sent to its 7,000 field offices every year. So it decided to scrap the hard-copy version, moving to an all-digital one in 2009.

The charity now produces a paperless annual report, including video features on its programs nationwide, an interactive financial and statistical section, and a video message from the group’s leader. Recently profiled by Maureen West in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the videos are said to do triple duty: They are also used in television spots and community presentations.

Sound like something your nonprofit wants to explore? Consider making the transition to a digital today. Here are a few suggestions for getting started…

Consider your audience.Before getting rid of hard-copy annual reports, make sure the digital medium works with your target audience and goals. Go as far as conducting surveys to see how your donors, board members and program participants would like to receive your organization’s report. Encourage survey participation by offering free gifts like logo’d duffels or cozy branded blanket.

Consider the tools. There are plenty of tools and technologies that exist today that position nonprofits of any size or budget to offer a digital alternative to a print annual report that don’t require a degree in Web design or development.

For example, Treesaver is a new open source Web platform for publishing that uses the new HTML5 standard to create narrative experiences—with text, pictures and video. Treesaver divides content into pages, automatically adjusting to the size of any screen. The same design and the same code work on PCs, Macs and Linux desktop computers  or Apple®, Android®, and Blackberry® smart phones and tablets like iPad® or Samsung Galaxy Tab. While many organizations are running to develop iPhone® and Android apps, with a Treesaver dynamic publication, you skip the hassle and cost of making separate apps for every target device.

Another example is dynamic and easy to use presentation platforms. For its first online annual report last year, VolunteerMatch, in San Francisco, used Prezi, a Web platform similar to PowerPoint. The program cost the organization $60 and saved $17,000 in postage, envelopes and printing, says Robert Rosenthal, director of communications for the group, which helps charities recruit volunteers nationally.

Be sure you have the skills. To churn out digital content, your internal time will still need knowledge of desktop publishing and have an eye for design. Their knowledge of technology may vary, though, based on the medium your organization chooses. Mailed discs, splash pages, web-based interactive presentations, video—your digital options are endless. If your internal team just can’t cut it, seek out help from the experts at marketing and public relations firms in your area.

Keep videos short and avoid unnecessary features.Online videos work best and are most shareable when they are short (no more than 3-5 minutes, tops) and compelling. Avoid adding distracting touches to videos like sound effects, dramatic fades, flashy supers and more. Keep it simple. The same goes for other digital documents, too.

Plan a distribution strategy. Getting the right people to see a nonprofit’s online report is the next challenge; at least a mailed report often ends up in the hands of the right people, even if they don’t read it. Some nonprofits have gotten around this obstacle by continuing to mail or e-mail alerts to their list of donors and supporters alerting them to where they can find the annual report. If your organization chooses to release annual report videos via a YouTube channel or content through splash pages or pages that will have permanent URLs, consider purchasing marketing materials in bulk with this address printed on them to save costs without losing buzz. Items like pens, USB drives, stress relievers or even sticky notes that can be attached to an appeal letter are all great options.

The bottom line here is to think outside the mailbox. Cut costs and improve engagement by exploring digital alternatives to the standard print annual report.

West, Maureen. “How to Move From Paper to Digital Annual Reports – Marketing and Communications – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the Nonprofit World with News, Jobs, and Ideas.” Home – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- Connecting the Nonprofit World with News, Jobs, and Ideas. 20 Feb. 2011. Web. 01 Apr. 2011.

Kanter, Beth. “A Better Way to Produce Nonprofit Annual Reports | Beth’s Blog.” Beth Kanter’s Blog. Web. 01 Apr. 2011.

Share this Newsletter:    Facebook   Twitter

May
MonthlyWeeklyDaily
ALS Awareness Month
American Wetlands Month
APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome)
Arthritis Awareness Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Awareness of Medical Orphans Month
Better Hearing & Speech Month
Borderline Personality Disorder Month
Brain Tumor Awareness Month
Carrots and Cauliflower
Clean Air Month
Community Living Month
Creative Beginnings Month
EcoDriving Month
Family Wellness Month
Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month
Freedom Shrine Month
Get Caught Reading Month
Gifts from the Garden Month
Go Fetch! Food Drive for Homeless Animals Month
Grapefruit and Kiwi Month
Haitian Heritage Month
Heal the Children Month
Healthy Vision Month
Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
International Audit Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Civility Awareness Month
International Victorious Woman Month
Jewish-American Heritage Month
Latino Books Month
Lupus Awareness Month
Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
Motorcycle Safety Month
National Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month
National Barbeque Month
National Better Hearing Month
National Bike Month
National Egg Month
National Foster Care Month
National Good Car Keeping Month
National Hamburger Month
National Hepatitis Awareness Month
National Meditation Month
National Mental Health Month
National Military Appreciation Month
National Moving Month
National Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month
National Osteoporosis Prevention Month
National Photo Month
National Physical Fitness & Sports Month
National Physiotherapy Month
National Preservation Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National Smile Month
National Stroke Awareness Month
National Vinegar Month
National Youth Traffic Safety Month
Older Americans Month
Personal History Month
Potatoes and Limes Month
Prepare Tomorrow’s Parent Month
React Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Strike Out Strokes Month
Sweet Vidalia Onions Month
Teen CEO Month
Teen Self- Esteem Month
Tennis Month
Tay-Sachs and Canavan Disease Month
Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month
Ultra-violet Awareness Month
Women’s Health Care Month
Young Achiever’s Month
National Family Month: May 9: June 20th
Be Kind to Animals Week: 1-7
Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week: 1-7
National Correctional Officer’s Week: 1-7
Children’s Mental Health Week: 1-7
Drinking Water Week: 1-7
Flexible Work Arrangement Week: 1-7
Goodwill Industries Week: 1-7
Kids Win Week: 1-7
National Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week: 1-7
National Family Week: 1-7
National Hug Holiday Week: 1-7
National Pet Week: 1-7
North American Occupational Safety & Health Week: 1-7
Update Your References Week: 1-7
Astronomy Week: 2-8
Children’s Book Week: 2-8
Dating and Life Coach Recognition Week: 2-8
National Wildflower Week: 2-8
Spring Astronomy Week: 2-8
Teacher Appreciation Week: 2-8
Work at Home Moms Week: 2-8
National Nurses Day and Week: 6-12
National Tourism Week: 7-15
National Hospital Week: 8-14
National Nursing Home Week: 8-14
Reading is Fun Week: 8-14
Salute to Moms 35+ Week: 8-14
National Return to Work Week: 9-15
National Women’s Health Week: 9-15
National Etiquette Week: 9-13
National Stuttering Awareness Week: 9-15
Universal Family Week: 10-16
National Dog Bite Prevention Week: 15-21
National New Friends, Old Friends Week: 15-21
National Police Week: 15-21
National Transportation Week: 15-21
World Trade Week: 15-21
EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week: 15-21
American Craft Beer Week: 16-21
National Bike to Work Week: 16-20
Cover the Uninsured Week: 21-28
National Safe Boating Week: 21-27
National Backyard Games Week: 23-30
Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories: 25-31
Old-Time Player Piano Week: 27-30
Black Single Parents Week: 29-6/4
1: Amtrak Day
1: Beltaine
1: Executive Coaching Day
1: Free Comic Book Day
1: Frequent Flyer Day
1: Keep Kids Alive! Drive 25 Day
1: Law Day
1: Lei Day
1: Loyalty Day
1: May Day
1: Mother Goose Day
1: National Dance Day
1: New Homeowner’s Day
1: School Principals’ Day
1: Silver Star Day
1: Stepmother’s Day
1: World Laughter Day
1: International Babylost Mother’s Day
1: Motorcycle Mass and Blessing of the Bike Day
1: National Infertility Day
2: Melanoma Monday
2: National Play Your Ukulele Day
2: Roberts rule of Order Day
3: Childhood Depression Awareness Day
3: Garden Meditation Day
3: Lumpy Rug Day
3: National Special-able Pets Day
3: National Disable Pets Day
3: National Teacher Day
3: National Two Different Colored Shoes Day
3: Paranormal Day
3: Public Radio Day
3: World Press Freedom Day
4: Great American Grump Out
4: Intergalactic Star Wars Day
4: Respect for Chickens Day
4: Shabbat Across America / Canada Day
5: Cartoonists Day
5: Childhood Stroke Awareness Day
5: Cinco de Mayo
5: International Midwives Day
5: Martin Z. Mollusk Day
5: National Day of Prayer
5: National Day of Reason
5: Occupational Safety and Health Professional’s Day
5: Totally Chipotle Day
6: Joseph Brackett Day
6: Military Spouse Appreciation Day
6: National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
6: No Diet Day
6: No Homework Day
6: Nurses Day
6: Tuba Day
7: Astronomy Day
7: Child Care Provider Day
7: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
7: Join Hands Day
7: Kentucky Derby
7: Letter Carrier’s Food Drive Day
7: Mother Ocean Day
7: National Babysitter’s Day
7: National Homebrew Day
7: National Scrapbooking Day
7: Space Day
7: World Asthma Day
7: World Fair Trade Day
8: Birthmother’s Day
8: No Socks day
8: VE Day
8-9: Time of Rememberance and Reconciliation for those who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War
8: World Red Cross Day
8: National Miniature Golf Day
8: Stay Up All Night Day
8: Mother’s Day
9: Accountant’s Day or Accounting Day
9: Mothers at the Wall Day
9: Armed Forces Day Military – Amateur Crossband Communication
10: Buddah Day
10: Lupus Day
10: Windmill Day
11: Donate a Day’s Wages to Charity Day
11: Eat what you Want Day
11: National School Nurses Day
11: National Night Shift Workers Day
11: Receptionist Day
12: Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
12: Hug Your Cat Day
12: Limerick Day
12: National Nutty Fudge Day
12: Odometer Day
13: Blamer Someone Else Day
13: Friday the 13th
13: Frog Jumping Day
14: International Migratory Bird Day
14: National Chicken Dance Day
14: National Train Day
14: The Stars and Stripes Forever Day
14: Underground America Day
14: National Windmill Day
14: Stay Up All Night
15: International Day of Families
15: National Chocolate Chip Day
15: National Safety Dose Day
15: Nylon Stockings Day
15: Peace Officer Memorial Day
15: National Pizza Party Day
15: Staw hat Day
15: Armed Foces Day
15: NASCAR Day
16: Biographer’s Day
16: National Sea Monkey Day
16: Turn beauty Inside Out Day
16: Victoria Day
17: World Hypertension Day
17: World Information Society Day
17: World Telecommunications Day
18: International Museum Day
18: Mother Whistler Day
18: Second Passover
18: Visit Your Relatives Day
18: National Employee Health and Fitness Day
18: Turn Beauty Inside Out Day
19: Boys Club Day
19: May Ray Day
20: Eliza Doolittle Day
20: International Virtual Assistants Day
20: National Bike to Work Day
20: National Defense Transportation Day
20-21: Rhubarb Day
20: Weights & Measures Day
21: American Red Cross Founder’s Day
21: Armed Forces Day
21: I Need a Patch of That Day
21: National Endangered Species Day
21: National Wait Staff Day
21: O. Henry Pun-off Day
21: Preakness Stakes
21: Sister Maria Hummel Day
21: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue & Development
22: International Day for Biological Diversity
22: Lag B’Omer
22: National Maritime Day
22: Neighbor Day
23: Declaration of the Bab Day
23: National Taffy Day
23: World Crohn’s and Colitis Day
23: World Turtle Day
24: Brother’s Day
24: Morse Code Day
24-25: National Geographic Bee
24: African Freedom Day25: Cookie Monter’s Birthday
25: National Missing Children’s Day
25: National Tap Dance Day
25: Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day
25: Towel Day
25: National Senior Health and Fitness Day
25: World MS Day
26-27: Scripps National Spelling Bee
27:Cellophane Tape Day
27: National Wig Out Day
27: Old-Time Player Piano Day
28: Sierra Club Day
28: Slugs Return to Capistrano Day
28: International Jazz Day
28: Julie Pierpont Day
28: Amateur radio Military Appreciation Day
29: Indianapolis 500
29: International Day of UN Peacekeepers
29: Rogation Sunday
29: Rural Life Sunday Day
30: Loomis Day
30: Memorial Day
30: Prayer for Peace Memorial Day
31: What you Think Upon Grows Day
31: World No-Tobacco Day
June
MonthlyWeeklyDaily
Adopt A Shelter Cat Month
Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Awareness Month
Audio Book Appreciation Month
Black Music Month
Cancer From the Sun Month
Caribbean – American Heritage Month
Celibacy Awareness Month
Child Vision Awareness Month
Children’s Awareness Month
Corn and Cucumber Month
Dairy Alternative Month
Effective Communications Month
Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month
Fireworks Safety Month
Gay & Lesbian Pride Month
Great Outdoors Month
International Childhood Cancer Campaign Month
International Men’s Month
International Surf Music Month
Dairy Month
June is Lane Courtesy Month
June is Perennial Gardening Month
June is Turkey Lovers Month
Lemon and Mango Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National Aphasias Awareness Month
National Camping Month
National Candy Month
National Fruit and Veggies Month
National Ice Tea Month
National Rivers Month
National Rose Month
National Safety Month
National Smile Month
National Soul Food Month
National Steakhouse Month
Okra and Pluot and Aprium Month
Pharmacists Declare War on Alcoholism Month
Potty Training Awareness Month
Professional Wellness Month
Rebuild Your Life Month
Skyscraper Month
Sports America Kids Month
Student Safety Month
Vision Research Month
Women’s Golf Month
World Infertility Month
International Clothesline Week: 4-11
National Headache Awareness Week: 5-11
National Sun Safety Week: 5-11
National Tire Safety Week: 5-11
Wolrd Dystonia Awareness Week: 5-12
National Automotive Service Professionals Week: 6-12
National Business Etiquette Week: 6-12
World Menopause Week: 8-12
Superman Week: 10-13
Nursing Assistants Week: 14-21
National Flag Week: 12-18
Men’s Health Week: 13-19
Universal Father’s Week: 14-20
US Open Golf Championship: 16-19
Meet a Mate Week: 19-25
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week: 19-25
Watermelon Seed Spitting Week: 23-26
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: 26-7/2
National Prevention of Eye Injuries Awareness: 27 – 7/4
Fish are Friends, Not Food! Week: 27-7/3
1: Heimlich Maneuver Day
1: National Go Barefoot Day
1: Say Something Nice Day
1: Stand for Children Day
2: Leave the Office Early Day
2: National Bubba Day
2: National Running Day
2: NationalTailors Day
2: Yell “Fudge” at the Cobras in North America Day
3: Chimborazo Day
3: Donut Day
3: Cheer Coach Day
3: Children’s Awareness Memorial Day
3: National Cancer Survivors Day
4: Apple Computer Day
5: World Environment Day
5: National Hunger Awareness Day
6: D-Day
6: National Tailors Day
7: Belmont Stakes
7: Daniel Boone Day
7: Trial Technology Day
7: VCR Day
8: 9: Banana Split Day
8: 9: Orphan’s Train Memorial Day
8: Upsy Daisy Day
9: Croquet Day
9: 10: Raggedy Ann & Andy Day
9: Trooping the Colours
10: Children’s Sunday
10: National Automotive Service Professionals Day
10: Race Unity Day
10: Write to Your Father Day
11: Abused Women and Children’s Awareness Day
11: Multicultural American Child Awareness Day
12: Crowded Nest Awareness Day
13: Creating With Your Heart Day
14: Army’s Birthday
14: Family History Day
14: Flag Day
14: Flag Day, Pause for the Pledge
15: 17: Dollars Against Diabetes Day
15: Native American Citizenship Day
15: Nature Photography Day
15: Nursing Assistants Day
15: Recess at Work Day
15: Work@home Father’s Day
16: Bloomsday
16: Professional Women in Drywall Day
16: Vinegar Day
16: World Juggling Day
17: Family Awareness Day
17: Father’s Day
17: Husband Caregiver day
17: Stewarts Root Beer Day
17: World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
18: National Splurge Day
19: Garfield the Cat Day
19: World Sauntering Day
19: Juneteenth
20: Toad Hollow Day of Thank You
20: World Refuge Day
21: Pee on Earth Day
21: Recess at Work Day
21: Sostice
21: Vegan World Day
21: Watermelon Seed Spitting Day
21: Baby Boomer’s Recognition Day
22: Stupid Guy Thing Day
22nd- Take Your Dog to Work Day
23: Ann & Samantha Day
23: Great American Backyard Campout
23: Let It Go Day
23: 24: Marble Day
23: Public Service Day
24: America’s Kids Day
24: Celebration of the Senses
24th  – 25: Descendants Day
25: Log  Cabin Day
24: Gay & Lesbian Parade Day
25: Please Take My Children to Work Day
26: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
26: National Columnists Day
27: Decide to be Married Day
27: “Happy Birthday to You” Day
27: Helen Keller Day
27: National HIV Testing Day
28: Hand Shake Day
29: Chicken Wings Day
30: Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

Hot Products

Shop 4imprint's Hottest Products!

Shop Now

Sale Products

Shop 4imprint's Sale Products!

Shop Now

New Products

Shop 4imprint's Newest Products!

Shop Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *