3 Things to Dramatically Improve Your Annual Report

Annual reports are not the most compelling documents for donors to receive.  It’s a challenge for nonprofits to interest donors enough to read them; but if they don’t, then it’s an expensive annual investment gone to waste.

Increased Interest

But there is a way to turn them into a cherished document that your donor will read and keep for the next 12 months.  By converting your annual report into a wall calendar, you put your message in front of donors all year long!

We had a very successful experience with an organization that tried it.  They used stunning artwork to turn their Annual Report into a calendar that was an attractive, must have document that donors kept on their walls all year.  Each calendar month revealed new information that the nonprofit wanted to present to its donor base.

Involvement Device Encouraged Gifts

It included a survey/involvement device and a #9 remit.  It was well received; donors responded by making gifts exceeding the total out of pocket costs.  Each year they mailed it, they repeated their success. Each year the project paid for itself!

Transparent Envelopes Increase Response

This project was mailed out in a 9×12 white wove closed face envelope, but we have tested clear or transparent envelopes that dramatically increase the open rate. The key is to design stunning attractive outer cover art that draws donor interest. The manufacturer of the envelopes claims it increases the open rate by as much as 50%. We have not had an opportunity to test that number but we have had very positive feedback from clients who have tried these envelopes and experienced great results.

So here are the three changes we would propose:

  1. Turn your Annual Report into an 8.5×11” landscape wall calendar. The 8.5×11 size will help to keep your print cost down.
  2. Include a survey involvement device with a #9 remit to encourage donor involvement and gifts.
  3. Fill the calendar with stunning artwork, especially the cover art, and mail it in a glossy transparent envelope (not a poly bag which is not the same) that will increase your open rate and therefore response rate.

If you would like to find out more, please call your account executive.