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Tips to Design An Annual Report To Inspire Your Donors

Happy Annual Report season! As we begin the new year, your annual report is the next thing your donors, volunteers, partners, and community will be looking to see from you. A well constructed annual report has four main goals; thank your supporters, highlight the accomplishments your organization had in the past year, inspire readers by your work and mission, and share goals for the upcoming year.

Include a Table of Contents

To keep your report easy for your viewers to navigate, include a table of contents at the beginning of your report. A table of contents gives insight to what your report includes, and encourages the reader to navigate to different stories or sections of the report that may appeal to them.

Don’t Over Design (keep it simple and spacious)

Think simplicity in your design, over designing can distract your reader from the impactful stories and information you are looking to communicate. Aim for a healthy balance of white space, photos, and story. There is often a temptation to fill white space, but white space actually adds value to your content and gives the viewer’s brain the ability to pause and process the information.

Share Your Impact

Your organization has been busy working towards your mission through programming and services. Sharing success stories, statistics, and program updates allow your readers to connect to your mission and inspires them to support your organization through donations, volunteering, or attending an event in the coming year.

Balance Words with Images

In the same vein as keeping your design simple, finding the correct balance of written story and images is a key to a well designed report. One tip to adding in visuals to compliment your report story is to make a graphic out of the stories. Quotes and stats can be pulled out, and presented in a way that adds a visual element to the report.

Stay on Brand

Your annual report is often one of the few impact pieces that organizations share each year. Sticking to your brand is crucial to keeping a strong brand and connecting your brand back to your mission. Be sure to use your organization's color palette, typefaces, preferred vocabulary, logo, images, etc.


Designing an annual report that inspires your reader is key to building a strong donor and community connection. Your annual report can do it all, from educating new donors, to inspiring long-time donors, to helping you build relationships with your community.

If you are looking to take your annual report to the next level this year, let’s chat! I am currently booking annual report design clients for the 2021 annual report season!

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