Thursday, August 20, 2015

Donor Reports Don't Always Come in Folders

Remember these?
I'm sure you can relate to turning in my book reports and other schoolwork in these little folders, the only downside was if the plastic cover was  creased, ouch! Now, in donor relations, we turn in reports in folders that look like these:

We don't always have to think folder, and paper and "report" when we think about reporting to donors on the impact of their funds. In fact, I think we should challenge the notion that a report has to look similar to the ones we did in the 1990s. 

Here are some of the latest and greatest samples of reports that don't fit on a 8 and 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. Think outside the box, think outside the folder.

This report on the impact of unrestricted support from Gonzaga University is brilliant in its design and execution and also very cost effective.

Instagram is an amazing medium for reporting to donors, especially those who give online. This is all about opening your mind to the possibility also that many donors don't have the time to wade through page after page of text. Great stories can be told briefly, if you need 4 pages to explain a concept or tell a story of impact, maybe you need to rethink that step. 

Want a print version of a unique delivery? Look no further than your feet. TOMS shoes always delivers their impact reports using unique and powerful design:

Proof positive that print doesn't have to be boring. And finally a great annual report web design from the Salvation Army that uses images to inspire storytelling in a dynamic way.

How are you going to break free from your folders? How are you going to shake up the way you report to donors? We all know that it's easy to make something fresher that you've always done, but the true challenge lies in throwing out past formats and trying something new and dynamic. I would love to see your examples of how you've transformed your reports. I would also love to hear about the days when you delivered book reports in plastic covers and slid the binding on the side!


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