Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Using your annual report as a Marketing Tool: Part 2

Using your annual report as a marketing tool - Part 2

The first part of this help sheet, available by Clicking Here, looked at the initial steps your community group should take to help make your annual report an effective and attractive marketing tool.

Releasing an annual report is something many community groups and not-for-profits do as part of their normal operations and regulatory requirements. By making the report serve a second purpose, that of marketing your group and what it does, is a cost and time efficient way of getting your message out effectively.

When and where you can use your annual report

If your organisation has gone to the time, trouble and expense of compiling an annual report, it makes sense to use it for marketing, when and where you can.  Including the document in marketing efforts will show professionalism, boosting your organisation's legitimacy.

You could include a copy of your annual report when you are:
  • Sending applications to grantmakers.
  • Chasing funds from major donors.
  • Seeking sponsors, or community business partners.
  • Looking for coverage in the media, or supplying background information to the media to show what your group has been doing.
  • Approaching or introducing your group to local councils or politicians. Once you have made these contacts continue to send them your report each year.
  • Sending an information pack; trying to attract new members onto your board or committee; or to take up key positions in your group.

The next steps

Help them get in touch with you

If you are taking the trouble to produce a document that markets your organisation, and gets people interested, or more interested in your group, it is important to make it easy for them to follow up on that interest and get in touch with you.

Ensure your organisation's contact details – postal address, phone and fax number, website and e-mail address are displayed clearly in several places in your report.
Most importantly, include at least some of these contact details – name, phone number, website and email address on the front and back covers of your report.

You should also aim to use a section of the annual report to explain to readers how they can help your group. For example:
  • More information on your projects and achievements.
  • Details on the where and how they can volunteer to help.
  • Details on where and how they can donate.
  • Details of how they can leave a bequest for your organisation.
  • Details of upcoming events with contact details for getting more information if they want to join in.
  • Including a donations form with your mail-out could be another good idea.

Getting your mailing list right

If you've gone to the time and effort to produce an attractive annual report you want to make sure its effect is maximised by getting it into the right hands.

That means your group needs to make sure your mailing list is up-to-date.

Maintaining your database ensures you don't end up with some people missing out or sending three copies of your report to the one household. It can also help save money if you list recipients who are happy to receive it by e-mail.

For more information on all aspects of database listings, refer to the Mailing and database management section of the Media & Marketing Centre of the Our Community website.
Market to people who have already supported you
An annual report is a great opportunity for groups to thank people who have been with you over the past year – supporters, members, donors, fundraisers, helpers and volunteers.

Your group should already send these people regular thank-you letters and other correspondence through direct mail and targeted mail-outs, but to acknowledge them officially, and in writing, in your annual report will make them feel valued and give them the recognition they deserve.

If you have too many volunteers to list individually in your annual report, think about listing the volunteer co-ordinators or organisers by name.  Then possibly in a larger or different typeface group the others and acknowledge them as a team.  For example: "A big thanks to all the volunteers who helped make our events a success over the past year."

Cut costs by sending e-mail editions

One way you can reduce costs and still get your message out to interested stakeholders, is to offer them the ability to receive a PDF format of the report by email or download one from your website if you have one.

The information contained on this site is subject to change. Our Community will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever coming from reliance placed on all or part of its contents.