The Ultimate Guide to Digital Reports for Churches and Nonprofits

Churches and nonprofits can engage supporters, inspire action, and turn readers into donors through interactive digital reports. From impact reports to annual reports, a web-based report—as opposed to a print report—has the power to supercharge your fundraising efforts and make more impact than ever before.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about digital reporting including:

  • What is an annual report?
  • What is a digital annual report?
  • Why are digital reports essential?
  • Who can help you get started?

What is an Annual Report?

If you’ve been in the nonprofit industry for a while, you probably know what a Form 990 is. Form 990 is a tax document that’s required of all 501(c) organizations, every year. Within Form 990, nonprofits must detail all of their financial information from the year preceding (revenue, expenses, etc.).Unlike Form 990, an annual report is not required. However, it is an industry-standard—one that’s becoming even more important than in years previous and sometimes required by a board. An annual report includes financial findings from Form 990, but it’s more about telling the story behind the numbers including accomplishments, donor lists, program information, and more. The annual report can be considered a sort of yearbook for nonprofit organizations— they’re a marketing tool to engage with donors and create transparency around their contributions.

What is a Digital Annual Report?

Digital annual reports are becoming increasingly necessary for nonprofit success. Traditional annual reporting, which used to be popular, was usually done in the form of a printed brochure, paper newsletter, or even as a pdf or flipbook. But since the rise of social media and the popularity of online giving, web-based reports have become essential. Unlike paper reports, digital annual reports can be posted on social media, on websites, and even sent via e-newsletter. Marketing teams no longer have to design a multitude of social media assets to update supporters—an annual report can be used for it all.
PDF reports take a lot of back and forth between you and the designer. For nonprofits on a budget, this isn’t feasible. A digital annual report software saves nonprofits time and money with:

  • ➔ Annual report templates (and even templates for impact reports and quarterly updates)
  • ➔ Drag-and-drop editing tools
  • ➔ A built-in stock image library
  • ➔ Ability to comment on your colleague’s work within the tool
  • ➔ Work faster by creating the same, or multiple reports, at the same time

Above all, a digital annual report converts the average reader into a lifelong donor. Paper reports, which can be dull—and don’t give readers an immediate opportunity to give—fall flat.

Why digital reports are essential?

They engage donors.

Unlike pdf or printed reports, which often are unexciting for readers, digital reports include interactive elements like:

  • ➔ Mobile responsiveness
  • ➔ Embedded videos you already have on social media
  • ➔ Social media posts
  • ➔ Custom donate buttons
  • ➔ Clickable links

They build trust.

Now more than ever, donors want to know how their contributions are making a difference. Digital annual reports, with large format graphics, scrollable content, and more, all help to build trust through transparency.

They meet donors where they are.

More donations are happening online than ever before. That means it’s essential for nonprofits to go digital with all of their marketing assets. A digital annual report that’s responsive and mobile-optimized is perfect for attracting Gen-Z, millennials, and other generations that are doing all their giving online.

How to Create a Digital Annual Report?

Want to know how to create your very own digital annual report? You don’t have to know graphic design or how to design a web page. We have recently partnered with Click here to access your free example annual report and 14-day free trial.

More ways to engage: