Getting Started with Annual Reports

About this Guide

We recognize that creating an annual report can be a daunting task, especially for those new to this challenge. And while the role of and audience for an annual report are very different for an association reporting to its members than for a charity reporting to its donors, we wanted to pull together some very general guidelines to help you get started with annual report planning.

This Guide was developed as a starting point for the staff and/or volunteers of small non-profits, associations and other membership organizations who are new to annual report production or whose organizations are considering developing an annual report for the first time.

What this Guide is not:  

This Guide is NOT designed for corporations or non-profits that are required to produce an annual report for financial reporting purposes. The ideas, tips and general guidelines we’re offering DO NOT include details on financial reporting criteria.

Getting Started With Annual Reports was compiled by Lori Halley (Engaging Apricot – Wild Apricot’s blog writer) based on both personal experience (annual report writing for not-for-profits and associations), as well as research material from non-profit communications experts (for details see sources at the end of this Guide). 
Creative Commons Licence

Getting Started with Annual Reports by Wild Apricot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

Please include a link to if you copy, distribute or re-transmit any of the documents that make up this guide. 
For permissions beyond the scope of this license, contact us.

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