Designing an Annual Report

An Annual Report, giving a review of your organisation’s services and financial activities over the last year, is an excellent promotional opportunity for Third Sector groups and organisations. You do not have to produce a particularly glossy report.  

A report that is too expensive looking may lead people to question your financial priorities and could potentially make them re-consider future donations and support. However, you do want your report to be professional looking, and an imaginative well-designed report need not be expensive to produce. 

There are many different types of desktop publishing software available – including free ‘open source’ page layout software and Microsoft software such as Publisher.

Following simple design guidelines:

  • keep layout simple using white space to break up pages and articles

  • do not use more than one font type

  • use your group colours, logo and strap line to reinforce your brand

  • add interest with photographs or drawings

  • keep your paragraphs short and try to balance the amount of text and images

  • always include the groups contact details

Get ideas from looking at the Annual Reports produced by other organisations. Pick out the design methods they use to highlight information. Your local Third Sector support agency may be able to assist with low cost printing.

Make sure that you have a PDF copy of your Annual Report to email or make available as a document to download from your website.