How to Create Fundraising Reports People Actually Want to Read


For any organization engaged in raising funds, campaign reports are part and parcel of a strong communications stack. Transparency is absolutely necessary when you're asking people for money, and the campaign fundraising report gives donors an open view into what is being done with their funds. Your donors want to know their gifts are making an impact and that goals are being met, and the best way to keep them in the know is through regular fundraising reports. But let's be honest - who really wants to read through a tedious report crammed with numbers?

You need to include all the technical information, but you don't want to bore your readers to tears. Thankfully, there is middle ground. Here are a few techniques to help you create engaging campaign fundraising reports that still get the word out.

Make Use of Images

Although it may seem obvious, this aspect of fundraising reports is often overlooked. A well-placed image, whether it's a graph or an event photo, can engage your readers and draw them in.

Graphs and charts are especially effective, since a visual representation of your success can have more impact than mere numbers with dollar signs. Numerical-based campaign comparisons sound great in person, but too many large figures on a page might lead your reader to skim past them. Instead, use a chart that shows your improvements and displays exactly how you've progressed.

Mix in Some Personal with the Technical

You've written up your newest fundraising report, which contains your campaign details all the way from dollar amounts to execution. You've even included some sleek charts to drive home just how well you did. Even though the report incorporates all the information your executives want, there's still something missing.

Your readers want to hear more about the actual impact of their donations on a human-to-human level. This is where storytelling is critical. Include stories of people who were directly affected for the better by your organization. Start searching for stories of tangible, significant results, and include relevant photos to increase your audience connection and sense of pride.

Emphasize the Right Points

Once you have the content for your report, you need to think about how it is organized. Remember that you're including both important minutiae as well as engaging stories. Don't lead with a bunch of numbers and statistics, or you're certain to lose your readers before they reach the second paragraph. Instead, open with one of your stories (or even just a portion of a story) to capture your readers' attention and get them interested in exactly how that result was achieved.

Your campaign fundraising reports can be a highlight of your non-profit publication if done correctly. Keep these tips in mind when formulating your next report, and you'll keep your donors informed and excited for the next campaign.

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