Do I HAAAAAVE To?
In short, yes. Yes, you have to compile an annual report that you’ll share with your residents, your staff and your elected officials. And I’ll even tell you why:
- Community Pride - You’re proud of what you’ve accomplished as an organization, and believe it or not your residents are proud of their community; let’s pat ourselves on the collective back.
- Storytelling - Nothing supports your story better than concrete examples of projects, successes and challenges
- Great Things Happened - It’s easy to focus on the negative, help re-focus the community on the positive accomplishments that have happened in the past year.
- You Forgot to Send a Holiday Card - The holidays slipped by and you barely noticed. Don’t panic. Consider your annual report the Christmas letter of local government...just don’t include pictures of your vacation.
- Increase Credibility - Talking about the good and the bad things that happened over the course of a year helps establish your organization as credible and demonstrates that you’re proactively addressing areas that need improvement.
- Start a Conversation - Annual reports provide the perfect foundation for community conversations related to hot issues. Armed with facts and data, residents are equipped to provide informed feedback, not just opinion.
- Cringe Protection - Annual reports that consolidate the most pertinent community data can act as a reference tool for your elected officials and your leadership staff. Gone are the days when you cringe every time your Mayor attempts to site the number of potholes filled or dollars spent on economic development.
- It Matters - Residents deserve to know how their tax money is spent. They deserve to understand the true cost of government. We are accountable to those we serve and an annual report supports transparency.
So as you can see, an annual report is worthy of your time and resources.
Now, here’s the challenge:
No more 400 page reports. No more 10 pt font, one inch margins and endless text. No more data charts with text so small that no one can read it. Your challenge - for all the reasons above - is to create an annual report that adds value, tells a story and is actually something someone wants to read.
Need some guidance? Keep reading...