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We’ve seen impact reports become extremely popular with charities over the past 10 years. An impact report focuses on the charity’s activities and achievements, generally over the last year. They usually contain a balance of cases studies, impact statistics, an overview of the accounts, and the organisation’s future plans.

Impact reports take many different formats, from a traditional booklet to something more creative – an unusual but sensitive presentation of this information can be a great way to capture your reader’s attention and engage them with your cause.

So why would your charity benefit from an impact report? We’ve put together the five top reasons, based on our experience producing these reports for a wide variety of UK charities:

Impact reports give you accountability

Accountability for charities is more important than ever, with charities being placed under increased scrutiny over spending.

An impact report allows you to give your donors complete confidence that you’ve used their money wisely, by highlighting some of the charity’s key achievements and through the inclusion of case studies from beneficiaries.

Case studies

When including a case study in an impact report, we encourage our clients to use some of their strongest imagery. If the case study is about a person who has benefited from the work of the charity, then a picture where they are either looking at the camera or fully engaged in an activity provided by the charity works extremely well.

Impact statistics

This is a key feature of an impact report, as it instantly demonstrates to the reader what you have achieved. We like to really make these sections stand out, using graphics to present the information and make the stats even more impactful.

They are a key marketing tool

An impact report gives your charity the opportunity to create a highly visual document, which becomes a perfect marketing tool to help you target high-end donors. With this is mind, it’s important to recognise some of the characteristics of this target demographic.

We know with high-end donors, time is often short, and it’s important to make sure they can quickly digest the information that is presented to them. For this reason we encourage our charities to keep their content concise and where possible, highlight their key achievements visually so the recipient can quickly skim through the document.

The investment in design and print is also important, as we want potential donors to enjoy reading the document and see that you have a sense of pride in what you do, instilling confidence that with their backing, you could do more.

They show that you still understand your stakeholders’ needs

Charities need to evolve with time and ensure that their activities and impact still aligns with the needs of their beneficiaries, and an impact report gives the charity the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this.

By telling the stories of your beneficiaries within your impact report it shows that you are listening to their needs and meeting them, which is demonstrated through your stats and their testimonials.

A chance to thank your supporters

An impact report gives you as a charity the ability to say ‘thank you’ to your supporters. Mid-level supporters will take pride in your achievements, and you may want to name major donors or corporate supporters, to demonstrate that you see them as having a vital role in your success.

Impact reports clarify your future focus

We encourage our charity clients to include information about what their plans are for the year to come. This will enable the recipient to see what your goals are, and that you’re evolving to meet the needs of your beneficiaries. You can also partner this with a call to action that asks for support in these future plans.

If this has been helpful, we’d love to talk to you. To discuss ideas for your next impact report, please call 01603 340750 or email hello@adeptdesign.co.uk.

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