How to Make a Great Report

Last Updated: May 19, 2016 12:07PM EDT

Great project reports help you build relationships with your donors. To give feedback to our partners about reports, we rate every report we approve on a 5-point scale. The questions we keep in our mind as we rate the report are:

  • Is the report on-topic? Make sure that your reports are focused on offering updates or telling stories about the appropriate project.
  • Is it written for the target audience? Your reports go to every donor who has ever donated to the project (and is still subscribed to emails), so make sure that when you write your report, you write it with them in mind: "You, the donor, made this happen!" Keep reports concise and engaging. The average report is 368 words.
  • Is the report emotionally compelling? Include pictures and stories of beneficiaries. Or, even better, let the people you serve tell their own stories, in their own words! Don't just tell a story form your own perspective: share stories told by the community you serve and by the donors who are having an impact. This helps people relate to the cause and feel emotional ties to your project. Did you know that reports that include multiple perspectives raise three times more money? Read more on our blog.
  • Does the report include high-quality photos? Make sure to include close-up, vibrant photos of your project or beneficiaries as these help donors visualize the impact that your projects are having on their communities.


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