To reiterate, I am saying "report card" because I have no time or interest in reading your Annual Report...and I am betting I am not alone there!
In our fast paced world of short attention spans I think a report card of sorts may be a worthwile communication strategy nonprofits should consider.
Recently there was a great post on Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog which cited recent market research that had two findings I found interesting:
1) Donors don't spend a whole lot of time researching charities to which they give.
2) Individual donors simply want to know they are giving to an organization that will do good with their money.
Katya's point was make sure you put content on your website to let prospective donors know you're a good charity.
Certainly advice all good charities should follow.
To build on this, I believe your report card is a chance for the GREAT charities to differentiate the GOOD in an arena we all know is a very crowded marketplace.
Donors are not measuring great organizations for raising the most money but for doing the most with it.
As your donor I want to know these 4 things about your 2011:
1) What did you do that no other organization did?
2) How did your organization become more efficient and/or effective?
3) What happened in 2011 that will shape your organizational goals in 2012?
4) What you are going to do "this year" with my continued support?
If you truly did do great work and you make the case for continued support in a quick and simple I may click donate before I get to the P.S. (because I have a hunch if you are great at what you do there will be a P.S.)!
Please share your comments and tell me what other questions I have missed!