During any given year, your association has a lot on its plate. From networking events to conferences and fundraising drives, there’s a lot your organization does to engage members and foster community. To recap each action-packed year with a celebratory message, your association may be interested in publishing a yearly report.
If your association or membership organization is a nonprofit, you know that you’re required to publish a Form 990 annual report to preserve your tax-exempt status. But, even associations that aren’t nonprofits release annual reports to summarize the accomplishments of the past year and keep members in the loop.
Several elements go into creating a compelling annual report, from the images you include to the stories you tell throughout the report. One of the most important aspects of your annual report is the statistics you choose to include.
Your members are not only interested in hearing about the accomplishments of your association—they want to see measurable results that prove that their involvement in your organization is worth their time and money.
To appeal to this desire and prove to your members that maintaining their membership is the right decision, include the following types of statistics in your annual report:
- Member Accomplishments
- Organizational Accomplishments
- Fundraising Success
- Membership Growth
- Industry Information
Your membership management solution is one of your best tools for gathering the majority of these statistics. Since this platform provides a bird’s-eye view of your members and your organization as a whole, you can comb through your member database to find many of the statistics you need. Let’s get started!
1. Member Accomplishments
One of the major differences between a typical nonprofit annual report and an association yearly report is that a nonprofit report is donor-centric. For instance, DonorSearch’s nonprofit annual report guide recommends that nonprofits use their annual report to put supporters first and highlight their accomplishments, such as fundraising and volunteering achievements.
Your association’s annual report will be member-centric rather than donor-centric. This means you should take the opportunity to keep your members at the forefront by highlighting their accomplishments throughout your report.
Gather statistics on members’ achievements using your organization’s AMS system. These accomplishment statistics might include the:
- Number of members enrolled in continuing education courses or training programs
- Number of members who’ve obtained industry certifications over the past year
- Percentage of members within your organization who have advanced certifications in your field
- Number of members who engaged in association-sponsored volunteer work
- Number of members placed in high-ranking positions within your industry
- Number of members who received promotions over the past year
You can make these statistics stand out even more by transforming them into images. Create eye-catching infographics that display these numbers in simple, easily understandable formats. This will boost the engagement factor of your annual report — readers won’t have to wade through large text blocks to find the important information they’re looking for.
2. Organizational Accomplishments
Alongside the accomplishments of your members, you’ll want to highlight the achievements of your organization as a whole in your annual report. Your association is constantly engaged in various initiatives, projects, programs, events, and fundraising opportunities throughout the year. Your annual report is your time to highlight the past year’s achievements and summarize the value they brought to members or the community at large.
For instance, to demonstrate the success of your organization’s virtual events, you may assess statistics like:
- The number of registrants
- The number of states/countries represented in the audience
- The number of speakers
These statistics will demonstrate your organization’s reach and influence as well as the popularity of your event offerings, showing both current and prospective members the value of your organization’s educational opportunities.
By highlighting your organization’s accomplishments as a whole, you show your members that your association is healthy and thriving. You’ll demonstrate how you’re constantly seeking new opportunities to bring enriching experiences into your members’ lives that help them grow personally and professionally.
3. Fundraising Success
If your organization is a nonprofit that conducts fundraising efforts, you should include information about your fundraising successes in your annual report. This allows you to be transparent to donors and grantors about how your organization used their contributions.
Fundraising statistics to present in your yearly report include:
- The total amount of money raised throughout the year for your cause
- The total amount raised from each fundraising campaign or event
- The amount of funding gained through volunteer grants
- The number of corporate sponsorships you’ve received and the contributions of those partners
Even if your association isn’t a nonprofit, you still may conduct fundraising efforts, either on behalf of your organization or to benefit a local charity. In this case, it’s still beneficial to include fundraising results from any initiatives your organization conducted throughout the year.
You can show your members that your organization cares about the community and actively works to help those that aren’t in the association as well. This can help generate a sense of pride among your members, many of whom probably value philanthropy and volunteerism.
4. Membership Growth
Hopefully, if your organization is healthy and your members are satisfied, you’ve seen your membership numbers increase over the past year. Your association’s annual report offers a good opportunity to summarize the growth and changes that your organization is going through.
Use the reporting feature of your AMS system to gather statistics about membership growth over the past year. For example, MemberClick’s membership reports feature allows associations to generate and analyze reports on member data over time.
These statistics can help build excitement and hope for the future as your members see that your organization is gaining strength and influence. After all, many people join associations to take advantage of the networking opportunities they provide. The more people in your organization, the more connections members can make.
Include membership statistics such as:
- The number of new members who’ve joined in the past year
- Your membership retention rate
- Any demographic changes in your membership base (for instance, if your organization is undertaking diversity and inclusion initiatives, report on the success of those programs)
Be sure to put faces to these statistics with stories about or interviews with new members. You can highlight the new member who’s already taking on committee responsibilities, or interview your youngest member about why they decided to join. This helps humanize your statistics and it allows members to get to know one another better.
Your membership statistics provide your members with a high-level overview of your organization, helping them understand that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. They’ll see that they’re a part of a strong organization that prioritizes growth and inclusivity.
5. Industry Information
Use your association’s annual report to deliver even more valuable content to members by providing statistics about your industry or sector as a whole. Your report can be a great resource for members to learn more about the field and check-in with the state of the industry.
For instance, if your association is a farming organization, you can use your annual report to be the definitive resource that members turn to for everything they need to know about the health of the farming industry. This might involve incorporating information on crop statistics, industry growth metrics, or equipment developments. This gives members valuable insight into any trends they might need to be aware of moving into the next year.
A few statistics to include for any industry type are:
- Total industry revenue
- Total industry consumer spending
- Market size
- Year-over-year changes in consumer use
- Leading brands within the industry
Use a website such as Statista.com to look up information about your specific industry. If your organization is a nonprofit, you can use trusted industry sources such as Double the Donation to keep up with fundraising trends and statistics. Don’t forget to organize these stats into a visually appealing infographic or a group of charts so members can easily digest the information.
These statistics will help you organize your annual report into a logical, useful resource that provides everything members need to know about your organization. You can get even more out of your annual report by promoting it using your social media pages and email newsletters. This is where your statistic infographics come in handy—they make for great post images since they include pertinent information in an easily understandable format. Good luck!