Writing an Annual Report – How to Put Together the Lists

Lists of donors, board members, and sometimes staff are included in a nonprofit annual report, often on the report’s final pages. Here are five frequently asked questions about these lists.

Do we need to list absolutely everyone who donated any amount of money?

No. Many organizations set a minimum dollar amount for inclusion in the annual report to keep the donor list to a reasonable length (one or two pages in an 8-12 page report, three-four pages in longer reports). Smaller donors can be recognized publications like a newsletter. Rather than using expensive printed pages in the annual report some nonprofits photocopy the full list and insert it into the report that way.

How should the donor list be organized?

You can either organize the list alphabetically or group donors according to the level of contribution and alphabetically within those categories.

Seven of our donors want to remain anonymous. How do we recognize them?

If you have several donors who wish to remain anonymous, you can list “Anonymous” once as the first entry in the list or you can include a brief statement at the beginning or end of the list thanking all the donors who wish to remain anonymous.

Should we list non-voting, honorary, or advisory board members?

The main list under your “Board of Directors” heading should include only the voting members. If there is space, you can list other categories of board members under an appropriate heading, but don’t mix the two. It should be clear to readers who the legal directors of the organization are.

Which staff members should we list?

Always list the executive level staff (e.g., executive directors and depending on the size of the organization, the next layer of management below the executive director). Many organizations list all staff. It’s up to you and dependent on how much space you have in your report.