Depending on the needs and budget of your foundation, annual reports can be a short, typed document listing the year’s grants, or an elaborately designed and printed publication. Some foundations hire communications consultants to write their annual reports; others do it in-house, typed as a simple one- or two-paged letter. One important point: they don’t have to be lavish or expensive to be effective.
Once you have your annual report ready, you will want to distribute it widely—to your extended family (for family foundations), grantees, potential grantseekers and the larger community. Take your reports to meetings, conferences and other events. Mail it to board members, grantees, reporters, elected officials, foundation colleagues and others. Some foundations even publish their annual reports online—either on their own website, or through an outside service such as The Foundation Center.