Planning for your organization’s annual report?

Reports are one of our specialties here at Ciampa Creative. We love working with forward-thinking organizations to create branded, standout pieces that effectively highlight your work, ignite the hearts of your audience, and have a return on your investment.


Creative from an annual report we created for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Photo shot by Kent Earle.

Creative for an online annual report for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, from a photo shoot on site at the Nurtury Learning Lab. Photography by Kent Earle.


Our award-winning experience in report design encompasses:

  • Print Annual Report Design
  • Digital Annual Report Design and Development
  • Evergreen Reports and Brochures
  • Concept Development
  • Art Direction and Production of Photo and Video
  • Infographic Design and Illustration
  • Supporting Marketing Promotional Assets

We also have copywriting partners with extensive experience developing content for annual reports.



A print report we created for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. We shot photos on site at Boston Health Care for the Homeless for a story on increased behavioral health services as a result of the Foundation’s Innovation Fund for the Uninsured. Written by Vibrancy Communications. Photos by Marilyn Humphries.


Why create an annual report?

Here are some of the key reasons organizations create annual reports:

  • To use as a marketing piece to communicate to sponsors or partners
  • To use as an opportunity for financial transparency
  • To use as a fundraising tool and to help build relationships with donors or members
  • To tell human stories about the organization’s work
  • To thank those who enable you to fulfill your organization’s mission


What format is best?

When it comes to what format your organization’s annual report should take on, you should consider your goals for this report and your audience’s preferences. And if you have any data analytics, survey responses, or verbal feedback on previous years’ reports, that’s even better! We can help you determine what format would be appropriate for your annual report. Here are some options to think about:

  • Full-Color Printed
  • 10-K Wrap Printed (color wrap, black & white interior pages)
  • Online/Website
  • Online/Website with a postcard mailer
  • Video
  • PDF
  • Infographic-driven
  • Story-driven
  • Some combination of the above


8 questions to help you prepare…

Here are 8 questions to consider as you start your annual report planning:

1. What are your objectives? Clarifying the reasons why you are creating this report will help in determining the key messages and how to best provide these to your target audience.

2. Who is your key audience? By defining or better understanding your key audience(s) you can think about their expectations in terms of content and ensure you speak in a voice that resonates with those individuals. What format would be more appropriate for them (digital or printed, or some combination of both)?

3. What are your key messages and accomplishments? Kivi Leroux Miller ( suggests you identify three things you are most proud of from last year and think about “what aspects you would emphasize if you only have five minutes to tell a stranger about your nonprofit’s good work? Your annual report should flow from the answers to these questions.”

4. Have you identified individuals (members, volunteers, program recipients, constituents) whose stories you can tell to make the report compelling? Do you have photos, graphics and other visuals to add impact, or do you need these creative services for your report?

5. Who are the stakeholders you’ll need to involve? Do you have a list of the individuals who will provide content? (e.g., Committee Chairs; Treasurer; ED; volunteers; subject matter experts; etc.) Do you need a copywriter to help you develop content?

6. Have you drafted a content outline yet? It’s always a good idea to start thinking about what content you know you want to include, such as a leadership message, accomplishments and stories, and financials (these are just some basics).

7. What about those who need to review, edit and/or approve the content? (e.g., communications staff/volunteers; board; ED) – Should you create a committee or advisory group and a review flowchart to help streamline the writing and approval process?

8. Do you have a budget for your annual report? Your budget will help determine what format you choose, what creative services you can bring in (copywriting, design, photography, video) or whether you may need some pro bono services to support the project.


Our Annual Report Process

Below is a high-level view of our comprehensive process for annual report design and production. Before each project begins, we refine the approaches and tools used based on the unique project scope and needs.

1. Research & Discovery

  • Client questionnaire
  • Discovery kickoff meeting(s)
  • Annual report audit: Organization and competition
  • Define goals, values, and vision statement
  • Content outline & production planning

2. Concept Development

  • Creative Brief: Define the direction
  • Designer and copywriter develop initial concept creative
  • Initial concepts presented
  • Concepts refined and developed

3. Content Development

  • Story development
  • Writer conducts interviews
  • Photo/video shoots
  • Design iterations and story word counts
  • Client provides final annual data

4. Design & Execution

  • Design iterations and feedback
  • Obtain final photo and video
  • Website prototype and testing (if an annual report website)
  • Final copy placed into report

5. Distribution & Promotion

  • Annual report launch and release
  • Email blast sent out and promote on social media
  • Assess analytics results


Are you ready to develop your organization’s annual report?

Contact Us Today!