The mere thought of putting together a church annual report can cause church staff members to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by such a foreign task. Fear not! Completing this exercise is not as challenging as it may seem.
The following article will explain how to create a fun yet thorough annual report for your church.
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What Should Be Included in Your Church Annual Report?
Typically, the first question that comes to mind when putting together a report of any kind is, “What important elements should we include?” One major concept to keep in mind when creating the report is that it should be more about inspiration and your ministry and less about the financial aspect of running a church.
Think of it as a casual presentation woven together with uplifting stories, inspiring images and videos, encouraging data, and impactful goals that provide a glimpse into the upcoming year and help you cast your church’s vision for the future. It will be similar to a nonprofit annual report, but it will be completely unique since it will reflect the ministries and mission of your church.
Examples of Annual Reports From Other Churches
These are some real church examples of annual reports you can find inspiration from:
- Santa Clara First Baptist
- Glenwood Lutheran
- Faith Bible Church
- United Church of Chapel Hill
Common Components of an Annual Report for Your Church
This is as simple as it sounds. Gather moving stories happening in the church throughout the year that will inspire both current and new attendees. Be sure to include great examples of how God and your church have impacted the lives of people in your community.
Relevant Pictures and/or Videos
Including images of real people in your ministry is a great opportunity to showcase God, your members, the volunteers in your church, and events that your church has put together. Videos are also a nice touch if your report is digital. Both images and videos offer an excellent opportunity to show people that their contributions are being put to good use.
Statistics and Achievements
This section of the report should be used to present statistics related to attendance, tithes, a building campaign, money given to missions, baptism numbers, and other relevant information. The goal here is to be transparent and have congregants feel like they are truly a part of the process, and not to overload the readers with tons of data. Simple and interesting is the way to go here.
An Overview of Future Plans
After using the previous sections to touch on stories, highlights, and statistics from the past year, this section should be dedicated to laying out plans for the coming year. Use this part of the annual report to fill your church in on upcoming events, recent developments, and any other exciting information that will build confidence in your ministry and clearly demonstrate your church’s vision for next year and beyond.
How to Use the Report Once It Has Been Created
You have created a comprehensive church annual report that will both educate and inspire your readers. Great! Now what?
Below are some ways to use the report once it has been completed.
Add the Report to Your Church Website
This is an excellent way to demonstrate transparency to your congregation while also making your church attractive to visitors.
Mention the Report During Your Services
Your services provide a great opportunity to casually mention the report to your church. No need to make a big announcement; just work it into the service at a time that seems natural.
Email It to Current Members, New Members, and Visitors
This is another effective way to build trust and confidence in the plan for the future of your church. Keeping current members of the congregation in the loop creates a sense of transparency, and makes prospective new members feel welcome and appreciated.
Personally Distribute It
Hand your annual report out to visitors, new volunteers, families, and individuals who have recently joined the church. Going the extra mile by hand-delivering the annual report will mean a lot to people who interact with your church on a regular basis. The positive impression and word of mouth could result in increased attendance and greater generosity when people tithe.
Software to Assist With Church Reporting
Whether you need help with your annual report or contribution statements, or you just want an accounting solution that is specifically made for churches and nonprofit organizations, Aplos was specifically created with the needs of your church in mind.
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