When you first started serving your church, you probably weren’t envisioning writing an annual report for the church. But it’s an important document that’s helpful for planning out the following year and providing information to potential donors and congregation members.
1. Make a Plan
Creating a plan for your church report will make the process easier. Before you sit down to write the report, create an outline that lays out everything you want to include in a logical, flowing order. Take a look at online reports and templates to see how others are doing it.
Plan out everyone’s duties — one person may be writing the report while others are collecting data, testimonials, and images. Make sure the report is edited once it’s written. A person with a fresh perspective is often able to catch errors the writer may have missed.
2. Include Relevant Data
If your church collects all sorts of statistics through church management software, you may be unsure of what to include in your annual report. You don’t want to overwhelm readers. Try to keep the report as short as possible, while still providing the relevant data that’s needed.
Discuss it with your church leadership and congregation, find out what numbers are important to them, and put that information into easy-to-understand charts or graphs. The information you collect might involve annual giving, new members, or attendance at services or events.
Data collection may not be the most exciting part of creating a church annual report, but these numbers will give the congregation a clear idea of what’s needed and where they can help moving forward. And the report could be a useful tool for your church growth strategy.
3. Inspire Your Readers
Remember that this document is more than an account of facts and figures. The report should be a representation of your church’s year. So, you may decide to include:
- A message from the pastor
- Uplifting stories or testimonies that illustrate how God and the church affected people
- Pictures or videos from events
- Highlights from different church groups
- Achievements made by the church, groups, or individual patrons
- Plans for the upcoming year that show the church’s vision
4. Distribute Your Church Annual Report
Once you’ve created the report, you’ll need to determine the best way to distribute the information. Posting it on your church website makes it easy for people to find when they’re interested in contributing to or learning more about your church.
Make sure to spread the word about the report, so people will engage with it. You can promote the report through:
- Church announcements
- Social media
- Physical copies given to church groups
- Physical mail sent to contributors
- An email to existing and new church members
We hope this helps you create a church annual report that will keep your congregation and contributors informed. Don’t forget to use feedback from the report to help plan out your upcoming year.
For more information on planning your finances for next year, read our other blog posts:
|7 Ways to Improve Your Church Facilities for the New Year|
|Cost of Church Seating: How to Budget for Your Purchase|