These are descriptive reports about your organisation’s activities throughout a specified period. This section describes how to write a narrative report and gives useful tips on writing such reports for donors. A narrative report is simply like writing a long letter to your funders telling them everything your organisation has accomplished in the last year (or however long since you delivered your previous report). Of course you also need to explain why your organisation may not have accomplished all of its goals. Give yourself at least two weeks to gather your information and write your report. Do not wait for your funder to ask you for a report. Remember that a bad reporting record may affect your chances of being funded again. Look at the donor’s reporting requirements, as well as your original funding proposal and any previous reports you have written. Explain the progress your organisation has made in achieving its goals and describe particular achievements, including facts and figures where possible. Include the details of any important events that have involved your organisation. Should I report problems?
The answer is a definite yes. Problems are a normal part of life and you need to explain to donors why they happened and how you plan to solve or overcome them, if you haven’t already done so. Sometimes you may need to adjust your plans and goals as a result. Never try to hide anything that may have gone wrong; donors are generally sympathetic as long as they are kept fully informed. Useful tips for donor reporting
Let donors know of any significant changes to your project as soon as possible. Make sure you plan enough time to be able to meet reporting deadlines. Follow the donor’s reporting format or guidelines carefully. Use clear headings, bullet points, diagrams, tables and photographs to structure and illustrate your report. Write short sentences and keep to the point.
Include case studies and describe the benefits the project has had on different target groups. Be optimistic- even if you have experienced set backs, explain the positive lessons you have learned. Get other people in the organisation to check the report before you send it to the donor.