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WHY A VIRTUAL ANNUAL REPORT?

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Released 8 October 2009

Why a Virtual Annual Report?

September 2009

For the first time ever, The Salvation Army is going entirely paperless by releasing its 2009 National Annual Report in an all-online format.

  • The annual report's digital format allows The Salvation Army to broadly communicate the organization's yearly work and financials with its donors in a way it has never done before.
  • The layout uses interactive financial charts, and emotional video testimonials from clients and Salvation Army officers and staff to shed light on the impact of the nonprofit organization throughout the year.
  • The report was created and produced by Dallas-based independent advertising agency The Richards Group and the agency's digital arm Click Here.
  • The financial and service statistic information included in the report covers the 2008 fiscal year (October 1, 2007 - September 30, 2008)

The online annual report combines the best aspects of all the things that can be done online and demonstrates The Salvation Army's forward-thinking approach to communicating with the public.

  • By launching the annual report in a completely digital format, the Army is hoping to reach a new and younger audience that uses the Internet as their main source of news and information.
  • The digital annual report is one way for supporters to quickly and easily learn about how charitable contributions are being used by The Salvation Army to help those in need.
  • With the environmentally friendly shift to a digital format, The Salvation Army has also done away with thousands of paper annual reports that will no longer be printed.

 

The Salvation Army's 2008 Annual Report is available online at http://annualreport.salvationar myusa.org/. The Salvation Army will continue to produce the digital annual report for future fiscal years, providing new financial information as well as new testimonials from those served by the organization.

  • Users will still have the ability to print a formatted version of the document from their own computers.

 

Q&A

 

Why did The Salvation Army decide to launch the 2008 Annual Report this year in an online format?

  • With the economic downturn greatly impacting nonprofit organizations nationwide, The Salvation Army wanted to show the public that the organization will continue to provide services at the point of need and will work with our supporters and help our clients through these challenging times just as we have for nearly 130 years. The annual report conveys this message through the words of The Salvation Army's National Commander Israel Gaither and through the testimonials of clients The Salvation Army has helped.

 

Who did The Salvation Army partner with in developing the digital annual report?

  • The Salvation Army partnered with Dallas-based independent advertising agency The Richards Group and the agency's digital arm Click Here to create the annual report. The two companies developed an easy-to-navigate story that lets the online audience actively connect with The Salvation Army according to their specific interests in the organization.

 

What is the digital annual report able to do that hardcopy reports are not?

  • The annual report combines the best aspects of all the things that can be done online and connects supporters with The Salvation Army according to their specific interests in the organization. The report includes compelling video message about the Army's overall vision and clients' personal testimonies and success stories. The report also charts the organization's financial performance for the past year, including through the current recession.
  • The report also includes video messages that provide compelling insight to clients' personal success stories in a way no piece of paper can. The individuals and families included received help and guidance through a variety of Salvation Army programs nationwide including Families and Individuals in Transitional Housing (F.A.I.T.H.) in Sarasota, FL; Caring Partners Adult Day in Rochester, MN; and Keep a Job in Wilmington, DE.

 

How does the digital annual report benefit Salvation Army supporters and donors?

  • As more and more donors move online to learn about charities, the online annual report is one more way for donors and supporters to quickly and easily learn about how their charitable contributions are being used to help those in need.

Will The Salvation Army continue to produce hardcopies of the annual report?

  • With the development of an online annual report, The Salvation Army has done away with thousands of paper annual reports that will no longer be printed. The environmentally friendly shift to a digital format lets the Army reach a broad audience, while reducing the need to produce and distribute the printed version by mail every year. However, visitors to the site will still have the ability to print a formatted version of the document from their own computers.

Will The Salvation Army continue to create digital annual reports in the future?

  • The Salvation Army will continue to produce the digital annual report for future fiscal years with the Richards Group, providing new financial information as well as new testimonials from those served by the organization.

 

How much did this report cost to produce? How does this compare to previous years?

  • Developing the Web Site cost about $56,000 which compares to around $75,000 we have spent to produce and distribute paper annual reports in the past. Shooting the video for the report cost considerably more (in the $200,000 range) but that came out of a previously allocated advertising production budget.

 

 

 

 


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