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Wouldn’t it be nice if charity annual reports were more interactive?

Someone forwarded me on a video about an electronics magazine for the iPad today which, to be honest, sounded like the dullest thing I’d ever heard of. I reluctantly had a look and I was amazed at how interactive and engaging they’d managed to make a magazine about ‘and’ & ‘not’ gates [Higher Physics is as far as my electronics knowledge extends]. Soldering irons aside, the eTech app from RS Components is pretty similar to the Wired and New Yorker iPad apps:


I’ve not suddenly become an electronics blogger, my interest lies in the possible uses of this technology within the charity sector. We’ve all seen web-based annual reports but are there any non-profits who have put together an annual report that really captures the imagination in this way?

If you’ve got an example you can share I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment or tweet me.

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  1. I just watched the video as well, quite surprising how much can be done. At our charity NCVO we have done our annual report 2009-2010 with Prezi, have alook and tell me what you think

  2. I love the NCVO annual report in Prezi! Does it mirror the paper version?

  3. Potentially, they would not even have to be as innovative as iPad reports or Prezi. What about just using pivot tables and macros as bit more, so that you can change views easily.For example, just being able to alter tables quickly to the view you need a particular point. This would add interactivity and would not represent a massive cost.

  4. The Prezi version is obviously very small in comparison to the paper version. Very few paper versions were printed to save cost. The paper version displays the financial statements that are not in the Prezi.

  5. I think the risk is that there is a perception that doing new-fangled technology things is expensive- and therefore a poor use of charity money.Never mind that it doesn’t have to cost a lot, and that it’s almost certain to be cheaper than printing and posting out piles of reports. I think the perception remains.

  6. Good point around perception…perhaps it would be good to gather up examples of where technology has been used to present an annual report with a rough cost attached.

  7. Good idea- even just a good pdf reader can make all the difference. I’ve also seen video annual reports done before, but I’m stumped to think of who it was. Something to do with learning disability I expect.

  8. Thanks, some brilliant examples. Keep them coming, I’ll bookmark them and do a blog post soon.

  9. In terms of costs, the interesting thing is that this app was developed using a soon to be launched Adobe product – cutting the cost of development down a great deal. I imgine the software itself will not me cheap but at least it is a cost balanced over time.

  10. I blogged about charities exploiting new technologies last week article in the Guardian has a vid that shows how VIVMag have made their cover like an intro to a TV Show, and how rather than simply including links and video they will be creating content based on computer games/film. have you seen the Augmented Reality business cards that are being developed? Augmented Reality could be a fantastic technology for the charity sector if used effectively.

  11. It is something we have been exploring, but trying to make 70 odd pages of tables usable and accessible is a massive undertaking, particularly when the audience is pretty niche…

  12. For the past two years, Quarriers have delivered an online Annual Review. And for the past 4 years it’s decreased in size therefore making it easier to publish online.The first year we published it we were asked to also continue doing a paper version that could be sent out to trusts and grant bodies.We now approach our Annual Review in an online only way and don’t even consider a paper version. We still need to make it more interactive, but it’s a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully one day we won’t even have to do a small print run and trusts will accept a weblink to look at!See what you think >

  13. Hi Ross – did you ever find out if any charity/public sector organisations did this? I work for a housing provider and would be really interested to try it.