Why is it important to prepare a good trustees' annual report

Published: 13/12/2017
Updated: 13/12/2017

As charity trustees you should see the TAR as the opportunity to tell your charity’s story and consider the best way to get that message across. Explaining to your supporters, beneficiaries and the wider public what you do and how you are really making a difference helps you build strong relationships with stakeholders.

A good TAR:

  • demonstrates how your charity is run and what it does
  • connects with a wide audience
  • can be used for a range of reasons:
    • as a call to action
    • to help people connect to your campaigns
    • to show (potential) funders how they can help
  • helps to deflect potential bad publicity.

The main purpose of the report is to make sure your charity is publicly accountable to its stakeholders for any funds received and activities carried out. Financial information alone does not allow a reader to gain a full picture of the charity. For example, it cannot easily explain:

  • what the charity has done – its outputs
  • what the charity has achieved – its outcomes
  • what difference the charity has made – its impacts and benefits.

A good TAR can help potential funders to understand what the charity is doing and how their contribution could help the charity achieve its objectives. 

The TAR also contains information about the structure and governance of the charity such as who its trustees are and how it is managed and run. This can help readers to understand who to contact if they have queries or want to get involved.

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