How to Show Impact through Digital Grant Reports w/ Jeff Rum

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April 2, 2023

Last Updated:

April 26, 2023

Welcome to our webinar, "How to Show Impact through Digital Grant Reports"! In this session, we will be diving into the world of grant reporting and exploring how digital tools can help you effectively communicate the impact of your grants. We will cover key topics such as understanding what a digital grant report is, the importance of grant reports and how digital technology can enhance them, and tangible tips and examples for creating effective grant reports. Additionally, we will showcase how Instrumentl can streamline the grant management process by saving you both time and money.

Takeaways by the end of this Instrumentl Partner Webinar:

  • What is a digital grant report and how can you use it to show impact from grants
  • ​Why Grant Reports are important and how does digital help
  • ​How to Create the Best Grant Reports to Show Your Impact w/ tangible tips and examples
  • ​How Instrumentl saves you time and money in finding, tracking and managing your grants all in one place

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Jeff Rum is Co-Founder of Yearly and is Founder & CEO of ignite: action An award-winning creative director and marketing strategist, Jeff has nearly 18 years of experience in marketing and communications, brand strategy, social media, and digital advertising. Jeff’s consulting work includes projects with Fortune 500 companies such as Bose, Fossil, Mercedes-Benz, and PepsiCo and he has led campaigns with nonprofits including Human Rights Campaign, Save the Children, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and United Nations Foundation. In 2018, Jeff published his first book, Post with Purpose: A Digital Strategy Handbook.

Instrumentl Partner Webinars are collaborations between Instrumentl and its community partners to provide free educational workshops for grant professionals. Our goal is to tackle a problem grant professionals often have to solve, while also sharing different ways Instrumentl’s platform can help grant writers win more grants. Click here to save a seat in our next workshop.

Click the video link below to start watching the replay of this free grant workshop, or check out the transcriptions below the video.

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How to Show Impact through Digital Grant Reports w/ Jeff Rum - Grant Training Transcription

Dionna: Okay. Hi everyone, and welcome to How to Show Impact Through Digital Grant Reports with Jeff Rum. This workshop is being recorded and slides will be shared afterwards. So, keep your eyes peeled for a follow up email later in case you want to review everything from today.

My name is Dionna Arimes, and I'm the partnerships Marketing Manager at Instrumentl. And I will be your host today. In case it's your first time here, this free grant workshop is an Instrumentl partner webinar. These are collaborations between Instrumentl and community partners to provide free educational workshops for grant professionals.

Our goal is to tackle a problem that grant professionals often have to solve while sharing different ways Instrumentl’s platform can help grant writers win more grants. Instrumentl is the institutional fundraising platform. If you want to bring grant prospecting, tracking, and management to one place, we can help you do that. You can set up your personalized grant recommendations using the link on the screen here, on the previous screen.

Lastly, be sure to stick around today for the entire presentation. At the end, we're going to be sharing you a freebie resource. More details to come after Jeff's presentation. Now, with all that housekeeping out of the way, I'm very excited to introduce Jeff Rum. Jeff Rum is co-founder of Yearly, and founder and CEO of Ignite Action, an award winning creative director and marketing strategist. Jeff has nearly 18 years of experience in marketing and communications, brand strategy, social media, and digital advertising. Jeff's consulting work includes projects with Fortune 500 Companies such as Bose, Fossil, Mercedes Benz, and PepsiCo. And he has led campaigns with nonprofits including Human Rights Campaign, Save the Children, John Hopkins Medicine, and United Nations Foundation. In 2018, Jeff published his first book, a digital strategy handbook.

Okay. And then from here, we ask that if you have any questions throughout this presentation, to please put three hashtags in front of your question to make sure that it stands out in the Zoom chat. Otherwise, we will also have a section at the end for live questions.

With that, Jeff, take it away.

Jeff: Thank you so much. Thank you, Dionna. And it's so great to be here. I think you went on mute for like -- the tail end of my bio, which is great because that's the least important thing that we'll be talking about today.

So as was mentioned, I've been in the agency world for a long time. I've been running my own agency since 2005. And then this idea of Yearly kind of came up through that experience. Having worked a lot with nonprofits, the annual report always became the big monster every year of work. Nobody really wanted to work on it, but everyone knew they had to, so.

If you're looking to start building your own annual report, get started quickly by using our Annual Report Template for Nonprofits. The template is made in Canva, an an easy-to-use creative design tool. You can jump right in, change colors, add your logo, and adjust the copy so it fits your brand. Why start from scratch when you can use one of our templates?

And then other reports, board reports, grant reports, impact reports came out of that. So, the idea behind Yearly was to make it easier for nonprofit organizations to build their own reports to make them engaging, interactive, and hopefully more effective for the funders, for the donors, and for those who are interested in learning more about all the incredible work that each of you do on a day-to-day basis.

So, let's jump in here. So if you wouldn't mind using the chat, I'm going to ask, I'm going to pop up questions throughout the hour. And the first one is just if you can put your name, the organization, and answer this question. Like, what do you believe makes an effective grant report? So, and it doesn't necessarily need to even answer the question of digital grant report, but what do you think makes an effective report? So if you could all use the chat, if you'd humour me, that’d be great too to hear your answers. And I'll be asking questions throughout the presentation today. At the end, we'll have time to answer questions that you have as well.

Okay. Great. So, what are we going to talk about today? We are going to -- I'm going to share some of my own experience, what I believe makes an effective grant report, also, the idea of what a digital report is, what do we mean by a digital report? We're going to show impact in digital reports. So, like how do you actually go ahead? If you're creating a grant report using a digital platform, how do you make the impact come to life? So, we're going to be looking at some examples, which hopefully will inspire each of you. And then also, just how to go ahead and build a digital report.

I will show you a little bit behind the scenes of Yearly, how it works, and the easy platform to use. We just updated it. So, you're all going to see like Yearly 3.0, which just came out about a week and a half ago. And then we'll also talk about metrics. How do you measure if your digital report is actually effective or not?

And then as I said, we're going to open it up for questions using the chat. So at the end, we'll be able to hear from you. And hopefully, I can answer questions that you may have. So, thank you so much for everyone engaging with the chat. I really appreciate it.

Okay. So, effective grant reports. What does it mean to have effective grant reports? I think we want to show funders the impact of their money and of the work that you do. So, what I've seen a lot of grant reports look like, they have a lot of facts in it, a lot of information. But the key is really showing the impact.

And as a marketer, and as someone who's been in the marketing world for a long time, I do a lot of training on storytelling and how to make stories come to life. And I think doing a grant report as a digital piece, you have the opportunity to show funders. Not just tell them the impact of your money, but of their money, but actually show them. And secondly, we all know that funders, very similar to donors, they want to feel in control of how their contributions are being used.

So one thing that I remember many years ago, I looked at a study done by Norman Nielsen, and it was about how non-profit organizations build effective web-based mostly -- and back at that time, it was -- they were websites, but how donors were interacting with it. And the study showed that what donors most wanted to know were two things. One is, what does your organization actually do? Why does it exist? And secondly, where does the money go? Right? So, we want to see where the money goes. And the report also found that most organizations, unfortunately, were not making it easy for donors or funders to find this information. Like, what do you do? Why does your organization exist? And why are you important in the world? And then, even more importantly, if I'm going to give you the funding, where is it going to go? So, I think an effective grant report will show donors now the impact of their money. But where the money is going? And how the contributions are going to be used?

And next, we want to also use a grant report, especially if it's in a digital interactive engaging online report to be able to convince funders that their investment was well worth it to showing the results, giving them the opportunity to see how the investment was used, and then what the impact and the results were at the end. So, sharing things like testimonials from other funders or sharing some of the data that you were able to capture are good ways to convince and persuade funders that this is a really important investment.

Funders, as you all know, look at their philanthropic investments these days in a similar way that they look at their financial portfolios or investments. So, they want to make sure that they're seeing a return on the investment. And then finally, we want to be able to show evidence of the impact. It gives funders the control they want over their contribution. So, showing them that the impact of their gift is actually going to make a change and whatever the service or the work is that the organization is doing. And not just within the organization, but how is this impacting the community that they're serving, the greater world, the actual aspects of the work that you're doing. So if you're in a space where you're working on poverty, or the environment, or if you're doing global work, like showing the impact beyond just the boundaries of that particular place, I think can make a really great way to show the effectiveness of a grant report.

So, these are just things that I wanted to share. I think there are many other things. I'd love for you to put in the chat ways that you think of any specific examples you've seen of effective grant reports. And we could kind of scour the chat throughout the hour here today and see what you've come up with.

Okay. So, moving on from what we know makes it a really great or effective grant report. We’re now going to talk about what do we mean by a digital report? So, as I mentioned, back when I was running an agency and an organization would come to us and say, “We want to create a web-based report.” We'd often use -- we do a custom web development and we'd create something that was kind of like a microsite, if you will.

And a lot of what grant reports are today looks what -- like what you see here on the left of your screen. It's usually created in Word. It's a document. It has all the facts. It has some formatting in it. But it's pretty much a way to just show the funder all the things that they've asked for and you put it in a report, and you send it in, either as a PDF or a Word doc, or anything like that. And some require a format like this. So, if this is what's required, that's what you need to do.

But what I've seen, which is really exciting, is that a lot of funders are open to getting reports in other ways, right? So, it could be a video or it could be a web-based report or an interactive component of your website. And so, when we say digital report, we mean something that's where there's a link and you can get it, whether it's a website or a microsite, or something that you can interact with more than just a PDF. Right? Because a PDF is flat. It doesn't allow interactivity. You may be able to include a link. That's about it. But what we wanted to do in, for example, in creating Yearly is to build a platform that would allow people to not only get the report and read it, but experience it and experience the impact of your work, be able to see video clips and be able to understand the data from animated graphs and illustrations, and things like that. So, it's exciting that we have the opportunity now to easily make digital reports kind of come to life in a new way that focuses on storytelling, but also shows the impact of your work.

So, why a digital report? Well, there are a couple of reasons. And we did some surveying of hundreds of non-profits before we even built -- did any coding with Yearly. And we found that people, funders, or the users of any kind of site like this, they want to be able to experience it. Right? So, it enhances the experience through all these kinds of interactive elements that I had mentioned before.

And an interactive element, it could be a video but it also could be just an easy button that people can go from a part of a report to a call to action, whether that's to explore something further to be able to go to a particular section of the website, or to make a donation. Also, having a digital report, it gives the impression of something more professional, and provides trustworthiness. It's more than just a Word document, right? It shows that you've put some level of thought, creativity, and interest in what you're trying to show as an organization.

And you're trying to tell a story. I mean, at the end of the day, a really effective grant report tells a powerful story. And if we can allow you to do that through a digital report, it will get more attention, more visibility, and hopefully, more funding. What else? It allows you to build these incredible connections with funders. So visual storytelling, showing someone's face, showing the recipients of the work that you do, whether it's children or people who are disadvantaged, or anyone that's actually being helped by the work that you do, rather than just tell people in a Word document. Having a visual digital interactive report allows you to use storytelling, but also to allow to give visuals and pictures and photographs and tell it in ways that you can't do with a traditional written report.

I also think it helps you stand out from the competition, right? So, you're all competing with other organizations to get particular funding from a foundation or from a funder. So, I think, a digital report, getting something different than they get from many other organizations will really help you stand out from the competition.

I've also seen folks -- I know that some of the folks that use Yearly, they'll do a digital grant report. But then they'll also send like the standard document as well as to complement the digital reports. So, it’s another way to think about standing out, but also still following some of the rules that may have been set by the funder. And then it also allows you to better showcase qualitative impact and quantitative impact by showing statistics and data. But the qualitative impact is like showing testimonials and being able to hear from the people that are being supported. That's a really great way to use a digital report to show this qualitative impact of the work.

And finally, as I mentioned before, it really does keep funders engaged. It keeps them interested. I've seen people use digital reports in solicitations. Or when they're sitting in a meeting with a funder, they could pull up a digital report on their tablet or iPad and be able to go through particular areas. Also, if you hear that a funder is interested in a specific topic, you can kind of migrate to that topic rather than having them have to go through the full report. So, it gives you some of that flexibility when you're meeting with a funder or when you're directing people to a particular part of a funding report. You can do that more easily with a digital report. Because if it's built in a certain way, you can send them to a particular URL. So, if it's of a specific project within a grant report, you can direct a funder to that project. So, there are lots of ways that you can use a digital report and a web-based report in a more -- it gives you a little bit more flexibility and also scalability. You can add to it, right? So, it's not just -- it may be something that you -- that you build once, but it also may be something that you can keep updated.

So, these are some reasons why you can use a digital report for your report. I'm wondering, and I'm curious if people could add in the chat, if anyone has ever submitted or shared a digital report versus the Word document style that I mentioned before. And I think it'll be interesting to see how many folks in the room today have done or have tried to do a digital report in a more visual storytelling way versus the traditional word report. So, keep on engaging with the chat box and we'll see what people come up with. Right.

Okay. So, the power of storytelling. This is everything that I believe in. This is why I love doing what I do and why I've built agencies over the years. Because I think that nonprofits have incredibly powerful stories to tell. Oftentimes, I hear them in the hallways, at a conference, or in the small room, or I find something in a newsletter and I'm like, “Wow, this is amazing. We need to be telling the story more.”

Building in a digital report allows you to be visual. And it's not just about words, like that old saying of like a picture is worth a thousand words. It's true. I've seen some incredible reports with such powerful visuals that you're enticed to read more, you're enticed to lean in and see what this organization is about.

It's also ensured -- you want to make sure that the content is specifically unique to your brand. So, for example, you want to make sure that it's authentic. The stories that you tell within a digital report should align with your organization's goals and objectives. So, it's one thing that you want to be visual and you want to tell these powerful stories. But it does have to connect back to the mission and the vision of your organization.

Sometimes I've seen some stories told, it might be like one tiny little program that's kind of in the back corner of an organization and that's the story they tell. But it doesn't really capture the essence of the organization. So, you want to make sure that the content is unique to the brand, but it also connects to the mission and the values of the organization. A digital report and using storytelling, rather than having paragraphs and paragraphs of content, it allows you to make it more scannable. And we know from every report that's out there right now that people tend to scan content and not read content, whether that's on their phone, because we live in such a digital portable world now, or if they're just reviewing something on screen. So, having a report that breaks up content by putting in visuals, by putting in quotes, by putting in iconography and illustrations, and being able to break that up allows people to really scan it. And that's what you want. You want to make it scannable so that people are staying engaged.

And also, you can be selective. Sometimes it's one powerful story that can really capture the audience and really showcase what you do without having so many different stories on the page or being able -- or having to report on a lot of different recipients. Sometimes in a digital report, the power of one is really important because that one great story could be better than having many stories that kind of fall flat or stay kind of at an even level, if you will. So I like organizations that when I see the report and I go past that first page, and it has this beautiful picture of someone, usually an individual that was impacted by the funding and telling their personal story, like that could be a really powerful way to show the work in a grant report, especially if it's digital.

And then finally, you want to make sure that you're editing what you do. So, I always tell people like, “Get someone else to look at it for you. Look at it again yourself and review it before putting it out and sharing it with funders.” Just because it's visual and it's on a website that can be changed doesn't mean that you should follow the same process that you would with a document that you want to make sure it's being reviewed.

Okay. So, we're going to talk about just, what are some tangible things that you can do to make your grant reports kind of look and feel more engaging and relevant to funders? So, the first thing is using infographics. I still think the term infographics is a little bit dated right now. But the idea of not just having text but being able to use information and illustrate that information. So, it could be like the percentage you see her on the right. So, giving people a very clear idea of how their funding is going to impact the work. But also using iconography and pairing it with photographs and being able to show.

I know in Yearly, we have the ability to -- as people are scrolling through, there's like a little bit of slight animation. It just gives a little bit more visual interest. And instead of just, again, like putting things in bullets, you can actually make it more easily digestible and easy for people to scan as they're going through the material in the report. So infographics are, I think, a good way to break things up.

Videos. I love videos, all the data points to videos being the most effective online content right now. I don't think that's going to change very much, especially with the growth of things like TikTok and other platforms, YouTube especially. But if you have some really great videos, they don't have to be the most well-polished, well-produced videos. Just showing the impact of your work and using videos as a way to tell that story in a grant report, certainly, you'll stand out from the competition.

And again, we know videos are effective because people watch more videos than they do read things online today. There's a lot of data to support that, so. And pairing video with a summary of what the video is about and or a quote that pulls out the video. I mean, it's a really powerful way to engage people in a digital report. And again, this is something you can't do with a PDF or you can't do with a document. So, I think that's a really good thing to think about. If anyone uses video and as part of a grant report, please put in the chat. And if you have a link to that video, you could put it in there too. Not that we want -- we don't want people going off this presentation right now, but you can -- we can follow up with it later. So, I think videos are a great way to engage funders.

Timelines. Donors and funders love timelines. They want to know like, “Okay. Where do you start? Where are you now? Where are you headed?” Right? So, giving people the timeline of a specific project that they may be funding or a project among other projects. So, maybe a larger initiative that you're doing. A timeline is a great way to visually show something. Again, without having to write it out in so many different paragraphs of text that you can say, “Okay, here's some of our key moments for this particular project.” And it shows them like that you have a vision, right? It shows them that you're thinking about the future of the project and where you need the funding so that it can continue to grow.

So, this is an example of a timeline from one of our Yearly reports. There are so many ways to illustrate a timeline. You can do it vertically or horizontally. You can do it with photographs. You could do with icons. But the goal is to really make it easily scannable. Again, a little bit of text, good negative space so that people could follow it. And just really easily show the people and the funders what the timeline of the project is.

Okay. So another thing, and I mentioned this before, but what you could do with a digital report is include buttons and links so that when you get to a particular part of the report, like if you want to have people -- if they're interested to learn more about a particular project or see the results, maybe it goes to a full -- a more detailed research report or something that you have to show, rather than including it all in the text, you can link to it. So in this case, we're just showing you that you can have like an invest button or show people that they can really make an impact. This is actually taken from an annual report. But the same idea, you could put into a grant report, a button, a link, some way to kind of show people more information without having to clutter the actual digital report itself.

Okay. So, testimonials. I think this is the -- one of the widgets that most of our customers on Yearly use, which is using the testimonials. So, it's pulling out one vote from, again, it could be from a funder or it could be from a grant recipient, it could be from someone that was affected by the work that you do. But pulling out testimonials and using others to -- it's like using others to really sell what you're doing is more effective. We know this from the for profit sector, for sure. From people like sponsoring or influencers saying that they use a particular product, it’s the same thing here. So having it come from the words of the recipient or from a funder is, it's more authentic and feels good to the funder, rather than it coming from you.

So, I would say like scattering testimonials to support the message that you're trying to tell the story that you're trying to tell is really a great way to use a digital report. It also gives you the ability to use photographs, imagery, and text, and individuals. So, it's like kind of this way of using a little bit of the copy, but telling a really great story out of it. So, it's one thing that we see people doing a lot.

And then that moves into like impact stories. Right? So, we oftentimes see organizations using Yearly as an example to tell great impact stories, to be able to spotlight someone. In the platform, it's easy to just kind of put in the photo and then you can include some copy. But the idea here is to, again, spotlight on people that are being supported. So, grant recipients, it could be the results of the grant. We're able to allow people to move up in life. And you want to show the impact of that through some kind of impact story or spotlight.

Now, this could be done certainly in a PDF or in other ways. But what you can do here is update it so you can add -- we've seen some organizations continue to add spotlights as the work is moving on. So, they keep it in one report. But they're continuing to add impact stories. And their report continues to grow. But again, it's digital. So, you have the ability of putting things in and taking things out. So, that's one thing to consider when you're creating a digital report.

Photos. I love including photos of real people. On Yearly and on other platforms, I'm sure you've seen on Canva and things like that, you can pull in, oftentimes, like free stock photos, which is great. And some organizations need to do that for a variety of reasons. But if you can get real authentic photos from the organization, from the work that you're doing, I mean, that really shows the funder and the end user just like the -- I don't know, has like the good feels of what the work is that they're supporting and what they're doing.

And you compare that, again, with using data points, right, so you can have -- in a digital report, you can have great imagery, authentic photos, good illustrations, and also pair it with good data, right? And showing them what you were able to do with funding or what you will do with additional funding. So, I think it's always a good idea to kind of diversify the content and use data combined with great imagery.

This part I love because it's something really different and talks about making you stand out. If you've seen a really great social media post -- and sometimes we have funders that -- I'm sorry, organizations that find incredible testimonials on social media. So, someone will actually write a post and say how they've been helped or how the organization has supported them, or why they're giving to an organization. And you can -- on Yearly and even if you were building a digital report on any other kind of web-based program, whether it's Squarespace or WordPress, or anything like that. But certainly, in Yearly, you can take a little bit of code and embed an individual post.

So again, instead of telling people, “We were able to help these recipients. We were able to make an impact through certain things that we're doing.” But show them that people are actually talking about you on social media or that they're creating posts, that thank you or that celebrate the work that you're doing. It’s a great way to, again, illustrate a point without having to say -- without having to use your own words but being able to really complement it with social media. And that's another great way to use a digital report versus a static report, because you can embed some of those social media posts. And if it has a video, you can embed it with a video. And if it has a slider, you can embed it with a slider. So, it's a great way to make the report more interactive and also get your point across.

Illustrations. We've talked about. There's immense ways that you can use illustrations, diagrams. This came from one of our customers at Yearly who -- they created this illustration outside of Yearly and brought it in, because they wanted to show the, again, the impact, so, and how they do things. So, they were able to -- they could have said this in a lot of words. But instead, they created an illustration.

So, think about when you're creating different parts of your report. What are the best things to write in prose or a narrative? And what are the things that you can create and show maybe with an illustration that really tells the story? It could be a four-part. It could be an approach that you want to show. But instead of writing the approach, you want to show the approach in how you do the work that you do. So, that's another way to think about using digital.

I'm going to keep us moving here so we have time at the end for more questions. A few more left, and then we'll be able to wrap this section up. Partner support. If you have partners that you're working with as part of a grant, or part of the work that you're doing, including them in a digital report also allows you to link to their website. It allows you to showcase some of their work in more interesting or interactive ways.

So, we've seen people at Yearly using -- building out reports and integrating partners. And the partners love it because when they're posting the report in different places, they can highlight the partner, or link to the partner, tag the partner and show them as a real collaborator in the work that they're doing. So, it's also just something to think about in general with the report, right? Like, being able to show that you're collaborating and partnering with others is always, I should say, it's likely something that funders will want to look at you for.

So, those are some like -- hopefully, things that you could start thinking about. If you take one or two of these with you today, I'll be really happy because I think it'll make reports really come to life more. So, the next thing I want to do is, actually, go ahead and show you how to build a digital grant report. So, I'm going to give you an insider look at Yearly. If you want to use Yearly, there's a free 14-day trial. You can go on to What I'm going to do is exit out of this and move into the actual report tool.

So, can you all see this on my screen? I hope so. Yes, Dionna? Okay, great. So, this is the back end of Yearly. I'm only going to do a five-minute demo. So, I hope that you'll take something from it. So when you log in to Yearly, you have your reports, your brand kit, which allows you to put in your fonts and your logos and all that. And this is the Report Center. So if I wanted to create a new report, I would just call it a new report, or whatever you want to call it. And then you get into what we call the canvas.

So, this is your initial canvas. There's a little tour here. I'm just going to cancel out of that. But this allows you to, right away, start building your report. So, the first thing you'll do is put in a title here. So, we'll just call this grant report 2023. And then you can put in a subtitle here. Best report ever. Okay? And, again, using some of the tactics or some of the things that we talked about earlier, how do you make it more engaging? Well, you could start to put in some imagery. What we have here in Yearly is you can put in your own images. I'm going to search for an image here. Let's see. Someone mentioned -- I’m trying to think of what someone mentioned before. I think someone mentioned something about water. So, we'll put something in water here so you can put like -- anything you want here. And you can put it right into the report. So, you kind of drag and drop.

So, we have this entire drag and drop on the right here. So you can put in photos, and stats, and infographics, and testimony. So, I'm going to put in testimonials right here. So, this is the beginning of your report. And this is where your testimonial would go. Again, you'd be able to put in an image. You can have a, let's see, an image of a woman. I'm just doing this for the purposes of being able to show you something. So, you can look at the images and then you can decide to drop it in. So, we'll go right there.

So, and then this is your cover page. You can add sections here just like you would in any other report so you can -- and then you start building out the reports. So, I always like to put an intro. So, this will be, let's say, the impact section. And then we'll add another image. I heard someone was there from Missouri. I'm going to put in a picture of Missouri. I love Missouri. So, here's your impact.

And again, you can highlight. The one thing we talked about before is impact stories. So, this just makes it easy. You can put your text here. You can put your image here, and you have all these things. You can use quotes, buttons, images, cards. You can put an audio. You can create charts. You can embed social media. So, these are just something easy you can do.

I'm going to show you the result of some reports here. So if you go to Yearly, you can go to our examples page. We have lots of different organizations here. I'm going to pick this one. We do a lot of schools. We work with a lot of schools. So, this is Padua. It’s a private academy. They use this for their impact report. So as you can see, they put in a lot of great images here. They have the ability to put in -- you can put in a list if you want to list people, donors, supporters, and their financials. Right? So, they were able to put in the graphs. As I mentioned before, donors want to know where's the money goes? So, this is a great way to show where the money goes. They could see where the impact of the work is.

And these are just some examples of using illustrations, using graphics. Some of this was built in Yearly, some of it was brought in from Canva. You can kind of do a multitude of things. And the other thing that we have here is the ability to just make a visual story, right, like come to life. You could see the ability to show, the emotions of the people. And then we have just general list features. And finally, a contact page so people want to contact you, or donate. You can put in a donate button, things like that.

So, that's just another thing to think about Yearly. Someone asked me in the chat how much it cost. You can go to I'll show you -- it'll share everything on the website. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me. And I hope that you'll give it a try because it's here to make your lives a little bit easier.

So, I'm going to go back here to the presenter view. Oops, sorry. Okay. And I'm going to hand it over to Dionna to talk a little bit about Instrumentl.

Dionna: Yeah. I'm going to try to keep this pretty short because I know we have a lot of really great questions that I want to make sure we have time for. So, let me reclaim this and share my screen.

Jeff: I'll stop sharing.

Dionna: Perfect. Let’s see. Alrighty.

So since Jeff gave such good points on how to create effective grant reports for your organization, I just want to show you some of Instrumentl’s functionality, which can help you manage these reports and associated tasks. So, what you'll see when you go into Instrumentl is a dedicated tracker for each of your products or projects. As you all might know, one of the most challenging aspects of post award grant management is just like keeping everyone in the same loop and getting all your stakeholders involved in the process. And so, that's one thing that we really hope that you're able to do once you start to save things into your tracker.

So, what you'll see here in your tracker, the different opportunities that you have saved as matches. I'm going to click on an example here. You're going to have different dedicated workspaces for each of your respective fundraising initiatives within each project. And then you'll be able to add different tasks for the team members who are responsible for different components of the process. So right here, you'll see the add task feature here on the right. We cover things from the start of the process to the latter half of the grant’s life cycle.

So let's say for example, you have a task associated with reporting. You can create a reporting task, add in description, perhaps you want to gather testimonials, typos. For example, you can schedule a deadline for that. You can also schedule that task to a specific person. So, let's say Jane. We want to make sure that Jane is the responsible one for this. You can also add collaborators if you have multiple people working on that. That's a really awesome way to integrate your tasks into Instrumentl. And once you do this, you'll actually get notified via email of these upcoming tasks related to the grants that you're looking to attract or manage towards.

Another great tab here is dates and amounts. This is just a place for you to store your submission date, the amount that you requested, moving to documents and resources. This is really awesome. As we know, we juggle a lot of logins these days to different websites. So having a place to store the logins that are specific to this grant opportunity or this funder, that's a way that you can do that. You can also upload documents that might be helpful for all the folks that are involved in this funders’ opportunity, such as a testimonial that you completed, whatever it may be. You can upload that into here.

Another thing that you can do is click into the actual funder profile. And here, you can really start to dig into the funder and see funders’ available opportunities here, an overview of their giving, how many assets they have, what their total giving is. You can click into their most recent 990 forms that we get. There's their contact information. You have their phone number here. So if you already have a pre-established relationship with the funder, you can call them to catch up. Whatever it may be, you can also click into their website. You should be able to click on the website. I’m not sure what's going on there. But just a lot of really awesome information in here all in one place.

Let's see. And then I love the funder note section, specifically, because that's something that a place that you can really keep track of, what do you know about this funder? Do you have someone on your board? Let's say, for example, that connected you to a key person at this funder. So, that's a really great place to keep track of all of that.

So going back to the tracker, let's say that you have opportunities that are external to Instrumentl. No worries. You can actually add those opportunities directly into Instrumentl so you again have everything in one place. So, the best way to do that is either by one or you can upload many -- we actually have a template if you have a lot of documents that you'll make a copy of. And you'll see that you just fill this out and upload it straight to Instrumentl. And then you'll have everything all in one place.

So once you -- let's say you get a lot of projects up here in Instrumentl, here on the left you have your different projects that you're trying to fund. You'll actually have what we call a Master Tracker [All Projects], which will really be a one-stop-shop in your centre of truth for all things that you have going on in your organization that you're trying to fund. So, you'll be able to see everything all in one spot. There's also a really awesome calendar view option so you can view this information in different ways and have it all tidied up for you.

And then the last quick tool that I will go over for you that I think is really helpful, specifically with reporting is the download report option. This is actually a new update with our spring launch that was just released last week. We have four different types of reports that you can create and save and download and share with people. And they all have clickable and accessible links to people that might not actually have Instrumentl account. So, that's a really great way to get people involved like board members or volunteers that you want to get their hands on this work.

So, that should cover some of the fundamentals in terms of tracking side of things with reporting and how you can use Instrumentl to manage grant reporting. If you would like to see how to do this yourself, we're offering 14 free days of our standard plan. And you can use Jeff's links to access that. I'm going to share that in the chat in just a second. But in the meantime, I'm going to replay this and turn it back over to you, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you. All right. So, I'm going to move it onto my screen. Correct?

Dionna: Yes.

Jeff: All right. Give me one second here. Okay.

All right. Excellent. So, thank you so much for the demo. We're going to look at our takeaways. Hopefully, you learned a lot today. But I think three things that I always think about when it comes to digital reports are content, storytelling, and impact. So if you remember nothing from this, hopefully you remember those three things.

So, the first thing is to ensure that your content is really unique to the brand. So making sure, above all else, authentic photos, great content that really elicits like the kind of emotion you want. And it's real. It's coming from your heart. It's coming from the impact of the work. And then number two, using storytelling to keep people engaged, being able to tell stories that compliment and are informed by the reporting. So, all the facts. But the storytelling actually keeps the folks engaged. And we'll want to have them come back for more. We hope. And then the impact, right? So, being able to say, it's not just great stories but your dollars are actually being able to impact this work. And using infographics, using video, whether it's testimonials, social media posts, all the different ways that we talked about using or creating a digital grant report, being able to show that impact is going to be really important. So hopefully, those are things that you can take away today.

And how to follow up with me? You can email me, You can visit our website, You can always find me on LinkedIn. This is the link to start a 14-day trial. There's a code if you want $50 off. And we also -- if you're a small organization, our pricing is tiered based on the size of your organization. So, if you're a small organization, we really try to make it affordable. And we're competitively priced with lots of different platforms that are out there. But what you get with Yearly is, it's a digital reporting tool that focuses on storytelling and interactivity, whereas things like Canva and other tools are great complementary tools, but doesn't do exactly what we could do with Yearly.

So, I hope you all give it a try. And with that, I think we'll open it up for questions. Oh, everyone gets a freebie today. So you're able to go to this link and you'll be able to -- and there'll be a direct link in the Zoom chat from Instrumentl, 10 best lessons from 10 grant writing experts. So, thank you Instrumentl for doing that. Dionna, did you want to add anything else?

Dionna: No, you've covered it. I dropped the link in the chat so you can directly access that. Like Jeff said, we're going to open it up to questions. I have a bunch of questions that I copied so that we could cover those that were not covered earlier. So, I'm going to just read out a couple to you, Jeff. We have about five minutes for questions. If your question is not addressed, fret not. You have Jeff's contact info now so you can definitely reach out to him directly if you have any specific questions. Or if you have questions for me on the Instrumentl side of things, I'll drop my email in the chat as well.

But with that, let me start going off. I'm just going to go from the first question onwards.

Jeff: Sure.

Dionna: We have a question from Samuel at Abrams. Is there a photo to text ratio that we should be aware of?

Jeff: Oh, for photos to text ratio that you should be aware of. My answer is no. I mean, so from a social media standpoint, if you're using images on social media, there are particular ratios that a lot of the platforms want you to adhere to. Some of them have gone away. I would say in terms of text to photo ratio, like if you're putting text on top of a photo, it really should just complement that photo.

So wherever there's negative space, if you could put text there, then it's going to look a lot better than if you're trying to protect all over an entire photo. So, I don't have an exact ratio. But I think that you want to use some kind of design sense to make sure that your text is not overwhelming the imagery. So, that's like on a particular element, like if you're putting text on top of a photo.

For an overall report, again, it's hard to say. I would just try to keep your text in chunks so that it's readable, digestible, scannable, then have some photos, then have some quotes, then have some more text. Just keep it like kind of light, airy, and again, just scannable so that it kind of flows and people will stay engaged.

Dionna: Awesome. Next --

Jeff: Hopefully that answers your question.

Dionna: Yeah, let us know in the chat, Samuel, if that’s --

Jeff: Yeah.

Dionna: Next question from Michelle O'Donnell, how to submit a digital report on those pesky website report submission pages?

Jeff: That's a great question. So with Yearly, you get a unique URL for every report. So, it's like your And it could be like a slash, something. I mean, if you have multiple reports. So, you can put the URL in a form, if they will allow that. That's the easiest way to put a digital report in. If it's a PDF, you have to upload it in some -- it depends on the form. But I would say if you're doing a digital report, a web-based report, like on Yearly or if you build it on another web platform, for example, I would just include the -- just say like, see URL and put the URL and that should help the funder.

Dionna: Okay, Chrissa Campbell is asking. I know it probably depends on the funder. But can a digital report seem like you have more money than you know what to do with?

Jeff: It's a really good question. Obviously, you want to be mindful of that. That depends on, I think, the size and the culture within your organization. Look, I think that what I used to say about annual -- people used to spend so much money on annual reports and mailing them out, and printing them, and the shipping, and the photography.

So, we actually saved a lot of organizations’ money by them using Yearly. But I know it does look because the reports look really nice and it kind of looks like they're all these different interactive elements. But sometimes that can equate to thinking -- someone thinking it's expensive. You can also share that this was created with Yearly and -- or created using in-house, your in-house marketing team or by a volunteer. I mean, just -- I think just being transparent with donors is always good so they know how you're building it. But it doesn't have to be expensive at all.

Dionna: Awesome. Okay. I think this is going to be our last question due to time.

Again, if your question wasn't addressed, I will send over the ones that I had, a copy and pasted from the chat to Jeff directly. But feel free to reach out as well. And with that, from Allison, I'm sorry if I'm mispronouncing this, Leinberger? My experience is that the vast majority of institutional vendors that do want to report required to be submitted through their own portal and answering specific questions using their forums, et cetera. Is this more geared towards individuals or as a supplementary “nice to have” but not “need to have” material for institutional reports?

Jeff: So, I think the answer is yes and yes. So, Yearly was built initially when the idea came about for annual reports. We only learned from our users and our customers that they were using it for grant reports, and board reports, and impact reports. So, people started using them in different ways, and we were able to capture that.

So, a lot of times, digital reports are used for individuals for individual donors. But we've also seen it with success used for grant making. So, it kind of depends on the funder and what they require. But I would say at a minimum, it could compliment -- if they require you to use their form online to create a request. It can certainly complement that by telling the stories and sharing the impact of the work. So, hopefully, that helps you.

Dionna: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Jeff, for a really engaging and awesome presentation. And thank you everyone who is able to attend and who stayed to the very end. We will be sure to send out a replay by the end of day today. And please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, either me or Jeff. Here is my email in the chat.

And, yeah, thank you so much. And hope everyone has a great rest of your Tuesday. Bye, everyone.

Jeff: Thanks, everyone. This was fun.

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