Alexandria VA – For the first time ever, The Salvation Army released its 2009 National Annual Report exclusively online covering the 2008 fiscal year (October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008). The annual report’s digital format allows The Salvation Army to broadly communicate 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 digital annual report captures the work of The Salvation Army – and the stories of those we help – in a way that a paper report can’t,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “As more and more donors move online to learn about charities, this is one more way to quickly and easily learn about how charitable contributions are being used to help those in need.”
By developing 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. Users will still have the ability to print a formatted version of the document from their own computers.
The report also demonstrates The Salvation Army’s forward-thinking approach to communicating with the public by targeting a new and younger audience of Internet users. With an extremely progressive platform that highlights the Army’s critical work over the past year, the report combines the best aspects online communication.
“I have never seen an annual report from any organization that connects with people on an emotional level like this one does, yet also has the ability to reach such a wide group of Salvation Army supporters.” said Major Hood. “The annual report is a testimonial that the Army will 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 report was created and produced by Dallas-based independent advertising agency The Richards Group and the agency’s digital arm, Click Here. The two companies developed an easy-to-navigate story that allows the online audience to actively connect with The Salvation Army according to their specific interests in the organization. The report also includes video message about the Army’s overall vision and work, told through the eyes of National Commander Israel Gaither and clients’ personal testimonials.
In particular, the “Our Stories” section of the annual report tells compelling personal stories of Salvation Army clients through video testimonials. The individuals and families included received help and guidance through a variety of Salvation Army programs nationwide. Programs featured in the stories include 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. Each video provides the audience with a first-hand account of how The Salvation Army can change someone’s life in a year for the better.
“The interactive format engages and educates current and potential donors in a more meaningful way,” said Stan Richards, founder and principal of The Richards Group. “Audiences can now actually see where and how The Salvation Army is investing its time and money and hear directly from the beneficiaries.”