In my 25+ years working in nonprofits and philanthropy, I have been a part of creating more than my fair share of annual reports. You might even say that I’m a bit of an annual report geek. I collect them, share them, and have been known to hang on to favorites for years. I may not know exactly where my passport is, but I can tell you precisely where my annual report “samples” folder is kept!
Why all the fuss over something most people don’t read? Why hang on to a printed report when the world has gone digital?
The good annual reports tell a story; the exceptional annual report tells a story that inspires, moves one to action, and invites the reader to learn more about the mission.
Several samples I keep in that folder are tagged with sticky notes referencing examples of infographics or pie charts. Others showcase exceptional photography that helps tell the story via images alone. And then there are the ones I keep because I liked the stories—stories about real people we meet on the pages of the report who’ve created real solutions.
The Island Institute’s 2020 Annual Report has landed in our members’ mailboxes and is now available online. When you read through this year’s report, I hope you make connections to the very real people in our community that are taking action, learning, and inspiring. The latest annual report is a story of “resilience”—from the starboard side of a lobster boat to a statewide bond campaign for better internet connectivity.
In addition to a look back at the past year, we also look ahead to the next challenges for Maine’s island and coastal communities. Our work continues, focused on climate action, leadership, and building a resilient coastal economy.
I invite you to read more about the people who are making a difference in our communities. People who are leading, whether in business innovation, in local government, or in a classroom.
Together, with these courageous leaders, we are building community from the sea up.
Sue Bernier is the Chief Philanthropy & Marketing Officer at the Island Institute.