What to include in the funder report
The following steps provide a guide to the writing process:
- Clarify Purpose & Expectations
Be clear about purpose, audience(s), resources to support report production, roles and responsibilities. Make sure this understanding is shared by other key people involved.
- Decide on appropriate structure for report
Usually funders will have a specific proforma they would like you to follow. It’s worth being familiar with this well before you start writing the report. This way you can be on the lookout for what to include as your project progresses. If you have no proforma provided, you will need to choose some appropriate headings as a guide.
- Produce 1st draft
Get it all down, worry about editing, length, style etc. later. Cut and paste from previous progress reports and evaluation plans etc. Leave gaps for others to fill in if necessary.
Read and edit 1st draft, trying to read it from the perspective of a key person you would like the report to influence, or a member of your audience.
Circulate the draft to the project team or advisory committee if appropriate. Ask for written comments and ideas for recommendations by a fixed date, allowing readers enough time to do so. Be specific about what aspects you would like feedback about, e.g. content, specific sections you are unsure about, style, tone, language, flow, recommendations, layout, typos, grammar. If you have only a few people and enough time, circulate just one copy for all comments, so as to make editing easier.
- Integrate Comments, Develop Recommendations
Decide which comments to incorporate, preferably in a small project team meeting. Discuss recommendations. If you recommendations involve others taking action, it may be advisable to involve these people in the process. This can help make sure they are drafted in a way that is most likely to be well received, and acted upon. It is important to put the most important recommendations first. It can also be helpful to sort your recommendations according to who you would like to be taking action. This way they have quick and clear access to the implications for them.
- Write Executive Summary
This is a VERY important part of your project report. Executive summaries are the most used source of information about project outcomes. It is necessary to keep the executive summary short, preferably 1-4 pages. It is useful to contain a brief summary of the project purpose, key strategies, and findings of relevance to the audience. Make clear the implications of the findings, possibly including the recommendations as part of the executive summary, or following just after it.
- Circulate Final Draft
Include: acknowledgements, title page, contents page, Executive Summary, recommendations, references, lists of acronyms, appendices (e.g. any questionnaires used, background info examples of publicity etc.).
- Do final edits
- Obtain ISBN Number
You will need to obtain an ISBN Number if your report is to be a public document. This can be done via the Health Department Library. They will require details of author, publisher, date, keywords, and a copy of the draft report.
- Print and Distribute
- Launch with Celebration!
For examples of proformas of reports see:
| What to include in the funder report ||Example: Health Promotion SA|