Annual Report: Disasters Emergency Committee

The Haiti appeal began just days before the report was due to be published

DEC annual report
DEC annual report

Disasters Emergency Committee

Agency: In-house, with external designer

Spend: £8,800

The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella organisation for 13 humanitarian agencies, including the British Red Cross and Oxfam. It opens appeals for major disasters.

Format and audience

Six hundred copies of the 40-page report were printed for core supporters, including media organisations, such as the BBC and ITV, that broadcast DEC appeals, and companies, such as BT, that provide in-kind support. It is also available online.

Design and content

This year's appeal follows a fresh format. New media manager Brendan Paddy doubled the amount of space devoted to each appeal and moved them from the back of last year's report to the front. This works well - each appeal is broken down into a highly readable format by the liberal use of statistics, headline achievements and images.

Costs and practicalities

Unlike other charities, the DEC does not seek to develop relationships with donors. Most donors want all their money to go to the cause rather than communications projects, which is why only 600 copies were printed. Freelance designer Paul Gallagher designed the publication.

What's distinctive about it?

The report is both serious and engaging. It presents the story of each appeal soberly but in an eye-catching manner. The busy features on each appeal create a magazine-type feel to the front of the report. The Haiti appeal began on the publication deadline, which caused late changes, but the information about Haiti does not look rushed.

The DEC says: "We set out to make the report as accessible as possible to a wide range of supporters."

Design: 5
Readability: 4
Content: 4
Transparency: 4
Total: 17 out of 20

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