Third Sector Excellence Awards: Annual Report

The Football Foundation's exemplary annual report shows "a clear exposition of its achievements in an accessible style", according to the judges.

Football Foundation
Football Foundation

Award criteria:
For the annual report that best communicates the organisation's mission, operations and achievements

Judging panel:
John Palmer, director of marketing and communications, the Scout Association
Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, chair, Office of the Third Sector Advisory Board
Mike Wade, director of fundraising and communications, National Deaf Children's Society

Action for Blind People
Cats Protection
Excellent Development
Football Foundation
United Response

Winner: The Football Foundation
The success of the Football Foundation's annual review is underpinned by a clear strategy for what it wants to achieve and the audience it is trying to reach. This strategy is laid out in the foundation's entry form, which explains why it made case studies, illustrated with high-class photography, the report's central theme. The case studies are backed with quotes and images from funders and ambassadors, including professional footballers, and a range of key statistics.
The foundation was also clear about its audience: the public, football clubs, MPs, funders and delivery partners. "The case studies help the public identify with individual stories," said the entry. "The statistics and quotes help our funding partners see where their money is making a difference.
"The creative concept that highlights the themed areas we are focusing on supports the Government's agenda and hopefully helps to highlight to MPs and our key delivery partners that the foundation is ensuring their investment is addressing the right issues."
The foundation also decided to limit the financial information in the printed review and make the full annual report available on its website. The report was distributed with a feedback questionnaire that produced consistently positive reactions.
Jill Pitkeathley, one of the judges, said the report was "a clear exposition of their achievements in an accessible style". Fellow judge John Palmer added: "It has a nice mix of celebrities, kids and community workers."

Highly commended: United Response
The judges also thought very highly of the United Response entry. The mental health and learning disability charity's 2007 annual report adopted the same structure its employees use to prioritise their work to explain its activities. It also highlighted the problems facing disabled people. As well as printed and PDF
versions, the report was reproduced on the charity's website in a format accessible to disabled people.

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