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How to Create an Annual Report (With Examples)

You would think creating an annual report is just a yearly task. In reality, it’s an opportunity to tell your organization’s story and celebrate its successes, as well as set the stage for the future. It’s a crucial document that reaches key stakeholders, investors, and leadership, so make sure you highlight major initiatives, display vital metrics, and outline business goals.

Whether you run a large enterprise or a small business, it’s important to craft an engaging digital annual report that sparks interest and captivates your audience. In doing so, you are guaranteed they'll see the value and impact of your work.

Issuu simplifies the entire process, allowing you to create and share your annual report effortlessly. With its intuitive features and easy-to-use integrations with popular design tools you already use, Issuu’s annual report maker is the solution you’re looking for if you want to save on precious resources and tell your organization’s story in a way that’s both engaging and impactful.

How is a Digital Annual Report Used?

Digital annual reports aggregate yearly financials, provide information on key initiatives and activities, and share data with essential stakeholders. It's common to use these reports for investment purposes, whether your new business is seeking venture capital to get started or you have a growing organization that needs cash to expand into a new market or develop a new product.

At the end of the day, the main goal of an annual impact report is to share information. That's why it's crucial that annual reports are visually engaging so stakeholders don't simply glaze over all the numbers and financial data.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Digital Annual Report

If you have a lot of numbers to talk about, starting the copy in a simple Word document or text editor might be easiest. From there, use one of the many templates from Canva or Adobe to turn your ideas into a visually engaging design. Then, jump on Issuu for Teams to bring different departments together in a secure workspace, making cross-functional collaboration and revisions seamless.

1. Start With an Annual Report Template

The basics of your digital annual report design start with a template. integrates with user-friendly design tools like Canva, Adobe Express, or Adobe InDesign so it’s incredibly quick and easy to kickstart your report with a visually appealing annual report template. Because it saves time and other essential resources, starting with a beautiful template is smart, cost-effective, and efficient, especially if your business is on a tight budget.

3 pages of a Canva business template for an annual report

2. Bring Your Annual Report to Life on Issuu

When you’re done editing your template, simply export it to Issuu using our integrations in just a click. Then turn your company's history, mission, and vision into an immersive story with multimedia elements that captivate and engage your audience.

You can add Links on key pages to help stakeholders dive deeper into your business’ background. You can also embed Videos from the year's events or generate Social Posts to repurpose content into multiple assets for an external audience on LinkedIn, for example. Plus, it’s easy to stay true to your brand personality and visual identity by customizing your Flipbook with your logo and brand colors. Instead of a static, boring PDF, highlight your company’s year with interactive features that engage the reader.

3. Host, Share, and Impress With Ease

Once your annual report is ready, it's time to distribute it. Issuu's secure integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox allow you to permanently store your flipbook in your preferred cloud storage space.

Send your interactive annual report to investors and stakeholders, and use Issuu’s Statistics to measure what they are most interested in. These metrics give business owners valuable insights into daily engagement data like impressions, reads, read-time, clicks, and more. Make sure to download these numbers for easy and clear reporting and analysis.

Explore Digital Annual Report Examples

Curious about what the top organizations’ annual reports look like on Issuu? Explore these stunning digital annual report examples to see their innovative content and design in action.


For a nonprofit annual report like UNICEF’s, you want to ensure that donors, investors, and partners are well-informed about the year’s progress, success, and key initiatives. Keeping donors informed helps maintain their excitement and enthusiasm for your mission and secures critical investments for the next year.

Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles

This nonprofit digital annual report provides background information on the Girl Scouts' mission and important demographics in membership statistics. It also highlights milestone events and clearly displays the company’s financial position. Readers can expand into Fullscreen sharing, and the Girl Scouts organization can use Issuu’s Statistics to see what content is driving engagement.

Grass River Natural Area

This annual report showcases gorgeous photography and landscape imagery using high-quality photos throughout. With annual financials and a treasury report at the end, it strikes the perfect balance between capturing this organization's heart and soul and providing transparent financial information.

Discover the Power of Issuu’s Annual Report Maker

Want to impress investors, donors, or stakeholders with your latest achievements? Issuu’s annual report maker helps you create engaging, interactive reports that truly stand out. Add behind-the-scenes videos to bring your story to life before sharing it all in a sleek, distraction-free Fullscreen view. With Issuu, you can effortlessly highlight your successes and future goals while keeping your workflow smooth and simple.

Create Your Annual Report