Still think annual reports are dull?

Annual report | Practical Action | December 2021

Think again. An editorial-style approach to annual reporting led to the creation of two vital marketing tools as well as showcasing a new tone of voice.

Creative copywriting for a unique client

Practical Action is an innovative international development organisation. It puts ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can transform their lives.

My role as Practical Action’s Creative Copywriter takes me around the world. It also allows me to get under the skin of the organisation through writing their annual report.

Practical Action's 2020-2021 annual report and accounts
Practical Action’s Annual Report for the 2020-21 financial year balanced legal compliance with on-brand tone of voice and design.

Sound boring?

Not a bit of it! Sure, many annual reports stop at basic legal compliance or else they consist of a dry list of achievements that give little idea of actual impact. I set out to write a report that would not only showcase the organisation’s most meaningful achievements but would also act as a useful piece of marketing collateral for attracting new donors.

As this year’s report followed a comprehensive rebranding campaign, there was also a new tone of voice to be showcased.


A brilliant read. This report marks a major step forward in articulating our work by ambition and impact, not by activity, which I think is a great achievement.

Sarah Roberts, Chief Executive, Practical Action

How to write an annual report

The annual report and accompanying impact report are being used by many teams in the organisation. They’re seen as a valuable way to showcase the impact of our work to existing and potential donors.

These documents are robust examples of Practical Action’s tone of voice in action. They are providing inspiration and guidance to colleagues as they get to grips with the charity’s refreshed brand.

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