Doing the Most Good, Digitally
"We felt it was appropriate to put a donate button on there because the stories are so emotional," Hood says. "And if somebody decides, 'Gosh, I want to support that; I want to keep that going,' we gave them the opportunity to do it."
Hood says he encourages other nonprofits to look into a digital annual report as an option — though he notes that some organizations might find more success in sticking with a traditional printed annual report; a smaller agency in a local environment, for example, might find that the printed report is more intimate for them.
Across the board
The videos used in the annual report were edited into 30-second commercials so the organization can repurpose them elsewhere. And now that the technical platform is in place, interested Salvation Army chapters can have their own, local annual reports made digital. For now, however, Hood says most of the chapters and the organization as a whole is rather stunned by the site.
"But I can tell you," he adds, "that there's buzz going all over the Salvation Army locally on ‘how can we take advantage of this for our market?’
"In all reality, we're looking across the board that everything we do in terms of communication is now going to be digital," he says. "Everything is going out through the Internet, and I'm looking at every strategy that we have in place in terms of how we communicate with the general public and with corporate America. [Doing it digitally is] green, it's quick, it's efficient.
“For all of those reasons, I keep saying to my staff the old business model is gone,” he adds. “The traditional model of how we communicate and communicate quickly and effectively is gone, and we all have to make the transition into the digital world. That's just where it's at. So we're looking at every form of communication and how we do it and how we can become more effective and more nimble in using the technology that's right there at our fingertips."'