A year and a half ago, we launched Tableau Foundation’s Living Annual Report, a live snapshot of Tableau Foundation’s activities and financials. This has been huge for us, allowing us to answer nearly every question we get from other foundations, nonprofits, and corporate partners with one link. And because it’s always up to date, we don’t have to worry about when the report will be ready, whether we’re sending the most recent version, or if all the data is included. See it below:

We built this report for three main reasons:

  1. To be accountable and transparent to our nonprofit partners, Tableau employees, and the rest of the philanthropic community
  2. To highlight organizations we’re supporting and the amazing work they’re doing
  3. To drastically cut the amount of time required to answer questions (our own and others) with our data

Having this report always available and up to date has changed how our team works with this data in several ways. Prior to the living report, as the person managing this data, I spent a fair bit of my time each day answering ad hoc questions—not just for people I work with, but also for people who wanted an introduction to Tableau Foundation and our work. Having a Living Annual Report available means that we have a single source of truth to share with people, and we know it’s current and accurate.

This has given Tableau Foundation’s executive director easier and more reliable access to information about where and when we’ve worked, and in what capacity. For example, when talking with lawmakers about nonprofit organizations that are doing a great job using data to impact change in their legislative area, all he has to do is show them our Living Annual Report for a breakdown of organizations we’re working with by region.

One of the biggest reasons we built the Living Annual Report was to save time and money on redesigning new reports and print pieces from the ground up each year—which would be out of date by the time each hit the printers. We’ve heard from some of our partners that they’ve spent nearly $100,000 each year designing, creating, and printing their annual reports. Maintaining a living report takes minimal effort, and we can change what’s in it, who we’re highlighting, and even the layout at any point throughout the year.

Create your own Living Annual Report

Ready to start building your own Living Annual Report? Awesome! We have some resources to help you along the way!

  1. Download this template and adapt it to your organization’s needs and purposes. This Living Annual Report is for a fictitious foundation, but the framework will help any organization get started.

  1. Get help from our experts in the Tableau Service Corps. Any nonprofit organization can get free project assistance from our Tableau experts—just browse through our volunteers and get in contact with one to get started.
  2. Find inspiration from additional resources. Read about our experience introducing and building Tableau Foundation’s Living Annual Report, or listen to our recorded Tableau Conference talk about designing the report.

We’d love to hear about what you’re doing with your annual reports. Comment below, or shoot us an email at foundation@tableau.com to connect with us!