Grass­roots Inter­na­tion­al: their dis­tinc­tive annu­al report

Exhibited by
Jonathan Howard, Vice President, Cause & Effect, Inc.
February 07, 2012
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Major gift.
Type of Charity
International relief / development.
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
February, 2011.

SOFII’s view

This is a series of reports that have evolved over a number of years. Donors can see the range and diversity of the people Grassroots International works with through excellent use of photos. Add to this some extensive donor profiles and you have a recipe for success. The reports are not used to raise money directly, even so the most recent gained a $10,000 grant.

Creator / originator

Jonathan Howard, Cause & Effect, Inc – concept, copy and project management.
Debbie Hird, Hird Graphic Design – graphics.
Carol Schachet, director of development and communications, Grassroots International.

Summary / objectives

The annual report is an important part of Grassroots International’s fundraising. Their goal has been to show how GRI connects American donors and advocates to significant and effective local and international movements for empowerment and self sufficiency for food producers around the world.


Grassroots International believes that social change rooted in justice is created by people with a vision working together, building communities, organisations and movements. Global justice starts at the grassroots level when people work together to improve their own lives and those of their families, friends and neighbours – from reforesting a hillside to pressuring a mayor for clean public water – and builds to regional, national and international level.

Since 1983, we have been privileged to work in areas where the USA’s policy has been an obstacle to positive change. We focus on land, water and food as human rights and nourishing the political struggle to achieve these rights. 

Special characteristics

Photos do important work to connect the text to people. We strive to use photos that show the range and diversity of food growers and locations donors support through GRI. All photos are taken from GRI staff images posted to a Flickr account. Because staff diligently take photos during field visits, we have a wide choice of images at no additional cost. The first annual report in this series was visually inspired by the array of thumbnail images that appears in Flickr. GRI donors are interesting, interested and highly engaged. Donor profiles support our message that GRI provides a unique opportunity to express their values and have become a more important element over the several years we have done this.

Influence / impact

The annual report is not a solicitation, so direct results are rare. However, this report did lead directly to an unsolicited $10,000 gift made at the prompting of a reader who was a trustee of a charitable foundation, even though we fall outside the organisation’s usual area of interest.


No testing.


It was so well-produced and involving that, even though it doesn't directly ask for money, it raised $10,000.