What’s an Accountability Report?

In the words of our CEO… No jargon. No spin. No waffle and no burying facts in a long report. Just us providing clarity on our intent and processes while reflecting on what we learnt.

Why Accountability Reports?

Traditionally, private philanthropy has operated in an accountability grey area – with essentially their only legal requirements those set by the tax office. At the Fay Fuller Foundation, we are trying to address this by building systems of accountability to community and through transparent practice.

Isn’t that the point of an Annual Report?

Sure, but let’s be real most Annual Reports are long and boring, filled with jargon and, to be honest, not all that accessible. When asking who Annual Reports are written for, and what purpose are they designed to serve, it’s unlikely that the first answer springing to mind is the community.

A recent text chain with my sister who was trying to decipher the Annual Report of a large NFP for her accounting course shows just how opaque they really are, even for those of us working in the sector.

Accountability in philanthropy is often a one-sided coin – where the onus is on the recipient of a grant to prove their accountability for the funds to the Grant-maker, most often through lengthy acquittals and reporting requirements. Through Accountability Reports we’re flipping the script – it’s up to us to be sure and steady in our partnering processes and to be transparent about how our decisions are made and informed. Our Accountability Reports are designed to demonstrate our accountability to community for how we decide to spend the funds we steward on their behalf in a way that is not only transparent, but also accessible.

Our goal is for our Annual Accountability Report to document our decision-making processes, key learnings, progress towards our RAP, and our investment strategy.

We are also working with our partners Clear Horizon to design a principle- based impact evaluation framework so that we can consistently map our performance and measure our impact.

We’ll keep you updated as it progresses!

Our first grant program specific accountability report is currently available. It’s on our recent Spark Grants and explains how the decision-making process ran and our four key learnings. This was the first time we ran Spark so it was definitely a test, see, learn and adapt approach.

Read our four key learnings and the full report here.