Annual reports of community life are important research and decision making tools. They enable us to stay up to date on community's yearly outlook, understand the present situation and make comparisons with past tracks. They help us in taking decisions about the future course of events.
It will be very good if we as a community start adopting the practice of preparing annual reports of community life with the aim of making them accessible to the public. It is not enough to prepare reports for close meetings and then shelve them or throw them in the archives, thus making them useful for future researchers only.
The content of community annual reports should be the possession of the public. Through these reports we can know how well the community was doing in the past year, not only on financial level, which is easy to quantify, but also on moral and other stands (educational, social, communicative etc.), which need more expertise to assess.
Without an annual report, we will not be able to gather the information needed to understand potential changes projected for the next year. Important decisions can only be made in the light of solid facts and analytical outcome obtained from verifiable data.
It will be a good practice also to prepare financial report by using the services of an independent auditor, together with a clear income statement.
In fact, the above work can be used as a marketing tool for upcoming activities. It can also serve as an opportunity to talk about the history of the community and the challenges it has faced up to this point.
It is useful to host in the report some personalized messages from individuals who are currently holding public posts such as the Council Chairpersons, the Head of the Prelacy, the Priest, members of committees, etc.
We need to know where we stand in order to carry on our public mission constructively.
As a small example we are providing here a link to a list of community events during 2008 in UAE.