Blog: Amplify

Embracing Short Attention Spans

It’s Community Foundation Week, a time to focus on philanthropy as the giving season warms up and the temperature outside cools down. Many of us look forward to evenings spent snuggled up under a warm blanket, sipping a hot drink, and settling in to catch up on some reading. Any chance your reading list includes an annual report?

Sadly, the answer is probably no. While we’re lucky to live in a world where information is at our fingertips in a flash—Google spits out millions of results in under a second—our attention spans are shrinking and most of us are looking to save time whenever possible. Reading an annual report is often at the bottom of a to-do list, no matter how good our intentions may be.

This year, the team at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation decided to forego the traditional annual report and instead embrace a new format: the infographic. They are everywhere these days, and for good reason. In fact, RE: Philanthropy recently promoted the use of infographics in the post, Designing an Infographic to Tell Your Story. As Sophia Guevara writes, “Instead of making your audience do lots of reading or comb through tables full of numbers, an infographic helps you get your point across efficiently and in a visually pleasing way.”

So far the infographic has been a huge success. Our staff is excited to it share with donors and prospects, and the concise format saved dollars and trees. We’re also taking the infographic to another level, using images from the piece in a new motion graphics video released this month. The video tells our story in under three minutes, because who has time for anything more than that? We sure don’t, especially during giving season.

See the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s Annual Report Infographic.

Watch the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation’s video.


Leanne Breiby is manager of communications at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Greater Horizons.She is a regular contributor to the Greater Horizons Giving Better Blog.

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