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Informal Reports

Elements of an Informal Report


An informal report can be used to share important information with one person or a small group of people. It is generally brief and direct and can be delivered in email or memo format.


The following outline can be used to write an effective informal report.


  1. Subject


The subject is a brief description of the report. It is placed in the subject line of an email or a memo.


  1. Introduction


The introduction, which should be short and to the point, lets readers know why they should read the report.


  1. Facts


This section provides essential details about the subject and answers the question: "What does the reader need to know?"


  1. Feedback


Feedback regarding the subject such as feelings, opinions, interpretations, or recommendations may not be necessary. But, if it is, then it should be logical, clear, and concise.


  1. Conclusion


The conclusion summarizes the report. It underscores the most important facts and parts of the feedback section.


Listed below is an example of an informal report.






To: John Davis

From: Terri Ames

Date: December 20, 2012

Subject: Preliminary Funding Report


In response to our serious need to raise more money for the organization's programs, I conducted preliminary research on potential foundation, government, and corporate funders. I wanted to get an idea of the number and type of funders who might be interested in supporting our organization and programs.


I identified more than 100 foundations and several corporate giving programs that make grants for job readiness, financial management, and life skills training programs. I did not, however, identify any federal governmental agencies that are currently making grants for these kinds of programs.


I recommend conducting more thorough research to create a list of foundation and corporate funders whose funding priorities more closely match our mission and programs. I also recommend conducting research to identify state grants that our organization might be eligible to receive. Since it can take six months to a year to receive a grant, we should begin developing a list of prospective funders and submitting grant proposals and applications immediately.




Although more casual, an informal report is an official document that reflects upon you. So it is worth the effort to organize your thoughts and create a well-written document.




Sparks, Suzanne D. 1999. The manager’s guide to business writing. New York, New York:  McGraw Hill.