Published On: 19 March 2024

By Michaela Higgins Sørensen

In the world of non-profit organisations, allocating resources to communications is often left to the last slice of the budget cake. Understandably so, especially when funds are primarily directed towards specialised research, such as revolutionising tuberculosis treatment and changing WHO guidelines. However, at THINK, a research-driven NGO dedicated to healthcare advancement in Southern Africa, we recognise the evolving landscape and the need to elevate our communication efforts alongside our impact.

Founded upon a commitment to research and innovation, THINK has significantly improved healthcare outcomes for over half a million individuals in South Africa. Yet, as we strive for greater reach and impact, we acknowledge the essential role of effective communication in amplifying our mission.

While our core focus remains on research, healthcare system strengthening, and capacity development and training, we fully acknowledge that good communication is fundamental to our success. In an increasingly competitive NGO sector, where securing funding is essential to our work, effective communication serves as the bridge between our life-saving work and our stakeholders.

Recognising this imperative, THINK has embarked on an initiative to enhance our communication strategies. Taking inspiration from the pioneering industry experts at Mighty Ally, we’ve undergone their comprehensive 40-day Brand Bootcamp course, gaining insights into maximising our impact through strategic communication. This has been invaluable to us as expert guidance on communications, specifically designed for the needs of an NGO, prods us in the right direction.

At the heart of Mighty Ally’s teachings lies a simple yet profound truth: “Communications = Funding.” Indeed, effective communication is not just about sharing our story; it’s about securing the resources needed to drive real-world change. Not only does good communication enable us to attract the kind of funding we need to sustain our operations, but it also enables us to share our work and avoid becoming an echo chamber.

Well-defined, savvy communication certainly has a positive ripple effect in many areas of our work. By prioritising our communications, we aim to attract the right partners, stakeholders, and funders who share our vision for progress, spreading our impact further. In a landscape where every NGO competes for attention and support, clarity, compelling content, and distinctiveness in our communication is indispensable.

On the journey ahead, we embrace the mantra that while anything is possible, strategic focus is key. As we navigate the further complexities of the NGO sector, we are excited to ‘do the work’ in leveraging communication as a catalyst for positive change to make a difference in health inequalities and recognise the need to take a multifaceted approach to the issues THINK aims to tackle.

Read my take on the Mighty Ally Bootcamp here! I have taken on the task of guiding the THINK team through the course, with all hands on deck!