Giving for Good: Driving a compelling philanthropy brand

Kenya Community Development Foundation, an organisation that gives grants to communities across the country had a rich story. Despite registering huge impact in uplifting communities, the organisation had a challenge with its brand: it couldn’t be recognised, therefore, limiting it’s fundraising and outreach especially in the changing donor environment (reduction of funding).

At the time when we met with KCDF, they had been given a matching fund challenge by Ford Foundation: they would get $1.5 million if they could raise a similar amount locally. This seemingly insurmountable challenge was achieved in good time. How?

KCDF rebranded and revamped their communications – from a highly technical story filled with buzzwords that are prevalent in their community, to simple stories that people could relate with. A good example is their ECD programme. We re-articulated it to a simple story about day care and people found ways to connect with it. By telling people that it would cost Kshs 250 ($2.50) to pay for 1 child’s day care for a full week – the price of lunch, a beer, airtime, people found a clear call to action that they could give to.

In that time we revamped what was simply called the KCDF Golf, to the prestigious Community Open at the Muthaiga Golf Club. This annual event continues to draw a lot of support from local organisations. We organised other specialised activities that enabled people to connect with the brand at various levels. CEOs were a significant target audience and so there were activities just for them.

KCDF is today one of the most prominent community organisations on the African continent and their work changes lives every day. It is home to Wangari Maathai’s endowment funds. Why wouldn’t we be proud of this brand?