New report demonstrates the power and impact of communication in the social investment space

11 June 2015 | Adam Boros | Opinion

An innovative collaboration between Tshikululu and GrantCraft has seen the recent launch of the Communication that Counts: Lessons from South African Social Investors report. Offering critical insights about how to communicate for impact, the report promises to assist partners, social investors and grantees in their quest to achieve common objectives – and keep their key messages top of mind.

The result of Tshikululu’s two-year partnership with GrantCraft (a New York-based organisation committed to improving the practice of philanthropy around the world), the Communication that Counts report offers practical lessons about how to communicate for impact.

Based on the experiences of local funders and others involved in social investment in South Africa, it explores universal themes including:

  • how to communicate with partners, social investors, and grantees;
  • how to identify and achieve communication goals; and
  • how different media can help enhance different messages.

The concept for the SA-based report was sparked by the fact that communication – and its importance – is often overlooked within the social investment sector, despite its potential to add value to a wide range of stakeholders and increase impact more generally.

Research in the report demonstrates the importance of understanding the reasons for communication in order to focus the particular communication needs of social investors, as well as how to identify communication goals and create a strategy to achieve them. It additionally recommends a number of tools that can be used to facilitate successful communication at multiple levels – enabling partnerships with other foundations, programmes and government.

Perhaps the key take-out for our sector is the value of communication – and communicating. From promoting the work of beneficiaries, to sharing lessons learned, to advocating for a cause or activity, it’s worth taking the time to plan your messaging, ensuring that it is communicated and heard. In this way, you can potentially unlock a whole new level of impact through your initiative, amplify your contribution to the sector and deepen the difference you are making.

Click here to view the report.