Author Archives: admin


Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network

Two years ago, when we started work with the RRA Network as its communication node, it was in its nascent stages. The idea was bold: To challenge decades of institutional and political thought on agriculture in India. The campaign needed to convince policy-makers about the disparity in investment between irrigated and rainfed areas, the resulting intense poverty in rainfed regions, and make a case for the urgent need to allocate resources.

In the last two years, the RRA Network has built a brand that is recognized within albeit limited circles and become more visible as an entity working on the challenge of revitalizing rainfed agriculture.

As the communications node, we worked to articulate the network’s central argument and created a language of campaign goals, objectives and propositions. The language is now used in all communication materials and across individuals and organisations within the network, a significant feat for such a complex network.

Every communication tool became a way of clarifying ideas and sharpening the argument. The simple RRA Network brochure was a product of intense thought on what the network stood for and wanted to achieve. The resulting internal clarity paved the way for uniformity and consistency in messaging.

stories-hope foundation

HOPE foundation

The communication strategy for HOPE foundation centres around the individual whose life has been transformed.

We took the story of change and turned it into a key element in all donor communication, including the website, annual report, brochures, newsletters, presentations, appeals and social media.

To do this, we needed to create a pipeline of stories that would continue to feed the communication engine. So we visited people whose lives had been transformed by HOPE’s work – at their homes, in schools, work places and training centres in locations across the country, conducting interviews and taking photographs.

We have now built up an archive of stories and photographs that is growing every day, thanks to additional contributions from HOPE staff across the country, who are gathering stories with the help of the guide we created.


RRA Network

The Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network needed a strong presentation that summarized its core argument for why the Indian government should invest in rainfed agriculture. Its target audience: policy-makers, foundation donors and government donors.

A key feature of the presentation is the use of infographics to highlight major issues. Three infographics in particular stood out: one, illustrating the extent of the problem; two, an animated graphic that showed a clear correlation between rainfed regions and areas of intense poverty in the country; and three, a graphic illustrating the disparity in investment between irrigated and rainfed areas.

Presentation – hope foundation

HOPE worldwide

HOPE worldwide needed an effective way to pitch to high net worth donors in 26 countries. Staff and country heads often had to come up with presentations at short notice. They not only needed help with content and design, but also in gathering material for the presentations.

So we created a 12-page guide that could be used by HOPE worldwide staff and country directors across the world to collect raw material in a form that could then be easily translated into materials for fundraising. The guide covered aspects ranging from how to state the problem, to telling a story of change and framing the ask. The guide was tested in 26 countries where HOPE worldwide works.

Four countries followed the guide to gather raw material for presentations.

Based on this, we created a series of tailored presentations for specific high net worth donors for India, the US, China and Singapore.

Two presentations for India (pitched to a US donor) and the US won large donations, including a legacy.

Direct Milers – wwf

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

WWF wanted to reach out to potential donors (urban, English-speaking, ages 35-45) and raise funds to protect tigers and Olive Ridley turtles.

We designed a direct mailer that created a sense of nostalgia and shock by using alphabet blocks that readers would have seen as children. The blocks read T for Tiger, T for Turtle and then asked the question: What if your children were to only see T for Traffic?

The mailer pack included a giveaway in the form of a set of two coasters, reinforcing the T for Tiger and T for Turtle hooks, the underlying message being, ‘Let’s keep it that way!’

Social Media – hope foundation

HOPE foundation

As HOPE foundation’s communication team, we also handle its social media outreach.

Our goal was two-fold: to create a more aware donor audience, and to build a community of volunteers, donors and friends who could be invited to offline events, and contribute to HOPE foundation’s work.

Realising that good content was key to sustaining a healthy engagement on Facebook, we created a library of photographs, stories, reports and statistics even before we started the outreach on Facebook.

Today, HOPE foundation’s Facebook page typically has the following types of content:

  • Interesting hooks/ events
  • Stories of change
  • Experiences from field staff, volunteers and donors
  • Photo stories
  • Testimonials from partners and donors
  • Videos
  • Trending articles and links related to the areas in which HOPE foundation works
  • Papers published by volunteers and others
  • Notes of appreciation and awards
  • News and events

Together with HOPE staff across India, we source content, rewrite and post them.

We review results once a month and monitor the growth of the network, quality of content, quality of interaction, best timings for posting, and content types that get the most responses. One finding was that visitors to the Facebook page were largely in the 18-35 age category, so we modified the tone of the posts to a more chatty one.

The second photo above depicts the statistics immediately after we took over maintenance of the Facebook page.

News Letter – RRA network

RRA Network

We developed a series of newsletters for the Thematic Nodes of the Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network. Each Thematic Node addresses a specific area of work on rainfed agriculture, such as seeds, soils, water, millets, fisheries, livestock and credit, markets & institutions. The newsletter presented the main argument made by the node, its goals and the propositions or asks, along with statistics on the problem and announcement of events.

The newsletter were developed but not sent out, owing to a change in strategy.

News Letters – hope foundation

HOPE foundation

For HOPE foundation, the key to sustaining relationships with high net worth individual and corporate donors (who form the mainstay of HOPE foundation’s income) lay in providing highly customized reports to different categories of donors.

We created three levels of reporting. The first comprises a monthly HTML newsletter, One Life at a Time, which goes out to more than 7,000 regular donors, volunteers and partners. The newsletter is brief, contains key statistics on impact for the month, a story of change and testimonials from partners and volunteers. Though the newsletter was meant as a thank you and reporting device, it has started to yield steady monthly donations.

The second level comprises an attractive half-yearly newsletter in PDF that goes out to around 30 donors, with the stories, achievements and narrative customized for each. This means that we produce 60 such newsletters in a year, but the return on investment is high, as these are high net worth donors. For major donors, we have a third level of, again, customized quarterly newsletters.

We interact with HOPE foundation’s offices across the country and gather material according to a strict calendar in order to write, design and send out these reports. It couldn’t have been possible without the amazing proactive support from HOPE’s staff and leadership.

Brochures-Catalyst management service

Catalyst Management Services (CMS)

CMS is a professional services firm that seeks to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged groups through strengthening the effectiveness of development policies, processes and outcomes.

The first-of-its kind brochure for CMS clearly articulated the key areas of its work in terms of its main benefits: insight and evidence. The brochure has been used by CMS at events and workshops.