A male and female African youth playing a board game, wearing t-shirts that read "Accept me as I am."


Comms capacity building to deliver impact at scale.

A four-week training for early-stage African ventures to turn their scalable solutions into scalable brands.

Mulago Foundation is one of the field’s most prominent unrestricted funders. It’s a founder of Big Bang Philanthropy. And their two fellowship programs, impact tools, and thought leadership from CEO Kevin Starr have influenced countless sector darlings. Mighty Ally’s training arm provides capacity-building programs for funder cohorts just like the Mulago fellows.


Promising models, lost in translation.

Mulago engaged us to run a brand communications training for five of their fellows. All were early-stage organizations from five different African countries — Forested, mDoc, Zvandiri, NEPI (Network For Empowerment Progressive Initiatives), and Water Access Rwanda.

These fellows had been through weeks of work with Mulago on designing for impact and strategy for scale. And the organizations each had impressive track records, talented leaders, and promising models.

But their messaging and storytelling were lost in translation. So their funding opportunities weren’t being maximized.

Like most funders, Mulago had limited time and comms expertise internally. So they asked Mighty Ally to step in.

Because even though Mulago sees scale as a major priority, CEO Kevin Starr echoes our brand first, funding second point of view.

Mulago Foundation logo.
“Doers: until proven otherwise, your first priority is to learn to clearly, concisely, and compellingly communicate what it is that you do.”




From impact design to brand strategy.

Our training programs follow a proven process: assessment, workshops, tools and templates, 1:1 coaching, and peer learning. So we executed these action steps with and for the Mulago fellows.


We distributed our 20-question online brand grader to all the orgs. It allowed each leader and team to score their brand across our Four A’s framework.

This tool provided the fellows with an immediate learning opportunity around where their brand is weak and strong. Plus, it helped them see what goes into a brand in the first place.

The brand grader also gave Mighty Ally the intel we needed to customize the training program based on the group’s most common, pressing needs.


Our founding partners delivered four, two-hour virtual workshops: positioning strategy, messaging and storytelling, marketing communications, and website strategy. These training workshops follow the exact same curriculum we use for our growth-stage consulting clients — and incorporate real-world examples to help contextualize the material.

With our unlimited Zoom capacity, Mulago fellows were able to invite their teams too. So these trainings served as a capacity-building opportunity for fellows and their staff.

As always, session recordings were sent to all, to further digest the concepts on their own time.

Peer learning

We initiated a series of peerstorm learning opportunities among the fellows. In these brand hack sessions, leaders were able to bring in a problem area. Then their peers collaborated with them in real time on solutions.

One overarching theme we heard? Focus. Focusing on how they package and communicate their work.

For some organizations, that meant reviewing their interventions and consolidating activities to clarify what they do. For others, it was deciding who they wanted their brand to engage by prioritizing their audiences.

For a couple, it was determining the leading impact indicators. Some needed to have more targeted messaging for their different audiences. And to amplify through fewer channels with a higher chance of connecting with their targets.

Tools & templates

Our training can’t just be conceptual. We always provide actionable tools and templates, so attendees can start working on their brand to engage funders and critical audiences.

We shared our editable Google Slides templates for their positioning strategy, messaging platform, marcom plan, pitch deck, and website strategy.

And we emphasized the need to complete these tangible outputs soon after the workshops. That way, we had concrete material to review together during the 1:1 coaching calls.

1:1 Coaching

Throughout six individual coaching sessions per organization, we were able to answer fellows’ questions and provide specific feedback.

For NEPI, we worked together to create a pitch deck from scratch. With Zvandiri, their verbal elevator pitch was not landing — so we supported them in developing a video version. mDoc and Water Access Rwanda specifically addressed their website during the coaching sessions. And with Forested, we reviewed their product packaging and helped find a perfect brand personality to guide their rebranding process.

Despite our laser focus on brand, these sessions covered more than just specific comms challenges. We became thought partners and sounding boards for broader leadership issues they were facing that affected their brand communications.

For example, Forested took the opportunity to reflect on which side of their model they wanted to focus more on, their B2B or their B2C. And to have more clarity on who their priority audiences are.

And Water Access Rwanda had grown so quickly, internal communications was a big opportunity. So the messaging training came at the right time.

Woman holding clean glass of water drawn from a Water Access Rwanda tap.

Water Access Rwanda establishes reliable, convenient, and affordable water infrastructure across Africa.

African woman standing with her bicycle.

Zvandiri connects children and young people living with HIV with peer counselors to ensure health, happiness, and hope.

A female African doctor wearing a mask and working on a laptop.

mDoc transforms how African healthcare consumers receive the support they need to live longer, healthier, happier, and more productive lives.

A female African doctor wearing a mask and working on a laptop.

Forested partners with smallholder farmers to sustainably grow, process, and market the most distinctive, premium forest-based products.

A female African doctor wearing a mask and working on a laptop.

NEPI finds solutions to extreme poverty and crime among youth (street youth, war-affected youth, and former combatants), builds youth capacity, and strengthens social, political, and emotional empowerment of youth in Liberia.

“Mighty Ally was immediately a friend of Zvandiri. They really wanted to listen and understand our work and our solution. This training was incredibly practical and applied to real-life examples, including those of Fellows.”



Clarity, confidence, and fundraising equipped.

We understood that a quick, four-week training could never replace the significant funding results we see with our long-term consulting clients.

However, we were thrilled to see other tangible outputs and outcomes. And glad to know these organizations were better equipped for fundraising.

All five leaders self-reported further success with both renewed funding and new funding, indirectly attributable to the tightening up of their messaging.

Not to mention, we can’t discount the intangible clarity and confidence that emerged from these leaders (many of whom are younger, first-time CEOs).

Here’s a sampling of the impact they shared.


Zvandiri was in the process of updating their website and needed to standardize their messaging. The most powerful tool they left with was their elevator pitch video. They used it internally to train the team of 150 on how to communicate their work, and create a consistent voice. Plus they use it externally with partners and funders almost always as a first step in engaging them.

“This training shifted significantly the way we think about what we do, and why we do what we do,” said Nicola Willis. “I was intimidated with the entire topic of brand, but now feel more equipped to do it myself.“


The training clarity helped them develop more focused messaging, a more targeted fundraising strategy, and the ability to give clearer communication directions to the team. Plus more clarity with audiences.

With clarity comes confidence. Confidence in their elevator pitch, and that they can develop their own brand strategy and do the work.

They said one of their favorite tools was message mapping. It helped with sales for each customer, like investor vs. cosmetic buyer vs. retailer buyer.

“I loved the interactive aspect of the workshop,” said Crisha Ari. “It was really hard — but necessary — to be put on the spot to draft, present, and provide feedback on our own and others’ storytelling work.”

“People more easily understand what we are about because we are less complex.”


The tools and constructive feedback given on their website helped them refine their messaging. Then put together clear communications and content guidelines the team can use. They relaunched their new website using the feedback and guidance from the training.

They developed a marketing strategy. They have a tightened elevator pitch — proven useful to align internally as a team and ensure they speak in one brand voice naturally and consistently.

“It was in our heads and was not clear to the rest of the world, so our documents for raising money have improved,” said Nneka Mobisson.


NEPI needed to communicate clearly what they do as they were ramping up to engage new funders and partners. They updated their website during the training and continue to use the blueprints. They also left with a fresh pitch deck and a concept note to use in their fundraising efforts.

NEPI put together a messaging map for their top three priority audiences. This map gave them clarity and made the pitching/sales process more efficient. Their internal rhythms have improved, and the team is more aligned.

“Mighty Ally helps you develop an actionable communication strategy,” says Klubosumo Johnson Borh. “It’s practical and has clear steps you can follow with significant aspects that support and reinforce fundraising.”

“This training helps you simplify communications so you feel equipped to do it yourself.”

In short, Mulago Foundation finds and funds high-performance organizations that tackle the basic needs of the very poor.

And through this training program, we helped five promising brands become more findable and fundable.


Overall program rating by fellows


Increase in Brand Grader scores, before/after training


Positioning, messaging & marcom blueprints created


Websites updated with new web strategy


Short film resulting from elevator pitch sharpening

“I was teaching my team about public narrative as soon as I logged off. The workshops are very practical.”