Accelerating a Public Health Innovator

The Challenge

How does a multi-purpose organization unify around a shared mission?

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is responsible for saving the lives of tens of millions of people. Headquartered in Geneva, they partner with local organizations in over 140 countries to design, fund and support long-term public health programs to eliminate the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.

But a quiet crisis was building beneath their success. Despite clarity about their ultimate mission, they lacked a shared definition of what The Global Fund is, about how to describe—and therefore focus—its role at the center of a complex international web of funders and partners.

Passion in need of a common rallying cry.

Two cultures struggled within its walls.

Human Rights Organization
They are a human rights organization attracting people deeply dedicated to ending human suffering.

Financial Institution
They also channel and track billions of dollars of grants, demanding the technical skill and efficient mindset of an international bank.

To top it off, The Global Fund was rolling out an aggressive, innovative new operating model—one so deeply rooted in partnership with stakeholders that many in the organization felt it blurred the lines of their specific role and responsibilities.

The Process

How to shift an organization’s focus from what divides it to what unites it?

This need for internal clarity came at a moment of profound external change. Other NGOs, such as the Gates and Clinton Foundations, were publicly pioneering long-term structural solutions over traditional rapid responses to acute humanitarian crises.

The Global Fund was also a quiet, unique leader in this shift through its close, cooperative partnerships with all local stakeholders when providing relief.

Industry-typical best practices were of no help. The Global Fund needed a fresh perspective to reimagine and articulate their role that was both true to their mission and unifying for the organization.

Looking from within and without created new perspectives on old problems

Working inside-out, Fathom+Hatch asked a rich cross- section of internal and Board leaders to envision an ideal state for the Global Fund in the near future. This revealed the deeply held values that drove and unified this passionate organization across functions and levels.

From the outside-in, Fathom+Hatch used our contextual mapping techniques to build a category landscape of their partners, donors and “competitors.” By analyzing their behavior and communications, we discovered that The Global Fund was a bona fide hybrid of old and new ideals and practices, even as it was carving out a bold profile as a savvy 21st-century NGO.

Distilling the essence of The Global Fund’s impact

Synthesis optimized two things:

  • Clarity around the mission, vision and values that united and drove the organization
  • Articulation of what the organization does better, differently, and more effectively than any other

Through this process, Fathom+Hatch helped The Global Fund’s management team articulate the essence of their unique role:

No other organization in the world can do so much, so well, to accelerate the defeat of these three global epidemics.

The Results

How can a brand strategy give voice to an organization’s spirit?

To help ensure this powerful declaration inspired all aspects of the organization, Fathom+Hatch crafted:

A Positioning

A positioning that gave specific articulation to the core insight that united the organization.

A Strategic Review

A strategic review of core communications and policies, from website to HR to guidelines for partners, to ensure that the brand was constantly reinforced.

A Creative Brief

A creative brief to guide a renewal of The Global Fund’s identity, visual look and feel and marketing.

In addition, the clarity of the positioning gave the branding team and design agency partner UNION a clear set of criteria to guide their work, resulting in a refreshed brand identity, website and iconography.