Hello, we are the HAF comms team 🙂
Let’s talk!


Updated April 2021


Let’s impact the world through our creativity!

Hillsong Africa Foundation is a non-profit, community development organisation based in South Africa that is passionate about building lives that will build the nation. We do this year-round through weekly programs that we run in different communities across the Western Cape and Gauteng, based out of Hillsong Church South Africa locations.

Creating a strong brand presence or identity is important to amplify our message and draw people into influencing and impacting their world.
This Brand Guide is meant to inspire creativity while also explaining the guidelines we use to communicate our work and message effectively and consistently.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask: communications@hillsongafrica.com



The heart of Hillsong Africa Foundation (HAF) is to equip, encourage and uplift those in need. Every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in our own backyard, ultimately building a nation, one person, one family and one community at a time.



Our work aims to build a thriving nation through equipping people to care for others, often in destitute circumstances, in communities across South Africa. Our diverse portfolio of programs enable people from all walks of life to engage in uplifting others.


It is our mission to help restore families and combat the staggering cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse, and violence in our nation. Our approach is holistic and addresses body, mind, and spirit in order to meet the needs of the whole person and whole family through our various programs. Everything we do builds into our vision to “Build lives that will build the nation.”


We believe in the potential of South Africa and beyond to Africa as a continent. The future of this nation is bright and it will be a delightful land!
Whether near or far, we can all be part of the journey and have a positive impact for generations to come.


Faithful, Integrity, Respectful, Excellence, Innovation, Generosity, Passion, Strategic, Enabling, Love


Optimistic, Hopeful, Helpful, Honest, Grateful, Honouring, Joyful, Creative


Hillsong Africa Foundation is the outreach arm of Hillsong Church South Africa. We are intimately and foundationally connected. This means that we are a faith-based organisation and operate out of the beliefs and practices of our local Hillsong Church and its leadership.
Though we are a seperate entity with our own regulations and processes we still receive our support and strength from our church. This is intergral to the way we do things and they way we talk about things.


Our communications team (the people responsible for all the HAF talking) are a bunch of passionate, talented, hard working and crazy-fun individuals.
Whether a staff member, volunteer or intern we all bring the same energy and go get ’em attitude to what we do.
We believe in the cause and work of HAF and so we put our own hearts into the part we play.
We are a family before co-workers which means we love and encourage each other at every chance we get.
We take what we do seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously. Our work is for the greater good and so we dont take criticism or edits personally.
We strive for excellence and other opinions help us do that.
We are the gate keepers between HAF and the public. That responsibility motivates us to produce creative, excellent and timely messages.


Our communication is primarily aimed at any person of any age from any sphere of life and any part of the world who feels they want to make a difference in the life of someone else, whether by getting involved in one of our programs or by donating and funding our work.

We want our content to inspire them to get involved in any way they can.We believe that everyone has the desire to make a positive impact in the world, our job is to help them find a way to do that through our varied programs.

Every person has different interests, skills and passions. We communicate our different programs so that they can find the one that is most appealing to them to get involved with.

A few persona examples:

A 13 year old school student who wants to make a difference by raising funds at the school for a good cause.

A 25 year old male passionate about South Africa and it’s progress and wants to be part of building its future.

A 38 year old mom who encounters poverty at the traffic light often but doesnt know how to help in a safe way.

An international university student who wants to volunteer their holiday time to serve communites in need abroad.

A 45 year old business man who wants to invest into a organisation making a difference in the community.

A 26 year old female who wants to help uplift other women and help them see their value.

A 50 year old woman who loves kids and doing fun, educational projects with them.

A 23 year old male who enjoys journalism and capturing peoples’ stories.

A 33 year old young adult passionate about technology and it’s advancement, who wants to see these tools made accessible to the disadvatanged youth.



We are not just a NPO that seeks to give a hand out to those in need.
We believe in meeting practical needs but moreso we believe in developing people into the best they can be and empowering them to make changes in their own life, family and community.
Our goal with all our programs is to find the gold in any person or community and add strength to them. We aim to give a hand up not just a hand out.

Our team is built upon the commitment and passion of many volunteers from all walks of life who faithfully serve, week in and week out.

We exist not to just make an impact ourselves but to equip others to make a difference. Our strength lies in the hands and hearts of the faithful people who raise their hand to help build this nation. To make their own communities a better place.

Our programs are carefully planned and setup to enable anyone to get involved in helping others in a way thats safe, responsible and consistent. We aim to make serving others accessible to anyone and remove the common limitations they may feel.

We realize that we can’t do everything to make a difference, but collectively we can all do something. The combined efforts of many can make an impact for generations to come.





All of our communication must have a purpose to it. We don’t talk just for the sake of talking.
We always have a “call to action” or a “intended purpose” to our media or content.

A “call to action” is something that gives a clear direction to take.
We want every person that comes into contact with us to get involved by volunteering in our programs or donating funds towards our work of community upliftment. 

Indirectly, if a viewer is not ready to jump into volunteering or donating, our communication should still be inspiring, informative, engaging, relevant and uplifting.

If at the very least all we have done is start a conversation, then our communication has been successful.


These are the channels we share our messages on:






Hillsong Church News
Instagram TV








As much as we can but not all the time.

When we talk it should be relevant. Our communication is strategic and planned so that we don’t speak in quantity but with quality.
There are periods when we are silent and periods when we are loud.

Our timing and frequency of communcation is determined by:

Specific campaigns/events
Program activity
Hillsong Church Calendar events
Current affairs/ trends


There are lots of things we could talk about, but these things are some of the main areas we communicate about across our different mediums.


We share the stories of lives moved forward and the stories of inspiring people who give their time and resource to make a difference in our team. The power of personal story can never be underestimated and so we seek to tell them at every chance we get.


There is always so much going on in the life of HAF. We want to show what is happening regularly in our programs across all locations and what we are getting up to.


We talk about upcoming events and create awareness to rally others.


We periodically promote our appeals to do good in our city for those in need. We create strategic and seasonal campaigns to empower others in doing good.


We share relevant information related to areas that we as a organisation believe in such as self worth, womans rights, employment advances, national (good) news, holidays and celebrations.


We talk about updates, stat and advances we have made together. We want our audience to be informed that their involvement with us is fruitful.


We talk about how others can assist and make specific requests for things we need to keep building lives.


We create inspirational media to encourage our viewers about the possibilities and the role we can all play in making a change.



If there’s no goal then we are just talking for the sake of it. So why do we have a communications team in the first place?

We are the gate keepers between HAF and the public. The way we as HAF are perceived and viewed by the world is maintained by the communications department. It is our responsibility to ensure that our heart and work is accurately portrayed in every form or channel.


These are the major reasons we talk:



No one would know we exist if we did not talk about it. We create communication media so that others can be aware of what we offer and stand for in a consistent and cohesive way.


We are winning as a communications team when we increase our organisation’s bottom line. For HAF, this is to impact the lives of individuals, encouraging them into a positive path forward for their lives and increase volunteer engagement in our programs. The ‘bottom line’ is to get others involved. As HAF, we don’t just exist to help those in need but also to empower individuals to be the difference in actively impacting their community.


Our audience is diverse and scattered all throughout the world and not everyone can be physically present. Our communication is also aimed at inspiring those with the financial means to donate towards our work on a regular or once-off basis.


In order to encourage people to move and do something we sometimes need to move their emotions. We create inspiring content so that viewers will be motivated to one of the 3 actions above.


We can’t assume that everyone knows what we know and so it is our task to talk about the need as well as the solution so that our audience can learn about social injustice and what can be done about it.
So how do we measure our progress towards our goals?
These areas are measured by specific means.


Awareness is measured by our online social media platforms engagement insights and email marketing open rate. Our goal is to constantly increase our follower amount as well as online and offline (eg. HAF desk) engagement.


Involvement is measured by our CRM (Salesforce and website enquiry forms). This enables us to see how many new and active volunteer sign-ups we have for a given period.


Donations are measured through our online giving portal which can be made both locally and internationally.


Whether digitally or in-person, starting a conversation that leads to internal change and taking action towards social injustice is our aim. This may be harder to measure but we consider them seeds that will reap in the lives of others.
Importantly though, we do not only measure our success by the numbers or increase in donations, volunteers or engagement alone, but also (and largely) by the quality and individual growth of the people involved (both the served and serving).
The stories of true personal development (which then extends to community development) are indicators of real success for us. We are about building lives not numbers and if the lives we are serving are moving forward then we are succeeding.
Our primary goal is to tell those stories and in so doing enable others to share in the journey.



A big part of our communication is talking to each other within our organisation. Requests, ideas, opinions, critique and many other interactions will occur on a daily basis. These are just a few pointers to managing them:
Graceful. We always listen gracefully and intently, trying to understand the intention.
There are no bad ideas. Ideas no matter how seemlingly insignificant have the potential to develop into great ideas. Listen to them, ponder them, action them or bench them until needed.
Be realistic. We are often in a deadline driven enviroment so give realistic expectations with ample margin.
Ask questions. Dont be afraid to ask questions to gain a better understading of the conversation.
Your NO is as powerful as your YES. To be most effective we need to sift through what is essential to ensure our goals and strategy is being carried out. At times this requires saying no to requests (with grace and wisdom!)
It’s not about us. Our work is bigger than ourselves and so we aren’t afraid to receive input and corrections to make our end result that much better.


All of our communication is not just meant to be us speaking, but a way to begin and facilitate a conversation.
We want to engage our viewers into the work of helping others and building a nation by getting them to talk to us about their ideas, passions, resources and dreams of making our immediate world a better place.
We do this by engaging users on social media or asking for input through feedback forms and polls.




We want our brand tone to be heart-felt, inspirational and motivational.
The core aim of our content is to educate and encourage our audience into actively engaging in building and uplifting this nation. We can’t do everything but we can all do something.

Our Brand should be clear and simple in what we say as well as what we design. Making a difference is simpler than you think and so our visuals or writing should reflect that.
From our language tone to videos, graphics or photography, we put our hearts into everything we do and so everything we create has heart and empathy.
Sometimes we have to display hardship and struggle but we always do so in a hopeful and positive change-driven way.

Our Target
Our art and media is aimed at any person of any age from any sphere of life who feels they want to make a difference in the life of someone else, whether by getting involved in one of our programs or by donating and funding our work. We want our content to inspire them to get involved in any way they can.


These are our favorite colours.

HAF Sun Yellow
Like the rising african sun, we believe the future is bright and so are our main colours

RGB (251,199,41)
HSL    0.13    0.96    0.57
CMYK    0.00    0.21    0.84   0.02
Pantone 116 C
Pantone 108 U

HAF sky blues
They remind us of the open blue sky which speaks of endless possibilities.
R 55 G 120 B 193
C 1 M 21 Y 93 K 0
Pantone 660 C
Pantone 285 U 
HAF sky blues
They remind us of the open blue sky which speaks of endless possibilities.
R 112 G 185 B 210
C 54 M 11 Y 12 K 0
Pantone 7458 C
Pantone 630 U 

HAF Darks
For adding organization and bold structure.

RGB    33    30    31
HSL    0.94    0.05    0.12
CMYK    0.00    0.09    0.06   0.87

HAF Darks
For adding organization and bold structure.

RGB    55    52    53
HSL    0.94    0.03    0.21
CMYK    0.00    0.05    0.04   0.78
These can also be used as supporting colours to our primary ones
We keep our gradients simple and bright
These are the colour themes assigned to our programs




Our primary font is Mark Pro for print and web


Sometimes we also use Roboto


We like font choices to be clean, bold and easy to read.


Photography is a vital part of our communication.
Our photos are focused on telling the stories of the people that we get to build with and the work we do.
We want every image to communicate hope and inspire the viewer about the many opportunities to make a difference.
Even though we sometimes have to display hardship and struggle, we always do so in a hopeful and change-driven way.

Our Photography Style Keywords






We capture portraits as much as possible using off-camera lighting to focus attention on the subject and their unique environment.


The Process:

  • Always shoot in RAW (it allows you to capture a higher quality file)
  • Capture quality (in focus, use different angles, be creative, choose a good background)
  • Show warm moments (e.g. hugs, high-fives, smiles, people engaging with each other, people posing for the photo)
  • People (staff, volunteers, young leaders) serving together, having fun and engaging with each other as well as with others
  • Display the reach that we have (wide-angle shots)
  • Edit using the HAF preset (available on the Comms Google Team Drive)
  • Output to JPEG file (max. width 2500 pixels and Quality 10)
  • Rename your exported files to the program name and location (e.g SHINE CC, VIP SW, ACCELERATE SS)
  • If the image has a child in it add _yes or _no to the end of the filename if you have a indemnity form for them
  • Upload the photos to the HAF Media Google Drive in the correct date and program folder
  • Upload the indemnity form if applicable to the Comms Google Team Drive


Kids: when it comes to taking photos of kids we first have to ask the parents to fill out our indemnity form to approve that we’re allowed to use the image.
(Forms can be downloaded from the Comms Google Team Drive)


For the most part, we keep our designs and illustrations flat with very minimal gradients to direct the eye of the viewer easily to the key visual.
We want our designs to be clean, clear and bold.
Make sure design elements match the intended audience or season. For example artwork designed for kids club will have more playful, imperfect and fun colours. Artwork designed for Christmas appeal will use holiday relevant season graphics and colours.


Words make worlds.
The language of community development defines worlds-in-the-making. For those involved in development practice, reflection on words and their meanings may seem irrelevant to the real business of getting things done. Why, after all, should language matter to those who are doing development? But language does matter for development.

Our brand voice is friendly, smart, encouraging and clear.
Instead of thinking like an organisation, think like a person. Everything we write is written by a person, for a person. We are a “guide” to others connecting into something bigger than themsleves and so we want to be approachable in the way we write.

At the same time, we keep things professional. We have a powerhouse of skill, knowledge and experience in our team and so we always communicate that we are trustworthy, credible and have the best of intentions.

We keep things casual but don’t use LOL’s and chat abbreviations.

Our writing should be:

  • Clear
  • To the point
  • Simple
  • Inspiring/ motivational
  • We don’t want our readers to burn unnecessary “brain calories”. If someone can’t understand a sentence by reading it the first time then we haven’t written clearly enough.

When writing copy:

  • Proofread everything!
  • Have another team member read, make edits, and share opinion/feedback
  • Double check spelling & grammar – mistakes are easily overlooked and we all make them
  • Our written voice
  • Not overly dramatic
  • Our tone is conversational
  • Every word is intentionally used or omitted
  • No emojis
  • Only use “development language” if we can justify using it
  • Participants (avoid use of “beneficiaries, them, needy, poor,” etc.)
  • Stories of lives moved forward. Fact check! Always double check stats or info to make sure it is valid and true.


Language we like:
  • Building lives
  • Building the nation
  • Communities
  • Programs (not Projects)
  • Locations (when referring to Hillsong Church locations)
  • Every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters.
  • We can’t do everything but we must do something.
Language we don’t like:
  • Using words like “underprivileged, poor, needy”
  • Labelling people

    eg. Rather say “person who is homeless” instead of “homeless person” – by putting the describing word before the person, we reduce their identity to how we are describing them in that moment.

  • Dehumanising language
  • Common slang that devalues people

    eg. “Bergie” when describing someone who is homeless

  • Jargon
  • Political affiliation

Official HAF copy:

When introducing HAF:
The heart of Hillsong Africa Foundation (HAF) is to equip, encourage and uplift those in need. Every day we have the opportunity to make a difference in our own backyard, ultimately building a nation, one person, one family and one community at a time. We are a non-profit organisation based in South Africa that is passionate about building lives that will build the nation. We do this year-round through weekly programs that we run in different communities across the Western Cape and Gauteng, based out of Hillsong Church South Africa locations. We believe in building relationships with people and journeying with them to see their lives move forward.

HAF’s Vision:
Building lives that will build the nation.

HAF’s Mission:
It is our mission to help restore families and combat the cycles of poverty, addiction, abuse, and violence in our nation. Our approach is holistic and addresses body, mind, and spirit in order to meet the needs of the whole person and whole family through our various programs. Everything we do builds into our vision to “Build lives that will build the nation.”

HAF’s Approach:
Our approach to the design and implementation of our community programs is built entirely around meaningful relationship. Our program locations are chosen organically out of relationship, and activities are based on community assets and needs assessments which are conducted alongside local stakeholders. This means that we work through local engagement to help a community decide, for themselves, what they would like our help with.

HAF’s Pathway of Change:
The coordination and development of our programs is executed through a focused pathway of change. Our programs are designed to facilitate opportunities for our participants to grow in these 4 areas of identity, empowerment, influence and leadership.

Identity: Our programs are designed to help shape a hopeful outlook on life and a positive image of oneself, others and God.

Empowerment: With the positive change of perspective and shift in mindset, we encourage individuals to make better, everyday life decisions.

Influence: When people make better life choices, we believe that they are able to impact and motivate others to do the same. This creates a ripple effect that will influence and impact their community.

Thought Leadership: Leadership development aims to help individuals rise to a level of expertise in their fields so that they can exercise leadership in that sphere on a provincial, national or international level.


Stories are amongst the most important and valuable types of media we can create because they are real and personal. We therefore must take extra care when telling the stories of those impacted by our programs or those volunteering to make a difference. We are a volunteer-based team so we must always be honouring and respectful of the people we encounter.
We love to interview people to find out how a HAF program helped or encouraged someone in their lives or why someone decided to get involved in helping others.


These are some pointers when interviewing someone: 

  • Everyone has a story. Never discount someone’s journey, there is a story and something to learn from everyone. Be on the lookout for people you can interview in even the most unlikely places.
  • Be prepared. Know the background of the individual or the area they are involved in as much as you can. Have at least 2-3 questions already in mind.
  • Record the interview audio with your phone. Ask for permission to record the conversation. Explain that it’s because you don’t want to miss any details or misquote anything. This helps you not have to be writing everything down but be fully present with the interviewee. Afterwards you can go back and transcribe what you recorded.
  • Start slow and general. Ask easy questions to warm up the conversation and create a relaxed environment. Things like, “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?”
  • Avoid “Yes” and “No” questions. You want your interview subject to be able to speak at length on a subject. For example, instead of asking, “Did you grow up in Gugulethu?” Ask, “What’s it like growing up in Gugulethu?”
  • Be flexible. The conversation may go off script or from where you want but that’s ok. The goal is to hear the perspective of the person.
  • Don’t interrupt. If someone seems to be getting off track in their storytelling, try not to interrupt them mid-sentence. Instead, use your body language to actively listen, and subtly steer the conversation. It’s all about being respectful but also directing where you need the conversation to go.
  • Have the subject repeat your question. Having the interviewee repeat your question in their answer. This will help provide context for their response and will make your storytelling clearer. For instance, if your question is, “When was the first time you volunteered?” have your subject begin their answer by saying, “The first time I volunteered was…”
Examples questions
Staff / Interns:
– What is your role in HAF? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
– What is your favorite thing about HAF and why?
– How long have you been working for HAF?
– What has changed for you personally since working for HAF?
– Is there any moment / incident that has stuck with you and impacted your life?
Examples questions
Volunteers / Young Leaders:
– Where are you from? How long have you been living here? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
– What’s your job? What do you do during the week? What grade are you in? Where do you study?
– How long have you been serving and why did you choose this area for serving?
– How do you find serving?
– Have you seen massive changes in the people you serve and serve with?
– What do you love the most about serving?
– How did you find out about HAF?
Examples questions
– Where are you from? How long have you been living here? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
– What’s your job? What do you do during the week?
– Have you seen a personal change in your life since attending our program(s)?
– How has it helped you?
– What do you love most about the program?
– How did you find out about HAF?
– What can we do better in the program?
Once you have successfully captured a interview they are stored in our Evernote database.
Create a new note for every person that has been interviewed. Title it with the name. When possible also include a photo of the individual.
Make sure you tag the note with the program involved, year and location. This helps us search for specific stories in future.


While we still keep things pretty professional, we think of social media as a place where we can demonstrate personality, have fun, and relate to supporters.
Our posts are typically full of hope, celebration, and gratitude. We try to create connections both to our work and the people who make it possible.

Some tips for social media:

1. Don’t think of social media as an opportunity to advertise or promote; think of it as a place to provide memorable moments that inspire and inform.

2. Be a cheerleader. It’s not just about our story. We want to share and celebrate what others do and overcome in our organisation as well as our partner organisations.

3. Be thankful. We use social media to show gratitude to our donors and volunteers for making what we do possible.

4. Be direct. We dont have to post lengthy captions but rather ones that are to the point and well spaced.

5. Be conversational. We want to engage viewers not just talk to them but get them talking to us about their passions. We share and promote content that is relevant to our work such as articles on community development or new technology in the NGO sector etc. We are interested in having a dialogue around relevant areas with our audience. We ask questions and respond to comments.

6. Always use the copywriting guide in our language tone.

7. #Hashtags. We use a handful of hashtags. Some general ones and some program-specific ones.
#BuildingLives #BuildingTheNation #BuildingLivesThatWillBuildTheNation #EmpoweringPeople #WeCanAllDoSomething #CaringForOurCommunity #Impacting Lives #HAF2Care

8. Tagging. We believe we are stronger together and so we tag individuals or organisations that appear in our photos. We follow back our volunteers and team on social media. It’s about community and our social media platforms are a way to strengthen that connection.

9. Have a clear call to action. Every post must have an action for the viewer to take which leads to one of our 3 goals (see our Goals section). These can be either to make contact with us or direct to our website.

10. Plan as much as possible. Our social media calendar is planned on our Google sheet template. This is so we know what key events are coming up and what content needs to be created in advance. There are also many times where the social media plan will be adjusted or interrupted for unplanned circumstances.

Our favourite platforms
As much as possible we try to customize and taylor our posts for each platform to leverage their differences in relating to our audience.


Facebook is where people feel like friends and is a good place to share inspiration or articles.


Instagram is very visual and where we share photos of our activities or people.


Twitter is great for awareness and quick updates.


LinkedIN is for the more serious business user and where we share statistics or interesting links/articles we can identify with.


Youtube is where we share stories and connect with storytellers.


Video is one of the most powerful ways that we can share the impact of our work and introduce the people we work with or serve.
It’s as close as we can come to taking our supporters to the field to see it for themselves. From Instagram stories to documentaries, these platforms are how we bring our work to life and inspire others to get involved.
Some tips when filming:
  • Always stock up on good B-roll. You never know when you need good supporting footage to tell a story. So always film candid and natural moments.
  • Form relationships first. It’s not always possible but when you can, try to get to know the people in your footage before just sticking a camera in their face. People are more likely to give you good footage if you took the time to greet and explain what you’re doing.
  • Embrace the silence. Some of the most provoking and emotional moments happen when someone is thinking or laughing. Don’t feel like you need to film someone talking all the time.

Types of videos we make:

Educational videos that inform about statistics or current affairs related to what we do.
Videos that inspire action and how you can get involved.
Videos that demonstrate impact and where a donors investment gets used.
Videos that share the story of a participant or volunteer.
Videos that show our office shenanigans or thank you / greeting videos to our team members.




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