How we helped PANDAS Foundation secure corporate sponsorship

Our mission is to make business easy for entrepreneurs and freelancers – and help them unlock their profit potential by working smarter (not harder).

Over the years, my advice has helped millions of people through this site, and I have worked with hundreds of business owners and freelancers personally through our courses and coaching. In this article I will share how my advice also helped a charity to increase their income.

A while ago I was approached by Sally Bunkham, the Communications and Development Manager for the charity PANDAS Foundation UK.

PANDAS’ aim is to make sure no parent, family or carer feels alone. They have a variety of support services available to ensure help is delivered in a way that is right for everyone.

When Sally approached me, she said that PANDAS were working with businesses and influencers to raise money, but didn’t really have any structure or packages in place.

As a result, they weren’t bringing in funds consistently, and they were spending a lot of time and energy on communications. They also didn’t have a streamlined approach – if a brand did show interest in working with them, they’d simply ask the brand how they wanted to work.

The charity was starting to grow a significant and valuable social media following, and Sally felt they weren’t yet properly realising the value of that following.

The aim for the session was to formalise and streamline their fundraising, so they brought in more money for less work.

What did we do?

In the call we identified two areas of opportunity for PANDAS:

  1. A way to work with smaller businesses and influencers that brought in consistent money, didn’t sell the charity short, and involved less administration.
  2. The creation of professional sponsorship packages that would enable PANDAS to work with bigger brands who could afford – and wanted to build – valuable partnerships with charities.

We started by mapping out a three-tiered sponsorship package for brands, defining what PANDAS could offer for each tier and establishing an ambitious (but appropriate) pricing strategy.

We then explored how PANDAS could further formalise working with smaller influencers, supporters and businesses to ensure everyone had a fair experience and minimise the administration work involved in negotiating individually, or having to explain their processes.

This included creating a policy document they could refer people to when enquiring or replying with questions. This had two important benefits – it saved them time crafting individual responses, and as a formal document it would ensure everyone was treated the same and eliminate pushback or attempts at negotiation.

To underpin the new systems I also challenged their mindset. So rather than feeling like they were a tiny charity who needed to be grateful for every crumb thrown their way, they instead recognised their value and were able to confidently convey that and ask for what they deserved.

What happened afterwards?

The result of this work is that PANDAS immediately stopped wasting time and energy chasing smaller donations and relationships, and instead focused their sights and efforts on building mutually rewarding relationships with ethically aligned organisations, that would enable them to reach and help more parents and carers.

Shortly after our session, PANDAS were approached by Huggies. And rather than asking Huggies what they wanted to do and spend (as PANDAS had done before), this time they were able to respond with their defined packages.

Huggies opted for their top package, which meant that PANDAS was finally able to achieve a goal and launch a new, 24/7 instant text support service on 24 January 2022:

They also had a much more confident, established system for working with smaller businesses and influencers that saved PANDAS time and energy, and ensured everyone knew what they were getting and everyone benefitted.

How can having a strategy help YOU?

Most small businesses and charities evolve over time. You start with a plan and an ambition, and as you grow you learn what works and what doesn’t, making small changes here and there. The problem with this is that, without a global picture, nothing really connects.

There’s no big vision (you can read this cautionary take of Yahoo! to find out why a clear, single-minded vision is so important), and no grand plan. As a result, you spend your time fire fighting and working on things that don’t connect up. And a lack of systems and processes means that you double up on work and miss out on big wins.

There is also the risk that, as with PANDAS, your mindset also doesn’t catch up with your growth, and you can find yourself thinking and responding as a smaller business and not appreciating or valuing your true worth. And underselling yourself as a result.

Now imagine that you press pause, take stock of what is working and what isn’t, and the goals you’d really love to achieve. And rather than just bumbling along, you consciously create a new plan. You evaluate your processes and streamline your work.

As a result THIS time, like PANDAS you have a clear strategy to help you achieve your goals. You have defined packages and processes to deal with admin. You save time, have less stress, more focus and finally achieve the wins you hoped for. And you have the confidence to really go for it.

And maybe even like PANDAS, these wins can help you make the real difference in the world you wanted to. If you’d like to work with me on a strategy session, please read more here.

“I highly recommend Hannah!”

To find out exactly how Hannah helped PANDAS, watch this short video testimonial from Sally Bunkham:

And here’s Sally’s video testimonial transcribed:

“I work for a perinatal mental health charity, and we were a little bit stuck in our strategy. We’ve been a little bit stuck for some time about how we work with businesses. We were trying to come up with a strategy that would be fair to the businesses and fair to the charity and make us more sustainable. 

“I knew that Hannah offered 90 minute sessions where she could help with a specific problem or strategy, so we decided to go for it. And it was the most valuable session I think I’ve ever had in my career.

“Hannah really helped to pull out the the problems, what we needed to achieve, and how we could go about it. It was just so practical and sensible and useful. 

“We came out of that meeting, which was only 90 minutes long, with a completely amazing strategy. We all knew where we were, we all knew what we had to do, and we were all aligned in our mission. It was just fantastic.

“Since that meeting, which was about two months ago, the strategy has worked so well. It’s it’s cut down so much work for us because we have processes now. And it manages expectations on both sides, between us and the businesses. 

“It’s bringing in some good money for the charity, and it’s also really benefiting the businesses. So it’s just an amazingly brilliant win-win strategy. It’s the kind of thing where you think, “Why didn’t we think of that before?” but I think it’s just that situation where you can’t sometimes see the wood for the trees when you’re in it. 

“Hannah has such a skill for simplifying and clarifying, for making sure you’re all aligned and all on the same page, and that your values are listened to and it meets those. 

“We’re just so grateful. We all got off that meeting, and we all just rang each other. And we’re like, wow, that was amazing. Everyone was aligned, and everyone knew what they had to do.

“So if you I think if you are in a business or a charity or an organisation, and you’re a little bit stuck on something, and you’re not quite sure how you’re going to fix it, and you’re not quite sure what your strategy should be, I think that’s the time when Hannah can absolutely help you nail it. And just so surprising the amount of time she can do that in! It’s just a real skill she’s got. I highly recommend Hannah.” 

Find out more about working with Hannah here.

Photo by Katie Emslie