The challenge 

Helen & Douglas House’s purpose is to “create a home away from home where families can spend quality time together to make precious memories” which, during the pandemic, had never been so important for children with life limiting conditions and their families. Building partnerships that bring value to the charity, plays an important role in helping them achieve their mission.

The challenge for Helen & Douglas House was that they needed to move their partnerships portfolio towards more strategic and transformational partnerships, and away from time intensive transactional relationships, like Charity of the Year.

Helen & Douglas House wanted to seize the corporate partnerships opportunity during the pandemic and beyond, with the support of their wider Fundraising and Marketing teams to make it possible.


The solution 

Amy Bottali and Shahzaadee Adam attended our Corporate Partnerships Masterclass. Throughout the course, they learned simple steps to create strategic and transformational partnerships – starting with shared purpose. They learned how to identify top prospects, how to secure meetings, and how to create partnership ideas to make the company the hero of the partnership.

Amy said: “The Masterclass was full of information and I learnt so many new skills. One of the things I have done differently since working with the team is how I view prospects. I no longer have a long prospect list but a shortlist of 10 which I can really see the potential in, and can create an effective partnership with through building from our shared purpose.”

The team were keen to implement what they learnt on the Masterclass, so they decided to progress with monthly brainstorming and pitch building support from Remarkable Partnerships. With this ongoing support, they were able to build compelling, purpose-driven opportunities to approach companies in their target industries. And they soon began to see results by winning partnerships with Ravensburger, Little Cooks and Morleys.

This ongoing support from Remarkable Partnerships also helped build their confidence when pitching to both current partners and top prospects. Shahzaadee saw growth from existing partnerships such as Berkeley Homes (Oxford and Chiltern) and Infinuem, who have supported through gifts in kind, employee fundraising and CRM activities.

Alongside the monthly support, Remarkable Partnerships led a Purpose and Possibility workshop for the Fundraising and Marketing teams. The objective was to engage and enthuse colleagues with the enormous potential of corporate partnerships, including seeing other long term value opportunities such as reach and individual supporters, not just income.

This workshop helped the group articulate their inspirational purpose for partnering with companies, as well as identifying potential barriers, both internal and external, and brainstorming ways to overcome them.

Nic Wilson, said: “Following on from the workshop, the process has been much slicker with marketing. We definitely work closer as a team and together look at the bigger picture possibility of any activity we are undertaking with a partner or prospect”.

Key benefits

Having supported Helen & Douglas House for over a year, and throughout the pandemic, there has been a huge shift in the quality of partnerships being secured. The team now have the skills and confidence to build mutually beneficial partnerships with their top prospects. They have also moved several of their existing partnerships from transactional to strategic. They have navigated through the pandemic, securing new partnerships and embedding existing ones, and they all have the knowledge to build partnerships post pandemic, in the new business landscape.