Making your patron and celebrity strategy a reality is never easy. Last year Together for Short Lives had identified an objective to develop a relationship with a sports celebrity – we’d started to make good progress, putting out feelers and networking among our celebrity friends. But every so often something amazing happens, like when we were first met Chelsea and England midfielder, Mason Mount. In this case the learning is, “you never know who is in your audience or who may be touched by your work”. That’s how we met Mason Mount.
Last November I was leading a Frozen 2 event hosted by Disney in partnership with M&S. I took some children and families to a spectacular Frozen 2 party in Manchester giving them a private and surprise treat with Frozen 2 Disney characters – it was a magical day. I spent time chatting to a lovely man who was working on the Disney set. He loved meeting the seriously ill children and families at the event and was blown away by our work. I had no idea that he was related to Mason. I bumped into him again a few weeks later, at the Frozen 2 Premiere. He explained who he was, and said he’d told Mason all about the remarkable work Together for Short Lives does, and what’s more Mason Mount wanted to get to know us! We exchanged numbers and the rest is history.
Of course, it takes time, planning, careful management and stewardship to develop high profile relationships, making sure they are the right fit, and vitally that they are supported, engaged and can see the value of your work. I worked with Emma Lloyd-Cowell, our Head of Philanthropy, on an approach to nurture our relationship with Mason, building trust with his agent and family and finding the right opportunities for Mason. We knew that Mason was a great fit – his strong family bonds and determination to help others resonated with our charity values. Investing in strong stewardship is key to developing great relationships with your patrons.
Over 2020 Mason Mount joined Together for Short Lives as an ambassador, supporting so many campaign bursts during the year, including Children’s Hospice Week, auctioning his signed boots and a match worn football, the BGC Charity Day and our 2020 Christmas Together Appeal. Just before Mason recorded his special appeal video, ( appeal film here.), he wanted to meet the family supporting our Christmas Appeal. Mason surprised six-year old Alfie’s family with a very special zoom call, meeting Alfie, dad Kieron, mum Louise and sister Mila Rose. It was a very special day, making precious memories with the family.
Mason is passionate about helping families like Alfie’s and after a tremendous year of supporting Together for Short Lives, we were so thrilled to announce Mason as our new patron on his 22nd birthday in January. We love having him on our team and know Mason will work tirelessly to make a lasting difference. We’re so pleased to share that Mason’s birthday raffle to mark his patronage has just raised over £12.5K – a brilliant start to our year
The news of Mason Mount’s Patronage was announced on his 22nd birthday on 10 January 2021. Welcoming the news, Mason Mount, Patron for Together for Short Lives, said:
“I received the best birthday present today, Together for Short Lives has made me a Patron of its charity. I’m so proud of the work they do to support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families. Together for Short Lives is a lifeline to them and I have seen first-hand the truly amazing work they do.”
“To celebrate I wanted to give you and a friend the chance to win Nike hospitality tickets to a home game later on this year and a photo with me after the game. And every penny raised will help Together for Short Lives do more for seriously ill children right across the UK” added Mason Mount.
For a chance to win in two tickets to the Nike Hospitality Box at Stamford Bridge (dates TBC: subject to Covid-19 restrictions) and a chance to meet Mason for photo opportunity and chat, visit Mason’s Mount’s Just Giving page and enter the raffle. For every £10 you will receive one entry into the raffle. For T&C see Just Giving.
Welcoming Mason Mount as a Patron, Andy Fletcher, CEO for Together for Short Lives added:“I’m thrilled to name Mason Mount as Patron for Together for Short Lives. As well as being a talented young football player with a punishing fixture schedule, and making time to be with his family, Mason is completely dedicated and passionate about helping other families facing the unimaginable grief of knowing their child will die young. Mason’s support and generosity will make a huge difference, and we are so honoured to have him on our team! Thank you, Mason, and welcome to the Together for Short Lives family.”
This post was originally made on the UK edition of ehospice and has been replicated with permission.