As Head of Culture and Well Being at SDL Group, Laura Hill is responsible for all charity partnerships and employee fundraising. When she and the senior SDL management team came to visit The Donna Louise for the first time, she knew that it was a perfect fit for their business.

Why did SDL decide to support The Donna Louise?

We are a national business and so could have chosen many charities across the UK but we were so touched by the work of The Donna Louise, and the incredibly difficult times faced by the families that use the service, we just knew that we wanted to help. We were completely blown away by the hospice and how amazing it was, to be honest I was an emotional wreck. I just knew that I would do anything I could to help.


How have you raised money?

We have done lots of different things, every January I set a calendar of fundraising events for the whole year. We always have a team representing SDL at all The Donna Louise events – It’s a Knockout, the skydive, the 5k/10k run and the zipwire. These “bucket-list” challenges are great for our staff as they get the opportunity to do something they’ve always wanted to do and raise money at the same time. We have one month a year dedicated to fundraising with activities during each week, this has included cake sales, a beach day, a big stadium football tournament, curry club…. the list is endless.


What have been the most successful fundraising activities?

From a money perspective, I organise an online auction each year and this raises about £8,000. We ask clients to donate prizes, anything from a trip on a yacht, a race-day experience, we offer extra holidays days, and staff can bid for them online.

We are aware that raising the profile of The Donna Louise is equally important, and to help this we produce a charity calendar every year which we give out to all clients. It helps to spread the word about the fantastic work of the hospice.


How did you get employees engaged and switched on to fundraising for The Donna Louise?

Fundraising is a great way to build team spirit and put the “feel-good” factor into the workplace. Taking part in challenges is great for team building; there are many benefits for the business and well as the charity. I think the key to getting everybody engaged is face-to-face communication about what’s happening. I send a communication about every activity and event, but I also have a stand in the lunch room and talk to people about what’s going on and how they can get involved. Employee fundraising has so many benefits it raises money for the charity, it raises their profile, staff can make a positive difference and they have fun along the way – “win-win!”


What’s your “Top-Tip” for fundraising success?

Visit The Donna Louise!! It is not at all what you would expect a hospice to be; I was overwhelmed by how fantastic it is. To be successful it has to be a partnership, we really feel that SDL Group are a part of the Donna Louise family.