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Meet the team: Introducing Hattie Ghaui, PGB Project Director

We’re thrilled to welcome Hattie Ghaui to the Project Giving Back team. She joins as Project Director and will oversee all funding applications from good causes, designers, nurseries and other interested parties.

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September 1, 2021

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We’re thrilled to welcome Hattie Ghaui to the Project Giving Back team. She joins as Project Director and will oversee all funding applications from good causes, designers, nurseries and other interested parties.

Hattie will be the main point of contact for all Project Giving Back (PGB) enquiries and will coordinate all PGB communications alongside the wider support team. We caught up with Hattie to find out what attracted her to PGB, ask about her previous roles and her ambitions for PGB over the next three years.

Q: Dream job? What made you apply for the PGB Project Director role?

Ah, it’s such a funny one when you ask about a dream job because the 25-year old me was so hooked on the obsessive and competitive mission up the career ladder. Success and a dream job to me back then was dependent on becoming a director of a company, any company, before I was 30, running a huge team and, ultimately, burning myself out to get there. I’m not sure where it came from but I’d had it drilled into me that you should only make career choices with your head rather than your heart (bonkers, I know!). I think everyone is questioning what’s important to them at the moment, and I certainly was when I was considering this role - I wanted something that would have me working with creative, inspiring people who want to make a difference in the world, and who love telling stories in unusual ways. That’s my head talking. Where my heart comes into it is my mum, who died in 2016, absolutely loved plants and gardening, and the idea of giving back to others - so I think if she knew I’d taken this role, she’d be pretty ecstatic. So I applied with all my “head” reasons but I took the leap and accepted it just as much with the “heart” reason.

Q: Tell us about your experience of working with Tusk Trust - what are you most proud of?

It was one of the most incredible learning experiences, straight out of university and into a role working for their director of programmes in Kenya. We were responsible for advising our committee about which conservation projects across Africa should receive our donors’ funding and then monitoring its impact. We also organised events and produced a quarterly magazine and bank of stories for our comms team. I’m most proud of the relationships we formed with the project teams on the ground who are the ones really making the difference - it was inspiring to see how they worked.


Q: Tell us about your previous life in consumer and employer brand strategy and how will this inform your new role with PGB?

I started out in a WPP consumer branding agency, in a marketing role, and it was brilliant learning - I worked with some fantastic creative directors who taught me about the importance of user experience and how little time you have to grab people’s attention. I worked with an amazing strategist who showed me how the best brands are built on data, insights and meaningful ideas and that if you get that wrong, any messaging or campaigns will either fall flat or end up conflicting with each other. I moved from there to a start up agency that focused on employer branding and organisational culture which taught me so much about how to understand and connect with people’s personal and professional motivations. While there, I started and managed two teams from scratch, became the first female director in the company and managed one of our largest client accounts - along the way I learned that even if you haven’t got a clue about what you’re doing, you can usually figure it out.

Q: How do you feel about anonymous philanthropy and can it be a force for good?

I think it’s admirable. Often you find yourself in a situation where people are more concerned about everyone knowing they’re saving the world than letting the team focus on actually making a difference. I also think it benefits and protects the donors from people or organisations with biased motivations.


Q: What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing UK charitable organisations post-Covid and how does the opportunity PGB is offering address them?

It’s pretty daunting really when you think about the drop in income many charities are facing and the hit they’ve taken when it comes to in-person events and fundraising opportunities.

PGB gives charitable organisations and good causes the opportunity to take advantage of an incredible storytelling platform - exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show puts organisations in front of media and audiences that they may not have connected with before; it also lets them tell their story in an unusual and impactful way.


Q: What are you most looking forward to about your role with PGB?

I get to work with talented and unbelievably creative garden designers; I get to learn about amazing charitable causes; and I get to legitimately spend more time visiting gardens and passing it off as research for my work!

Q: In five words: what does a good day at work feel like for you?

Creative, happy, organised, impactful and fun.


You can follow Hattie on Instagram here or drop her a line if you'd like to find out more about getting involved in Project Giving Back.

Applications now open for 2023

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