Interview with Rosie Haighton from GivebackUK

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GivebackUK is a charitable organization in the UK encouraging business leaders and subject-matter experts to contribute video interviews and short lessons, which are made available for free for people working in the third sector to benefit from their advice and insights.

Here KnowledgePower features an exclusive interview with their Producer, Rosie Haighton, to help more UK businesses understand the value of participating in this worthy enterprise!

Photo of Rosie

GivebackUK's Rosie Haighton explains giving back to the 3rd sector isn't only about money as businesses can find ways to be "generous in terms of giving their time, knowledge, resources and support"

How and why was GivebackUK started?

I work for the Charity Learning Consortium, a group of over 120 charities and not for profits collaborating to save time and money by using eLearning.

I love what we do, but we estimate that only 500 to 1,000 charities within the UK have a specific learning and development (L&D) resource which enables them to benefit from joining us.

So the question was, how can we support the other 164,000 charities within the UK that have no budget at all for developing their staff? And it always came back to this one thing: they simply have no money for L&D.

This is how GivebackUK came about, from the simple challenge of being able to find a way to freely share knowledge and expertise to help support professional and personal development within the third sector.

Video seemed the perfect way to reach this mass audience, and we’ve been busy making this a reality for the past 18months.

With a £50,000 funding boost from the Ufi Charitable Trust, the project has accelerated and we’ll be launching the GivebackUK video learning library to end users in June, which we’re obviously tremendously excited about!

Who will have access to the resources?

GivebackUK’s video learning library, ClearLessons, will be freely available to anyone who is working or volunteering in the UK third sector.

Currently ClearLessons is exclusively video content. There may be other projects that we work on in the future but at the moment we’re focusing on getting the video platform ready for launch. The video platform will be interactive to encourage further knowledge sharing and we plan to have 1,000 videos available in June.

A professional-looking video setup as a GivebackUK video interview is under way

"GivebackUK is creating ClearLessons, an inspirational video learning library free to everyone within the UK third sector. "

There are more than 800,000 paid staff and 13 million volunteers (those that volunteer at least once a month) within the UK, so our potential audience is huge.

Charitable organisations can choose to incorporate GivebackUK videos into their L&D strategy, or individuals looking for support with their role can use it independently.

How do you plan the topics and materials to be included in the lessons?

The Charity Learning Consortium currently provides eLearning and resources to more than 500,000 staff and volunteers in the sector, and we’ve been doing what we do for more than a decade, so we’ve learnt a lot along the way about their needs. But we’re also very lucky that our members - 120+ charities, housing associations and not for profits – are so engaged with us, so we have a great resource for feedback from third sector learning and development professionals.

As well as receiving direct requests and feedback from our members , we’ve also appointed GivebackUK Champions - members that have volunteered their support for testing the platform and content. Our Champions also feedback topic requests from staff and volunteers within their organisations.

We’ve also partnered with the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), which has carried out research into skills gaps within small charities – published in the UK Small Charity Sector Skills Survey report. The report identified several areas where skills were lacking, such as marketing, fundraising and human resources, so we’ll be focusing on these areas in our Charity Series of GivebackUK videos.

The FSI are also working with us to identify relevant topic areas to film, we will be sending out surveys to their database of over 2000 small charity employees to make sure we’re giving our audience what they need. FSI will also help by identifying speakers that we can film at their conferences in 2016.

Who is contributing interviews and resources so far?

So far, we’ve had more than 100 people contribute to our videos, from charity and corporate organisations.

We’ve filmed people in senior roles within BT, Facebook, Barclays, O2, ActionAid, Virgin Media, NHS, Barnardo’s, CIPD, Sony and many more.

Mark Davies in a black and white photo operating a large pro video camera

Dr Mark Davies: Filmmaker for GivebackUK. His company SeeLearning creates videos for learning and to inspire change.

What are you working on between now and the launch in June 2016?

The three main things we’re working on are the bespoke video platform, filming The Charity Series, and the launch in June. This has all been made possible by £50,000 worth of funding from the Ufi Charitable Trust which funds projects that support vocational learning through digital tools.

This work includes:

  • Video Platform – we’re creating a bespoke platform that aims to support video for learning rather than just playback. We’ll be testing functionality and features with help from our GivebackUK Champions.
  • The Charity Series –we’ll be filming for this series at the FSI Conferences, the first one being at the FSI Skills Conference, 10th February in London. These videos will focus on charity specific topics and skills gap within the sector. There are several FSI conferences we’re filming at between February and May, so come and say hello if you spot us!
  • Launch – we’ll be launching the platform with 1,000 videos at FSI’s Small Charity Week on June 14 2016 - this will be invaluable for reaching our target audience. We’re incredibly grateful to all our friends and partners for their support in getting GivebackUK off the ground.

Black and white photo of an interview with Martin Couzins showing pro lighting equipment

GivebackUK is launching their video learning library, with 1,000 videos, at FSI’s Small Charity Week on 14 June 2016

Has the digital revolution been a good thing for charities?

Charities were trail blazers when it came to the digital revolution, spotting the huge potential of using social media for fundraising very early on.

You just have to think about the ice bucket challenge, and the countless other examples of ‘viral’ charity fundraising, to see how positive the digital revolution has been for third sector marketing and fundraising in particular.

Third sector learning and development departments have also embraced a range of technology, using eLearning, webinars and online classrooms. In the future I’d love to see those L&D departments harnessing social media for knowledge sharing too.

Do you foresee a wider trend of the corporate world giving back to society?

Corporate giving has changed immeasurably. Organisations are much more sophisticated at aligning what they’re ‘giving’ to something that has real meaning to them, and they also give in a whole myriad of ways.

The Barnardo’s and Argos toy exchange is a good example.

The days of corporates writing a blank cheque are probably long gone but I’ve personally found them incredibly generous in terms of giving their time, knowledge, resources and support as well as money.


KnowledgePower George: THANKS Rosie for doing this blog interview and more power to the project in 2016!


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All About GivebackUK

  • Location:
    Woodchester, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire.
  • Main focus:
    The Charity and the bespoke GivebackUK video platform.
  • Organizations involved so far:
    People who have volunteered their time come from a wide range of organisations, including:
    BT, O2, Facebook, Virgin Media, ASOS, FirstGroup, ActionAid, CIPD, Barnardos, Marks & Spencer, JP Morgan, NHS, Volvo, McDonalds, ILM and more.

GivebackUK Team

  • Martin Baker: Chief Executive of the Charity Learning Consortium (CLC) & founder of GivebackUK. Martin has over 20 years experience delivering online learning, 14 years working with the third sector. Martin’s contacts have enabled us to forge invaluable partnerships.
  • Rosie Haighton: Community Manager at the Charity Learning Consortium and Producer at GivebackUK. Rosie has regular contact with members, providing insight into their needs and wants. A radio production degree complements her role at GivebackUK.
  • Dr Mark Davies: Filmmaker for GivebackUK. With a PHD in Anthropology, Mark is a keen believer in using storytelling to teach. His company SeeLearning creates videos for learning and to inspire change. Mark’s great people skills make interviewees comfortable in front of a camera, which is 70% of the job!
  • We are also very lucky to have support from the Charity Learning Consortium team.
    Key members include:
    - Genevieve Allan, Marketing Manager;
    - Ian Ross, Learning Technologies Manager;
    - Josh Willcock, Senior Developer.

Keep an eye on the news page of our website to see how we’re getting on. If you’d like to volunteer, either to be filmed to share your workplace expertise, or to become a GivebackUK champion, please get in touch.

GivebackUK news site:

Press Contact

Rosie Haighton
[email protected]
0777 623 6664


Thank you for reading this non-sponsored partner interview for the KnowledgePower Digital Marketing Strategy blog. Copyright 2015 KnowledgePower Ltd.