Want to change the world for a living?

As a Charityworks Trainee you will deliver a full time job in a partner charity or housing association, and take part in an acclaimed leadership programme which will introduce you to what you need to work and lead in the non-profit sector.

You’ll build experience of the sector, gain an understanding of the key issues, and have access to a national network dedicated to making a difference. You’ll do a real job in a placement organisation ranging from national charities like AgeUK and NSPCC to award-winning local housing associations like Poplar HARCA in the East End of London, to national organisations like the National Housing Federation.

You’ll be working with a programme team with years of experience in people development, and have access to an external mentor to help you make the most of the year. Once a month you’ll come together with your fellow trainees and leaders across the sector to explore and debate the key issues affecting your work and society as a whole. You’ll also produce your own research, helping to raise your profile and develop your understanding of your environment.

How It Works
  • How It Works
  • The Job
  • The Programme
  • Apply

The Charityworks year will look different for every trainee. While the core elements of the programme will be the same for everyone, we aim to give you a lot of autonomy to direct your own learning, and as such your experience will be dictated by the way you use the various opportunities on offer to you.

Application & Selection

The Charityworks Programme begins in the autumn or winter each year. All Charityworks Trainees are selected through an open application and selection process: you can find out more about that process, what we’re looking for, and how to apply, by clicking here.

Your Placement

Charityworks Trainees are placed into partner host organisations to perform real jobs, ranging from delivering front line services through to working on research and strategy. You will be placed into an organisation and role according to your skills, motivations, and the employer’s requirements. Each trainee is matched to an external mentor to help them make the most of the year and with support, are expected to deliver a brilliant job for the organisation, and the people who rely on that organisation. To find out more about our host organisations click here, and to find out more about the placement click the ‘The Job’ tab above.

The Programme

Alongside your placement, you will take part in a leadership programme made up of self-directed learning and group work. This programme aims to give you an overview of some of the key issues affecting society and the non-profit sector. The programme is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management and is intended to help you perform in your role, while also helping you develop skills, knowledge and networks you find useful through your life and career.


Each trainee completes independent research & enquiry project as part of the programme. Research provides trainees with an opportunity to spend some time researching and thinking about topics that affect them, their organisations, and the non-profit sector as a whole. This research helps to build your profile, and will have a tangible impact on the organisation in which you’re working, or the non-profit sector as a whole.


Each Charityworks trainee is matched with a mentor, with whom they will meet up to 6 times through the year for confidential 1-2-1s. Mentors come from all over the social sector and beyond. Many of them will be emerging or senior leaders, or they might be professional coaches who are giving their time pro bono.


As a Charityworks Trainee you will spend one year on the Charityworks Programme. During that year you will undertake a full time placement in one of the Charityworks partner organisations. Your role within the host charity or housing association will vary depending on the nature of placement you will be undertaking. You will be supported through the programme and placement by your peers, a mentor, and the Charityworks Programme Team.


Job Details

Job Title: Charityworks Trainee

Salary: The salary for the 2023/24 programme will meet the Living Wage (as set by the Living Wage Foundation). For reference, the salary last year was £21,255 (UK-wide) and £23,302.50 for London-based placements.

Employer: One of our Charityworks partner organisations.

Location: Placements will take place in organisations across a number of locations across the UK.

Hours: Usually 9am – 5pm with some flexibility according to the requirements of the placement and your host organisation.

Contract: Fixed term, 12 months commencing from Autumn 2023.


Job Overview

Charityworks placements vary so much that it is hard to provide a universal job description, but many of the circumstances, opportunities and challenges you will encounter over the course of the year will be common across your class.

As with any new job the more you put in the more you will get out. You will be expected to join a new organisation and hit the ground running, to build trust and relationships quickly and to start contributing to the organisation immediately. If you are willing to use your initiative, think creatively about your work, and communicate effectively, you will put yourself in a strong position to take on interesting projects and more responsibility as you progress through the year.

Regardless of where you are placed or what your role involves during your time on the programme, you will face similar challenges as you go through the year. As with all jobs, there will be a balance between work you find fascinating and work you find less interesting, and we expect you to adjust to that balance. We don’t expect all placements to be perfect from the beginning, but we do expect you to be resilient and to communicate well with the Charityworks team, your placement supervisor, and your mentor to make the placement work for you and to maximise your effectiveness for the charity and its beneficiaries.

The Charityworks programme requires you to balance a demanding full-time job with additional learning commitments across the rest of the programme (such as monthly peer cohort days, conferences, personal development planning, impact research assignments and mentoring sessions). The people who get the most out of Charityworks are always those that make the most of the opportunities the programme makes available. We are looking for people who want to take responsibility for their own learning and development, who want to work hard to make the most out of the opportunity.


Duties & Responsibilities

  • Deliver a specified role within one of our partner organisations. Carry out your responsibilities as outlined in your job description and work plan to the best of your abilities, and in agreement with your Placement Supervisor.
  • Engage positively with all aspects of the Charityworks leadership development programme – attend and engage in all cohort sessions and conferences, proactively engage with your mentor and deliver impact research assignments to a high standard.
  • Respond to all communications from Charityworks in a timely and professional manner, meeting deadlines and responding to all feedback and evaluation requests.
  • Take responsibility for keeping Charityworks informed regarding your placement, and your own professional development.
  • Learn about your placement organisation by connecting with colleagues, teams and familiarising yourself with your organisation’s mission, cause and strategy.
  • Provide support and challenge to your graduate trainee peers on the Charityworks programme and commit to developing a positive peer group.
  • Build relationships within and beyond your placement organisation and expand your professional horizons.
  • Be an ambassador for Charityworks by being a positive role model to other graduate trainees and future applicants and demonstrating our values, culture and standards when working on placement at our partner organisations.

This list of responsibilities is not necessarily an exhaustive list of duties and will be supplemented by a role description relevant to your individual placement.


Who will I be working for?

Charityworks operates through a collaborative network of non-profit organisations and as such our placements exist within charities and housing associations across the UK. All of our partner organisations share a common desire to attract more talent and generate more social impact. To see a list of the types of organisations you might be placed with through Charityworks please visit the Network page of our website for a list of current and past partners. Click here.


What type of roles are there?

Charityworks places Trainees into existing jobs across a range of organisations, and as such, the roles are highly diverse. However, some examples of some of the common roles are as follows:

Business development and fundraising

  • Supporting existing streams of income that support your organisation
  • Developing new business opportunities that can help to maximise the organisation’s income or profile
  • Organising, delivering and evaluating fundraising events
  • Researching, securing and maximizing income from trusts, lottery and statutory sources
  • Writing funding bids
  • Database management

Communication and campaigns

  • Developing and delivering campaigns to members of the public, opinion formers, politicians and the media.
  • Raising the charity’s profile by planning and delivering external communications to key audiences
  • Managing communication products – such as members’ newsletters, annual report, Facebook, Twitter
  • Helping to promote and raise awareness of your charity cause through press and PR, media coverage newsletters, magazines, case studies, promotional materials and other communications

Human Resources and Internal Communications

  • Assisting in developing, implementing and maintaining HR policies and procedures to ensure the consistent management of staff throughout the organisation
  • Responding to enquiries from internal and external customers
  • Delivering and evaluating internal communications strategies to ensure employee engagement
  • Developing, managing and attending training courses.

Research and Policy

  • Conducting original and desk-based research and summarizing it in research reports
  • Conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis on the available data
  • Preparing briefing documents and public positioning statements on key policy issues
  • Preparing responses to government consultations.
  • Analysing information confidently and effectively.

Frontline and customer facing

  • Supporting teams delivering frontline services
  • Managing sessional workers or volunteers
  • Identifying unmet needs within existing service provision
  • Working directly with service users
  • Reporting to commissioners

Technology and finance*

  • Managing systems in IT and technology
  • Coding and application design & management
  • Finance management and accountancy
  • Investment analysis, portfolio management

*If you have a degree in IT or Finance, and are looking to take up a role in one of these areas on the programme, you’ll qualify for an accelerated application.  To find out more click here.

Alongside your placement, you will take part in a leadership programme made up of self-directed learning and group work.

This programme aims to give you an overview of some of the key issues affecting society and the non-profit sector. The programme is endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management, and is intended to help you perform in your role, while also helping you develop skills, knowledge and networks you’ll will find useful through your life and career.

The programme is designed to give you a starting point, and the space to explore further. As such, you will have every chance to shape you own experience of the programme year through your research, access to coaching, networking opportunities, and mentoring. Alongside this self- directed work, we will also bring you together in groups of various sizes through the year. Group Work could include any or all of the following: peer coaching, local cohort sessions, and national conference events.

A full schedule of events and commitments will be made available at the beginning of the programme each year.

Find out if Charityworks is right for you and start your application here.


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