Charityworks was born in a series of coffee shops in 2008, when a number of conversations between like-minded colleagues in the non-profit sector gave breath to an idea that Rachel Whale, one of the founders, had developed over a number of years spent working in, and with, non-profit organisations.

The idea stemmed from three things: firstly, a recognition of the lack of a robust and successful talent development strategy in many non-profit organisations. Secondly, an acknowledgment that people with exceptional talent and commitment were finding it hard to find an entry route into the sector. And thirdly, a sense of frustration that working in the sector was rarely promoted as a career of choice despite its huge benefits.

Once the idea was articulated, it became a reality after the overwhelmingly positive reception it received in informal conversations, at focus groups, and the original support and commitment of the six founding organisations.

Out of these ideas and conversations the original Charityworks graduate trainee programme was born and in 2014 Charityworks built on widespread support in the non-profit sector to make the programme national. Having spent 5 years piloting with small cohorts and a focus on London, the focus of the programme spread to a wider range of host organisations all over the country. That support, combined with a grant from the UK Cabinet Office, resulted in 104 trainees going through the 2014/15 programme based at 60 organisations in 3 geographical hubs.

The original graduate programme is still a flagship for Charityworks and thrives today. Find out more here.

Since then other programmes have also been added to the Charityworks portfolio which focus on different areas of talent development for the not-for-profit sector:

  • 2027 is a partnership programme which exists to hire, develop and support anybody passionate about forging a career that helps them serve communities through grant-giving, and has some lived experience of living and working in the community’s of benefit. If you’re looking to develop a career with more influence on enacting change, this could be the opportunity for you – find out more here.

  • Kickstart is a programme which is helping non-profit organisations and charities access government-backed Kickstart job placements for young people on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term youth unemployment. Over 200 organisations are already accessing roles through our gateway, and there are over 500 roles available for young people aged 16-24 to apply for now all across the country. Find out more here.



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