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Charityworks |

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Charityworks is a 12-month, talent programme where you will deliver a full time paid job in a partner charity and make real social impact.

Who we are

Our mission is to support the development of a non-profit sector better able to serve the people, causes and communities that rely on it. In a challenging political and economic landscape, and in the face of increasingly complex social issues, we believe the nonprofit sector’s success will depend on finding talented and committed people, and then putting them into an environment where they can use their time and talent in the pursuit of social change.

Our driving motivation as a team is to support everyone we work with to create the kind of change they want to see in the world. This is the way we will work with you this year, and we’re excited to get started.

As a Charityworks trainee you will perform a 12-month full time paid role at a partner charity or housing association. Our partner charities have included Mind, Marie Stopes International, Christian Aid, LGBT Foundation, National Housing Federation, Age UK, Barnardo’s, Big Issue Invest, Unicef, Who Cares? Scotland, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and many more.

In your placement you might be providing vital business support and evaluation at a national charity like NSPCC, leading on the improvement of infrastructure projects with a housing charity, driving business development at a mental health charity like Mind, or serving a community in a local project. You’ll be placed within an organisation that matches your interests and expertise, and have a chance to make a real impact through your work.

Alongside your placement, you will undertake an acclaimed leadership development programme, recognised by the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM), attending learning sessions and national conferences to equip you with the tools and skills to lead the change you want to see. You’ll also be supported by our programme team and 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.

With your experience in role, your ILM-recognised development and support from our programme team, you’ll be well positioned to launch your career in the sector. Many of our trainees stay on at their host organisations, many take their experience to secure their next permanent role in the sector and some even start their own charities.

Culture & Values

Our vision is of an impactful not-for-profit sector that is connected, collaborative and capable, supported by excellent leadership and management, and that is representative of the society it serves.

Our mission is to attract, grow and retain future leaders and managers for the not-for-profit sector, to ensure that sector leadership is representative of a wide diversity of characteristics and backgrounds, to promote the value of recruiting, developing and retaining talented people, and to support the development of cross-sector, supportive networks of current and future leaders.

In our work, we will prioritise and demonstrate these Values –

We will actively welcome and respect diversity of experience and perspective and encourage everyone to participate regardless of their background or role.

We will be open and honest, demonstrating accountability in all our work and use evidence-based and transparent decision-making.

We will create and take opportunities to advance and deliver on our Vision and Mission, foster a climate of ambition and excellence drawing on expertise from across the sector, strive to be a learning organisation, reflecting on both successes and failures and actively welcome fresh ideas and approaches.

We will work collaboratively, both within our organisation and with our partners and promote the value of collaboration within the sector, with employers and with participants in our programmes.

We aim to inspire the next generation of leaders by championing the role of the not-for-profit sector in improving society and to be inspired by a range of viewpoints and stakeholders.

Recruitment Process

All Charityworks Trainees are selected through an open application and selection process, designed to test your motivations to join the programme and your fit against our core competencies and leadership behaviours.


October 2023- February 2024: Applications open
April 2024: (Fast Track Only) Development day
May – June 2024: Assessment centres
June 2024: Placement matching offers
July – November 2024: Placement matching to roles
From September 2024: Programme starts

Our selection process

Application Form: We will ask you to submit your personal details and answer 4 questions which are designed to assess your motivations to join Charityworks. We strongly encourage you to read the information on our website and complete the self-selection tool before submitting your application.
Please note,
• if you are an applicant who is BAME (Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic), you are encouraged to apply through the Charityworks Fast-Track, providing accelerated access to the programme through our assessment day as well as providing you with exceptional professional development support.
• if your degree qualification is in IT or Finance and you are looking to be placed into a role in one of these areas, you can let us know by selecting this option on your application form. We are committed to supporting graduates in shortage skills areas to maximise their opportunities on the programme.

Assessment Centre: Your application will then be shortlisted. Unlike other graduate recruitment processes and as part of our commitment to diversity and fairness, there are no psychometric tests. This means two markers are guaranteed to read and mark your application. Successful candidates will be invited to one of our assessment centres that will take place virtually online. You’ll participate in an interview and a variety of individual and group activities to assess you against our core competencies and values. Full details of the assessment centre will be sent to candidates in advance of the day.

Placement Matching Offer: Candidates who have performed best throughout the selection process will be made an offer to join the Charityworks Placement Matching process, in mid-June.

Placement Matching: If you are successful in being made an offer, Charityworks will work to place you into a role within one of our partner organisations. You will have the opportunity to tell us about your aspirations, any restrictions you have around geography, role type and charitable cause and these will be taken into account during the matching process. Charityworks is designed to fill real jobs across a diverse sector experiencing significant flux. Ultimately we will work to match you to a placement that is a good fit for you out of those that are available, but you may be offered a role that you would not have previously considered. Candidates should note that a placement matching offer does not constitute an offer of employment and is subject to the securing of a suitable placement and to references and pre-employment checks.

Feedback: We aim to provide quantitative feedback to all candidates who progress to the assessment centre stage of the process and beyond. Unfortunately, due the number of applications we receive, we will not be able to provide feedback to candidates who do not progress to the assessment centre stage of the process, and given the nature of our selection process (merit-based, and against a clear criteria and scoring framework), we will not provide qualitative feedback for any stage of the process.

Charityworks is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible application process to all candidates and is actively working to improve the diversity of workforces and the non-profit sector. If you require adjustments to any part of the selection process, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will work with you to identify adjustments that will allow you to perform at your best.

Equality & Diversity

According to the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), just 5.3% of charity chief executives are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. The Charityworks Programme aims to bring the best people into leadership roles in the sector, and we want to tackle this lack of representation for the good of the sector and all those who are dependant upon it.

Charityworks actively seeks and encourages applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. More specifically, our equal opportunities and diversity monitoring has indicated that the programme itself currently marginally under-represents minority ethnic groups and so we actively encourage applications from eligible candidates from a BAME background.

We’re continuing to strive to ensure the sector reflects the diverse communities that it serves. When we launched our campaign for diversity in 2018, just 7% of our trainees were from a BAME background. Now, after just 4 years, that figure is more than 35% and rising. Therefore, the Charityworks Fast Track exists to encourage, support and develop more top-class talent from a BAME background to enter the sector and gain access to acclaimed leadership development opportunities through Charityworks.

The Charityworks Fast Track is an opportunity to gain professional development experience in preparation to launch a career in the non-profit sector as well as fast-track access to the Charityworks Programme. It’s specifically designed for applicants from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

You gain professional development experience, aimed at developing your leadership skills in preparation to launch your career in the non-profit sector.

You gain fast-track access to the Charityworks Programme in 2024, by skipping straight to our final assessment activities.

After applying to the Fast Track, with our shorter 2-question application form, successful applicants will be invited to take part in a professional development experience ahead of the fast-tracked assessment. Here you’ll get a chance to grow your skillset and understanding of the non-profit sector and develop new skills for your career development.

This offer is likely to take the form of a digital half-day development session with professionals in the sector and also serve as a fast-track to the final stage assessment activities for Charityworks. Candidates successful through these activities will then join the Charityworks Programme in 2024.

Personal Development

Charityworks is the UK non-profit sector’s graduate scheme: a paid, 12-month programme which gives you all the tools you need to launch a successful career in the UK non-profit sector.

As a Charityworks Graduate Trainee you will deliver a 12-month full-time job in a non-profit organisation and take part in an acclaimed leadership programme which will equip you to lead in the non-profit sector.

This leadership 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.

The recognised status of the programme powers up the development for our trainees by adding external validation and recognition to your journey. At the end of the year, successful trainees will be awarded with a certificate issued by the ILM to acknowledge the recognition, as well as a certificate to mark your Charityworks Fellowship.

Each Charityworks trainee is matched with a mentor, with whom they will meet every 6-8 weeks throughout the year for confidential 1-2-1s. Mentors come from all over the sector and beyond. Many of them will be emerging or senior leaders, or they might be professional coaches who are giving their time voluntarily. You will be matched with a mentor following a process similar to the placement matching process.

At Charityworks, we believe that coaching can play a significant role in supporting the growth of future leaders and have been practising coaching with Charityworks trainees for over 10 years. We consider coaching one of the most powerful methodologies for developing people. Therefore, as part of the Charityworks programme, you will be paired with a fellow trainee as a peer coaching pair and embark on the journey of becoming great coaches together.

As peer coaches, you will be introduced to the concept of coaching at your Induction and have the opportunity to practise and get feedback on your style and technique. We recommend that you then meet every 6-8 weeks over the course of the programme to keep this practice up.

Once a month, you’ll come together with fellow trainees and leaders across the sector to explore and debate the key issues affecting your work and society as a whole. You will undertake one piece of in-depth research, combining your passions with organisational business needs. As part of this research you will collect data, research a live problem and provide recommendations and an implementation plan to make a tangible impact. Your research project will be beneficial in raising your profile and developing your understanding of your environment.

At the end of the 12-month scheme you’ll have the experience and skills to kick-start your professional career in the UK social sector and beyond. Charityworks graduates are highly desired with 98% securing employment within 3 months if they were looking for it. Typically, over 66% of graduates stay in their host organisations at the end of the year, and 96% of graduates since 2009 have remained within the non-profit or public sector – some have even gone on to start their own organisations.

Latest opportunities

Latest opportunities

  • Project Coordinator

  • Charityworks Fast-Track Trainee