15th January, 2016

~ Cause4 urges people to consider becoming a Charity Trustee in 2016 ~

 LONDON - 15 January 2016: Cause4 has been helping the UK’s not-for-profit sector develop strategies for growth since 2009 and has seen the urgent need for talented Trustees increase year on year. Scandals and improprieties hit the UK charity sector hard in 2015 with a 52% increase in enforcement cases by the Charity Commission. The scrutiny on each of the UK’s 165,000 charities is at an all-time high. The Board of Trustees of any charity is responsible for its governance, compliance and sustainability. The UK’s shortage of motivated, committed people to take roles as Trustees will be a charity’s biggest challenge in 2016 according to Cause4’s CEO and founder, Michelle Wright.

“A good Board of Trustees makes the difference between success and failure,” said Michelle. “We know that charities can benefit from of a broad range of skills, ages and experiences at board level. We also know that two thirds of the UK’s Trustees are aged 50 or over. That’s a lot of talented younger people that are missing from the charity boardroom. We’re issuing a call to action to people over 18 to consider what time and expertise they could offer any charity as a Trustee.”

Cause4 has been working with Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) on a charity Trustee Leadership Programme for the last two years. The Clothworkers’ Company also supports the programme. This programme encourages young professionals to become charity Trustees and trains them in the skills necessary to guide the strategic direction of a charity.

Recent participants in the Trustee Leadership Programme include Fiona McGlinchey, an Engagement Manager at Axiom. At 33, Fiona had some experience of volunteering but had never considered becoming a Trustee. ‘I always thought that Trustees were more senior, more experienced than myself,” she said. “But once it was explained, I thought it sounded really interesting. I have worked as a volunteer before now but the opportunity to be on the board of Trustees gives me a big picture view. I joined The Big Splash Trust, a charity that enables severely disabled children and their families to use hydrotherapy and other resources at Jack Tizard school. I’ve already seen the impact that the charity is making. My advice for anyone questioning becoming a Trustee is to be realistic about the time commitment you’ll need to make but don’t be nervous about what you’ll get out of it. You’ll get a lot - personally and also professionally.”
clothworkers-company-logo-horiz-rgb-blackClose Brothers AM




Charles Coldicott, 24, is now an analyst at Barclays Investment Bank. He previously worked at Close Brothers and was part of the team that helped implement Cause4’s programme for Trustee Development. ‘Our research showed unquestionably that it was good to have young people as Trustees. Young people are often closer to the age of the beneficiaries and can suggest action and connect to audiences that more mature Trustees might not consider.” Charles had worked as a volunteer previously, tutoring kids from underprivileged backgrounds, and was intrigued by the opportunity to get more involved with a charity from a strategic point of view. He works an hour a week as a Trustee for Good Story, which helps fund and advise creative social enterprises. In his regular job, Charles is part of a large international institution so he enjoys the contrast of working within a small charity. “It’s rewarding to see how you can make a difference as an individual,” he said. “I’m learning new skills, getting a view of organisational strategy as well as a great deal of satisfaction.”

Cause4’s Trustee Leadership Programme, managed on behalf of Close Brothers, will run throughout 2016. Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Charity Trustee should contact for more information.



Media Enquiries Lucy George at Wordville 0207 725 9798 or

Notes to Editors


Established in May 2009, social enterprise Cause4 supports charities, social enterprises and philanthropists in development and fundraising across community, arts, sports and education. Cause4 champions disruptive philanthropy and new ways of scaling up charities and social enterprises. Learning lessons from the private sector to benefit not-for-profit organisations, Cause4 helps attract the best graduate talent to work on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Provoking change is at the heart of company’s mission.

In 2010 Cause4 developed the Entrepreneurship training programme to address the widely-acknowledged talent shortage in this area. The programme identifies young graduates with a passion for the charitable sector and with the entrepreneurial drive, personality and talent to succeed. To date, over 30 graduates have participated in the initiative.

Cause4 has won a string of awards including for founder Michelle Wright, as female entrepreneur of the year at the Natwest Start Up Awards 2011. The company is a top 10 winner in the Ernst and Young Future 100 awards 2011, a winner in the 2012 Startups 100 list for most innovative small businesses across the UK. Cause4 has also won two silver international Stevie Awards for innovation and in 2014 has been selected as a National Champion representing the UK in the European Business Awards.

Cause4 was also recognised as one of the top 25 Hyper-growth organisations in the UK having joined the Government’s Growth Accelerator Programme in early 2013 and was invited to be part of Accelerate 250 – an invitation by Lord Young of Graffham (PM's enterprise advisor) for the UK’s top 6% of small businesses showing high growth potential. In 2013 Cause4 was awarded a fast-growth Award from Unltd and was also recognised in the Silicon Valley UK 100 list for the top 100 UK companies showing potential to generate multi-million pound revenues.

Cause4 is an entrepreneur incubator, providing training and support to help people succeed in important charitable projects, innovative businesses and social enterprises, and to raise vital funds. Since May 2009, Cause4 has raised over £40 million for clients, regularly raising over £500,000 in charitable income per month.

More information about Cause4’s strategic development programmes and talent development initiatives can be found at

About the Trustee Leadership Programme

Delivered in partnership with Close Brothers AM and the Clothworkers’ Company, Cause4’s Trustee Leadership Programme provides professionals interested in contributing to the charitable sector with expert training and the confidence to take on a Trustee role.

The programme tackles one of the biggest obstacles to a flourishing charitable sector - the lack of fresh leadership talent at the governance level. It also offers an enriching career development opportunity to participants.

The content covers the key regulatory and compliance requirements (Charity Commission guidance and other best practice) and is delivered by sector experts, who bring years of insight and real-world examples to the seminar based training. Cause4’s Chairman Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, foundation director Elizabeth Rantzen, the Hepworth’s Jane Marriott, and Matthew Bowcock CBE have all presented.

Delivered in a modular structure over five evenings, all modules address the central question “How can I become an effective board member?” Some 183 professionals have taken part in the course so far, mainly following a general civil society curriculum. The most recent course run in Autumn 2015 focused on the needs of arts and culture charities and, as with other cohorts, concludes with a Matching evening, enabling charities and new potential Trustees to meet each other.

The content has been guided by the key regulatory handbook, Charity Commission guidance CC3, ‘the essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do’. Given developments across Charity regulation, fundraising rules and financial compliance, charities and prospective Trustees need the Trustee Leadership Programme more than ever.

“Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy has changed the game for arts fundraising as Clore did for leadership.”

Phil Gibby, Director Arts Council England, South West