Rebecca Ward

Development Manager

Rebecca joined Cause4 after completing an MA at the University of Leeds in Music and Management with Distinction, for which she was awarded the Julian Rushton Scholarship and the Lord Snowden Prize.

Rebecca is experienced in fundraising, programme development, governance, strategy and research, with a background in music. Her interest in wider third-sector development and best practice was inspired when she founded her own organisation during the Covid-19 pandemic, Young Musicians for Social Justice, which aims to support and mobilise young musicians (aged 16-25) to realise sustainable social justice solutions. She is also on the Board of Trustees at Manchester Camerata. Primarily, her work is rooted in a drive to use creativity and innovation to bring about positive social change.

Rebecca takes a lead on developing robust research papers looking at trends in fundraising and philanthropy. She has also contributed to the successful development of a number of fundraising strategies and campaigns, with a focus on research, benchmarking, and analysis, and regularly conducts thorough research into funding prospects, using her own networks, Cause4‘s databases and online research to create pipelines for Trusts and Foundations, individuals and corporates. 



Posts by Rebecca Ward

Charity Commission Chair weighs in on the ethics of charitable donations

17th November, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

Many will have seen the article published by the Guardian on the 9th November, in which the current Chair of the Charity Commission weighs in on the debate regarding the ethics of accepting or refusing charitable donations. The article recalls how he recently challenged trustees who may be refusing charitable donations on the basis that their own “personal worldviews or preferences” are incompatible with those of the donor – be the donor a corporation, wealthy philanthropist, or trust. The comments are a warning to trustees that, if they are rejecting donations, they must have a very good reason for doing so.

Women-led governance and leadership – an ongoing area for improvement

17th August, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

Many women make up the workforce within the charity sector, but not all women go on to leadership roles; according to Clara Miller, “two-thirds of charity sector employees are women, but less than a quarter go on to become Chief Execs”. Additionally, there are concerns as to whether enough women are occupying board positions in both corporate and charity governance. 

Thanking your donors – why it’s important

11th July, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

Having a large pool of donors committed to your cause in the long term is a dream for all charities, but  more than 60% of nonprofits don’t thank their benefactors properly whether slow, impersonal or well, not at all. It is essential for your organisation to show gratitude to your supporters if you hope to retain them.

Underrepresented groups in leadership? A promising start but a long way to go

20th June, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

In the last few years, there has been a drive to improve diversity and representation in the governance and leadership of organisations. The total proportion of trustees from ethnic-minority backgrounds has also risen sharply since 2018, from 7 per cent to 16 per cent. However, the executive recruitment agency - Inclusive Boards - found that 29% of the biggest charities have all White trustee boards, thus the drive towards diversity within organisations is far from over. 

Youth Board Leadership: Where are we now?

7th June, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

Over the years, Cause4 has highlighted the importance of improving diversity and representation on boards, including young people. It is great to see an increasing number of organisations out there that have young people on their board, such as Young Minds, the NSPCC and the Roundhouse Trust. However, it is estimated that only 2% of charities have a young person on their board, so there is still work to be done. In this blog, and as part of our Balance the Board campaign, we return to this issue to remind ourselves why it’s important and consider where we are now.   

CIoF Insights Fundraising Conference 2023

5th May, 2023 | By Rebecca Ward

Recently I attended the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Insight Fundraising Conference 2023. I was grateful for being awarded a bursary through the RAISE programme to support early-career arts fundraisers, without which I wouldn’t have been able to attend the in person event in London. 

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