Kickstarting a charity sector career with the Development Fellowship

9 September 2021 | By Naomi Chapman

Have you seen that Cause4 is hiring? We’re looking for a talented individual to join the company on a two-year Fellowship, who will gain an in-depth insight into the charity sector, experience working in an agency / consultancy setting, and a formal qualification. 

Previous staff who joined Cause4 at an entry level have gone on to work for prestigious charities and public sector organisations including the Cabinet Office, the University of Cambridge, Teach First and the Wellcome Trust.

To help you gain an understanding of the unique two-year Fellowship, we asked existing staff who are on, or have completed the programme, to share their thoughts.


Naomi Chapman, our current Development Manager joined Cause4 on the Development Fellowship in August 2019. She said:

“Since day one on the Fellowship, I loved the variety and complexity of work that was undertaken at Cause4. From supporting food bank provision at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, to designing nationwide training programmes, to supporting arts organisations in my hometown, there has been a wealth of fascinating and impactful clients to support through challenges and opportunities. If you’re interested in a wide range of causes, and are prepared to work hard, then there’s nowhere better to learn quickly.

When I applied for the job, the formal training offered by Cause4 was a real selling point. I am now completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy at the University of Leeds, with full support from Cause4 in covering my fees, giving me study leave, and providing advice and expertise to supplement my learning. This level of support seems to me unique for an entry-level programme in the charity sector.” 

A key learning area for Naomi has been the importance of understanding and fostering a positive organisational culture. Since joining Cause4, she has moved from office-based work with regular travel to meet clients and support training delivery; to wholly remote working; into a new hybrid model. Within each stage, clear and regular communication with the team has been vital to supporting personal development, client needs and overall team morale. 


Erin Hughes, our current Development Associate started the Fellowship in September 2020. She said:

“In the 12 months since I started the Fellowship at Cause4, I have been on a steep and wonderful learning journey. One of the best things about the Fellowship is the variety of work, and therefore the variety of learning opportunities. Beyond the formal training, which is fantastic, there is so much personal and career development, and working at the high speed and level of Cause4, you acquire new skills faster than I’ve ever known in any other job. 

The role also provides an amazing opportunity to explore the charity sector and the incredible range of organisations that exist in this space. The chance to support them in achieving their charitable aims whilst learning and developing to kick-start your own career in the sector is a special one.”

A piece of key learning for Erin has been the importance of research and benchmarking in underpinning strategic development. Future plans need to be evidenced and backed up by clear rationale, and through use of data sets such as the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy MyCake dashboard and Office for National Statistics data on local need, so that charities can ensure increased relevance and likelihood of success with fundraising and programme design.


Find out more about the Fellowship, and apply by the 30th September here

Have any questions? Get in touch with Naomi here.

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