Charities are facing big challenges in an environment of reduced government funding and growing donor disillusion. Small charities have an even harder challenge in transforming their corners of the world while competing with their larger peers for visibility. Limited resources, skills and connections hinder their growth and stability.
The Accelerator model has been wildly successful in the for-profit sector, enabling hundreds of thousands of startups to grow in a sustainable way. At Rainmaker Foundation we believe that if small charities with big potential have access to the same vital tools, frameworks and resources available to commercial startups: they will thrive.
Having a Rainmaker charity mentor has been one of the most valuable parts of being part of the accelerator programme. It has been a privilege and I’ve learned so much through the experience
Natasha Banke – Director,
Hull Children’s University
What we are looking forborder
30 organisations a year that want to accelerate and improve what they do and how they do it
We accept non-registered charities but you must be a purpose-led organisation.
Organisations that want to amplify their impact and expand their reach.
Organisations providing solutions that challenge current thinking for solving existing issues.
Organisations that act with transparency, passion and determination.
Small or Starting Out
A turnover of less than £2 million.
Organisations entering a crossroads in their growth that need support reaching the next stage.
*We have no restrictions on reapplying.
How could the Rainmaker Accelerator work for your organisationborder
Our programme seeks to bring disruptive innovation from the technology sector and apply entrepreneurial thinking to non-profit organisations that want to scale.
This is not about helping you to fundraise more. This is about learning new things and expanding the tools and resources available to your organisation to help you do what you do more effectively.
Over the course of our programme we’ll be helping you to:
Bring your organisational values to the forefront of what you do
Explore new models to enhance your financial sustainability
Shake-up how you operate to source cost-effective solutions for how you run your organisation
Use digital technology to track your impact and engage with your stakeholders
Build your network of supporters and champions to accelerate your growth
It will consist of a combination of workshops, masterclasses, mentoring, digital tech training, hackathons and networking sessions, delivered by our Rainmakers, partners and staff.
What do we expect from youborder
A willingness to dive into the process, and openness to organisational change
A collaborative approach to working with your accelerator peer group and the Rainmaker network
Multi-tiered organisational buy-in and support for the programme (particularly at Executive/Board level)
Consistent participation of at least one staff member that can integrate learning from the programme into your organisation
Delivery of Key Performance Indicators identified at the beginning of the programme
Mentors & Faculty
- JAMIE WALLS,RainmakerWorked as an economist for several years before joining Shell Australia, moving into external relations. His experience ranges across issues management, government relations, community relations and corporate communications.
"After 40 years working in business I thought it was time to put back into the community. I dislike the growing inequality in our world - we all have a responsibility to do something about it."
- BONNIE CHIU,PartnerManaging Director of The Social Investment Consultancy, an international consulting firm that helps charities and businesses maximise their social impact. Bonnie is also the co-founder and CEO of non-profit social enterprise Lensational, which aims to empower marginalised women by equipping them with cameras and photography training.
- ELEANOR BESLEY-GOULD,PartnerDirector of Development at Projects for All. Previous work focussed on domestic transport and energy agendas, successfully influencing policy and budget changes at national level.
"Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for over a decade, I’m well aware of the challenges faced by small charities and truly believe that accelerator programmes like Rainmaker can have a huge impact to help organisations make that step from start-up to grown-up."
- CARA TURTINGTON,PartnerPartner at Saffery Champness, Cara works predominantly on assignments in the not-for-profit sector, managing audits and assisting clients in areas such as governance, systems & controls.
"The charities on the accelerator programme are all run by dedicated people with great ideas, trying to make a difference. Using my professional knowledge to help them develop is hugely rewarding – and you get to meet some really interesting people."
- OLIVER HUGGINS,RainmakerTwenty years’ experience in financial markets, initially on the trading floors of large investment banks as a quantitative analyst and financial engineer. After leaving banking in 2010, he has set up and now runs risk teams in the insurance and financial infrastructure sectors.
"I support the Rainmaker Foundation because it gives me the opportunity to provide practical support to the wonderful charities on the Accelerator programme; and to learn from the incredible people who run them!"
- ANTHONY FAWKES,PartnerExperience in database management specialising in address enhancement, data manipulation and deduplication. He specialises in Charity CRM systems and is an independent external database consultant for JustGiving.
"I want to improve the fundamentals of the sector, a pillar of which is data and its usage in the not-for-profit world."
- ROB NOBLE, RainmakerAn energetic company director, chairman, digital non-exec & consultant. He has a proven track record of creating rapid growth and increasing profit in digital and tech businesses.
"Rainmaker presented a uniquely practical way to match my skills and experience with relevant charities that weren’t in the mainstream but needed assistance."
- ROB WIRSZYCZ,RainmakerNon-exec chairman, advisor and mentor for businesses ranging from start-ups to publicly quoted, including fast growth, turnarounds, not-for-profits, and private equity.
"I volunteer with Rainmaker because I love the exchange of thinking – I learn from them, they learn from me"
Weeks 1 – 4 : INDUCTION
Introduction to the Rainmaker Foundation community and fellow entrepreneurs, kicked off with an innovation day
Weeks 5 – 8 : MAKE YOUR CHARITY MATTER
Clarify your purpose, architect your culture, define your leadership lens and map out your stakeholders
Weeks 9 – 12 : TELL YOUR STORY
Develop a brand story and identity that speaks to your target audience
Weeks 13 – 16 : LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD
Review internal financial systems and procedures and assess organisations financial sustainability
Weeks 17 – 20 : AMPLIFY YOUR IMPACT
Review progress and identify key growth areas to target. 30-day online fundraising challenge
Weeks 21 – 24 : ONWARDS & UPWARDS
Graduation month: finalise your pitch for investment and generate interest leads
Our mentors knowledge, patience and expertise in guiding us through a challenging period of growth was vital in helping us become a stronger, more purposeful organisation