Annual Report

April 2022 - March 2023

Supporting the non-profit sector to recruit more efficiently, more effectively and more inclusively

For over 30 years, we’ve recruited extraordinarily talented people into rewarding and vital positions on behalf of some of the biggest and smallest non-profit organisations in the UK. Our consultants have unrivalled experience in the sector, and we’re proud to be the chosen recruitment partner for a vast array of charities, universities, membership bodies and institutes.

Message from our Managing Director, Nick Billingham

The last 12 months have gone by so quickly! In our last annual report, we talked about being busier than ever – a trend that continued throughout 2022. It has turned out to be a record-breaking year for us, with increasing numbers of charities seeking external support to recruit the right people in a candidate-short market.

Internally, we have been through a lot of change: bedding in new members of staff, IT transformation including a new database, and settling into our new office in Bermondsey. And for the first time, an internal conference as we sought to build intentional time together, now we all work more from home than in the office.

Looking forward, we’re making changes to our ownership structure, transitioning to an employee-owned business as our founder David Lale prepares to step down. Change brings the opportunity to consider where we’re collectively heading, and how we can shape our strategy to meet the evolving needs of charities across the UK.

Thank you in advance for reading our annual report. I find it’s always a good exercise to go through, to reflect on our achievements and look at where we still have work to do as we support the charity sector to recruit more effectively and more diversely.

And thank you as always to our clients, candidates, and this incredible team that I feel very fortunate to lead and be a part of.


Nick Billingham

2022 Highlights

Charity CEO Mentoring Pilot

More than ever, new leaders need a trustworthy sounding board to share challenges and relieve the anxieties of a demanding role. But they often can’t share concerns with their board, who are effectively their employer.

Our first Mentoring Programme connected 13 new and aspiring charity CEOs to experienced leaders across the charity sector for 6 months of free mentoring.

Our goal? To use our existing networks to equip a new generation of charity leaders and build a pipeline of fresh candidates for CEO roles.

“I have just finished my mentoring sessions with Susanette Mansour. They were incredibly useful and I am really grateful to you for setting them up. As well as her wealth of experience and knowledge, Susanette exudes calmness and visionary thinking. I have learnt and absorbed a great deal from her”

We are currently recruiting mentees for our 2023/24 programme. Find out more and sign up here. 

Inclusive recruitment course

Hiring inclusively is at the heart of Charity People’s work – and we want to support UK charities to do the same.

The inclusive recruitment course, run by our Head of EDI Hanan Kasmi, is a safe but brave space for people across the sector to share their lived experience, ideas and knowledge, and learn current best practice to take back to their organisations.

A total of 50 people attended the Inclusive Recruitment courses delivered in March, June and October 2022. They took away practical action points to embed right away and ideas to transform their workplace culture to both recruit and retain diverse talent.

‘It was good to hear approaches from others. And putting in context for the sector as a whole; why it’s so needed.’ Sam Brookes, Literacy Trust

Read more about our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion focus.

Salary and Organisational Culture Survey 2022

We partnered with CharityComms on their annual survey of charity marketing and communications professionals. Launched in February 2023, this year saw a record number of 790 respondents. The data we collected offered important insight across a range of topics including EDI; mental health and wellbeing; movement in the sector; and the perceived value of communications.

Read the results here.


are working from home full time


feel able to talk about their wellbeing at work


would expect flexible conditions as part of a future job

2022 Achievements


During the financial year of 22/23, Charity People has grown by 42% and our staff retention rate is 85%. We’ve grown out of necessity to meet the increasing demand for effective, equitable recruitment within the charity sector.

The longer our staff stay with us, the greater their understanding of the sector and our clients. So we have also grown cautiously, ensuring that everyone we hire is here to stay.

Strategy Committee

As we seek to serve a changing sector, we’ve brought together people from different areas of the business to audit our current position and create a strategy for the next 3-5 years and beyond.

IT and internal communications

After 15 years, it was time to upgrade to a new database. To help us work more dynamically, we’re now using Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, and we’re aiming to upgrade all of our hardware over the next 2 years.

We’ve also built our first intranet. Nicknamed C3P0, it’s a repository for all our documents and enables us to stay responsive and connected across the organisation.

Staff conference

In October, we took the whole team away to the New Forest for 2 days of team building, reflection and strategic discussion. It was a valuable time to reconnect as a team and reaffirm our shared goals and vision.


Through the past year, 7 of our staff have received a fully paid month off to enjoy rest, travel or creative space. Accommodating sabbaticals takes planning, but it’s a well-deserved benefit that we’re proud to offer.

2022 Challenges

Cost of living crisis

The rising cost of living is affecting everyone in the UK, shifting the priorities of potential and current employees. Both are looking for higher salaries to cover their bills, and flexible working arrangements to cut down on travel costs. For us, that means supporting our clients to create attractive salary and benefits packages as they seek to attract and retain talented staff.

Candidate shortage

In our last annual report, we were experiencing a candidate short market. That’s continued to be the case in 2022/23, with fewer EU staff available and a general reluctance on the part of UK employees to move jobs. Alongside offering good salaries, charities increasingly need to build an attractive employer brand and focus on accessibility to draw in a wider range of candidates.

Diversity of internal hires

Our team has grown considerably, but with that, our own internal diversity has slightly suffered – an area of great importance to us. To future-proof our processes, we’re implementing changes to our internal hiring process and reporting.

Watch our webinar: How to deal with a failed recruitment round

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

We want to see the charity sector reflecting the diversity of the people we serve.

EDI is a key focus of our work at Charity People. The UK charity sector still has a long way to go; for instance, an ACEVO survey showed that only 9% of charity workers were from a racially diverse background. By comparison, 14% of the wider UK population are racially diverse – and in London, where most charities are located, that figure rises to 40%.

Alongside the need for a representative workforce, the current shortage of candidates is making it imperative for many charities to reach a more diverse candidate pool simply to fill the roles they need. To support our clients to recruit inclusively, we train our consultants regularly on a wide range of EDI topics.

What we’ve done in 2022

  • 4 live webinars with partner organisations
    • Underrepresentation of Black talent in the charity sector with our Lived Experience Advisors
    • Microaggressions in the workplace with She Leads for Legacy
    • Supporting Black staff and overcoming barriers with Foluke Mogaji
    • Mental Health and wellbeing
  • 50 people participated in our Inclusive Recruitment Course
  • 5 internal staff training events covering disability and intersectionality, transgender awareness, menopause, neurodiversity and anti-racism in the workplace
  • monthly EDI drop-in sessions for staff to support inclusive practice in real time

The Charity People EDI Committee

The EDI Committee brings together charity leaders and people with lived experience of discrimination and disadvantage, who help us better understand the diverse needs of potential candidates. These insights are shared with Charity People’s recruitment consultants as we seek to broaden our reach.

Hanan Kasmi

Hanan Kasmi, Head of EDI

Hanan is our in-house EDI advisor, and we rely daily on her expertise to maintain inclusion best practices.


Duro Oye, Lived Experience Advisor and Chair of the EDI Committee

Duro is the CEO of 2020 Change, a multi-award-winning social enterprise empowering young black professionals to flourish in the workplace.


Susanette Mansour, Lived Experience Advisor

Susanette is CEO of Croydon Vision, a charity which encourages independence, confidence and personal development among the blind and partially sighted community of Croydon.


Clare McKenzie, Lived Experience Advisor

Clare is a Marketing Consultant working for The Guinness Partnership. She’s a health advocate living with Multiple Sclerosis, and she speaks up for those who are often not seen and heard in interviews and in the workplace.

Download our inclusive recruitment checklist

2023 Ambitions

B-Corp registration

We are proud to have started on the road to becoming a Certified B Corp Company, aiming to join the 4,892 companies across 79 countries and 153 industries that are making business a force for good.. Our aim is to achieve this accreditation within this financial year.

Employee Ownership Trust

With our founder David Lale stepping down, but remaining deeply committed to our mission, he wants to ensure Charity People is in the right hands. Employee ownership will allow us autonomy and room for growth, while maintaining our open and supportive staff culture and our individual investment in the success of our placements. Our goal is to make the transition by the end of 2023.

Supporting young job seekers

As part of our commitment to inclusive recruitment, and to build a pipeline of talented new staff entering the charity sector, we’re developing our focus on the experience of young people searching for work. Gabi Smith, our senior administrator, has joined the EDI Committee to support this work.

Struggling to find your first job? Register your CV with us and get email tips for new jobseekers.

Register with us


With the aforementioned transition to becoming employee owned, we need a brand-new organisational strategy. Having recruited a new strategy committee those conversations have begun, and we hope to have an updated vision and mission in place to confirm our aspirations over the next 3 years.

Promote the sector as the place to be

We’re really excited to be in conversations with new partners that will bring us back to one of the original aims of Charity People in 1990 – to promote the sector as a great place to be. With significant demand for new talent, and an ongoing diversity issue we know how critical it is that organisations work together to promote career opportunities to new audiences. Over the coming 12 months we hope that some of these conversations can become actions.

Income by Specialism






Marketing, Communications & Digital




Temp & Interim


Office Support




Board & Leadership

2022 in numbers


Candidates registered


Candidates placed


Clients worked with


Repeat clients

Candidate diversity


Black, Asian or other minoritized ethnic group







Team diversity


Black, Asian or other minoritized ethnic group







Candidates placed

UK Map
London/South East – 473
North West – 88
North East – 22
Midlands – 30
South West – 9
Wales – 8