Why Cause4 chose to disrupt the charity sector in its darkest hour

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Name: Cause4
Industry/sector: Charity
Date founded: 2009
Founder: Michelle Wright
Location: London

Michelle Wright introduced Cause4 as a social enterprise back in May 2009 with a vision to help charities and similar companies to grow, believing the British charity sector needs dynamic entrepreneurs to encourage radical change.

The business was strategically launched following the financial crisis the UK experienced in 2008, predicting that government cuts and funding reductions would hit the charity sector in a big way, thus its development has resulted in a series of initiatives that have raised more than £36m since operations started.

2014 was a particularly notable year for the company, as Wright said: “Last year we doubled turnover and staffing and our services reached over 45,000 beneficiaries from supporting young people into employment, to helping those at end of life.” Between April and the end of the year, the company raised £15m.

Cause4 highlighted its graduate entrepreneurship programme as its flagship campaign, addressing the shortage or entrepreneurial fundraising staff in the charity industry, and its success can be recognised with one individual raising £4m for charity last year.

In terms of changing the sector further, the business is looking at developing a digital platform to support charities to invest and increase their fundraising capability and is exploring a three-year scheme to combine the tech and entrepreneurship communities across Silicon Valley and the UK to tackle malaria and water sanitation.

Wright revealed another creation, and said: “Our other key innovation is our Philanthropy Service. This service targets top artists, entrepreneurs and sportspeople, as a professional, one-stop shop to grow charitable giving and through effective fundraising enables it individuals to at least triple their investment. Current clients include Cineworld, a new £60m health foundation for Dr Peter Sowerby, and footballer Lua Lua.”

The company has a big ambition, with key objectives in the next three years to raise at least £60m in new fundraising and training at least 250 new graduates and school-leavers for future leadership positions, doubling in size to build bases in Amsterdam and New York.

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