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Standing down as CEO


After four hugely rewarding years at 360Giving, I have decided it’s time to hand over the reins to someone new. I’ll be leaving the organisation in spring 2020 once a new CEO has been appointed.

Rachel Rank

I have very much enjoyed my time building 360Giving. After a year of incubation at Nesta under the watchful eye of Alice Casey, I was employed as the first member of staff in November 2015. We had £70k in the bank and some big ideas. If we could just persuade 4-5 funders to share information about their grants in the standard format we’d developed, we could test if it was possible to bring together a useful dataset about UK grant funding.

It turned out we were pushing at an open door. The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Nesta, the National Lottery Community Fund and Paul Hamlyn needed little persuading. They immediately saw the value of being able to see one another’s data and how this would benefit the wider grantmaking community.

From there we started to build the dataset, reaching out to any grantmakers we could. I wrote our first strategy and raised some more money, which meant I could recruit a team. We launched GrantNav, which meant non-experts could search the data too. We even won an award.

Fast-forward four years and much of what I set out to do is now in place. We have a committed team, data is being shared and used regularly and we have buy-in from the grantmaking sector. And we won another award. But there is much to be done still, including getting the government to deliver on its commitment to open up its data and building data literacy within philanthropy, which has traditionally been a low-tech sector.

The team being presented with the Digital Impact Award

I’m of the firm belief that founder CEOs shouldn’t hang around for too long and its important to make space for new energy and ideas. With a new 3-year strategy, an enthusiastic team and a healthy bank balance, now is the right time for me to hand over to someone with fresh thinking.

We’re working with Prospectus on recruiting my replacement – could it be you? Our board will appoint a candidate in the new year and I look forward to handing over next spring. I hope the next CEO will be as passionate as I am about creating a funding utopia that helps civil society to continue to thrive across the UK.

If you’re interested in improving charitable giving and can see the potential that open data offers then check out the appointment brief.

And if you want to find out what it’s like to run 360Giving on a day to day basis, I’m always available for coffee and cake. Get in touch via email at or on Twitter @rachelerank.