The Researchery
The research surgery for the voluntary sector

About Dr Cat Walker and The Researchery consultancy

Information about Cat Walker consultancy - The Researchery

About The Researchery

Providing the evidence base for a more informed, effective and impactful voluntary sector

Dr Cat Walker, Founder and Chief Consultant, The Researchery  Photo courtesy of GFW Clothing

Dr Cat Walker, Founder and Chief Consultant, The Researchery

Photo courtesy of GFW Clothing

The Researchery was founded in 2015 as an expert independent research consultancy helping to provide the evidence base for a more informed, effective and impactful voluntary sector. Working with selected partners for larger projects The Researchery is equipped to take on any problem and help you to find the right solution. We believe in better.

Our approach is flexible and adaptable and we pride ourselves in constantly learning. We can work together with you to help to demonstrate and increase the power of what you do. We’ll help you to ask the right questions and find the answers to achieve your goals.

Using our expertise leaves you free to do what you do best, in the knowledge that you will receive attention to detail from scoping to finished product. When you need a safe and reliable pair of hands for your research project, trust The Doctor!


Now, what I want is Facts.
— Charles Dickens, 'Hard Times'
Launching 'More to Give' at London's Guildhall

Launching 'More to Give' at London's Guildhall

Photo courtesy of GFW Clothing

Photo courtesy of GFW Clothing

Founder of The Researchery

Dr Catherine Walker BA (Hons), PhD (EconPsy), FRSA

The Researchery logo.png
Speaking at the VSSN/NCVO research conference

Speaking at the VSSN/NCVO research conference


About our Founder: Dr Cat Walker has worked in the UK voluntary sector for the last 20 years, from running small community organisations to working with two of the leading infrastructure bodies in the sector: Charities Aid Foundation where Cat was Head of Research from 1999-2006, and Directory of Social Change where Cat was Head of STEAM (Sector Trends Evidence Analysis & Metrics 2010-2015). In between these roles Cat has worked as a freelance consultant furthering the collective body of knowledge which the voluntary sector relies on to make effective decisions for future best practice. She is also an experienced and involved Trustee of a number of charitable organisations.

Cat is an outstanding and experienced freelance researcher with particular expertise in the funding environment for the UK voluntary sector. She is passionate about evidence-led social change for a better society.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know that we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.
— Donald Rumsfeld

Research background & training

Cat has a PhD in Economic Psychology (awarded 1996). Her thesis explored the psychology of debt: how and why some people get into debt while others don’t, and how they can get out of it. Economic psychology also covers patterns and motivations for people’s saving, spending and giving to charity.  

Cat has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Psychology and is a longstanding member of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology. She writes a regular column for Charity Financials Insider.

Cat has previously worked as a consultant with clients including: Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water, NCR Knowledge Lab, l’Université Paris Descartes (Paris 5), Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), City Philanthropy, Barnardo's, The Clothworkers’ Foundation and NESTA.

Public speaking

From training course to TV and radio, panel debates and key speeches, we can represent your research to the world. Cat has appeared on Community TV with Dr Hilary Jones; on BBC’s The Big Questions; and on Forces TV. She has also been interviewed by Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Cat speaking on a panel on public service delivery by charities at Action Hampshire AGM, 2014

Cat speaking on a panel on public service delivery by charities at Action Hampshire AGM, 2014

Cat is the author of a number of well-known books and reports, including: A Lot of Give (a round-up of research into giving described as ‘the book that any fundraiser based in the UK has been waiting for’); Sector Insight: Armed Forces Charities (a year-long study of charities working with the UK armed forces); Sector Insight: Trusts & Foundations (in-depth analysis of the top 2,500 grantmaking trusts in the UK); The Company Giving Almanac (in-depth analysis of the top 500 UK corporate donors); UK Giving (annual individual giving updates); CAF’s Charity Trends and World Giving Index (annual reports on the funding environment in the UK and around the world); Growing into Giving (a JRF report on young people’s charitable impulses) and More to Give (a new two-part research project commissioned by City Philanthropy looking at London's millennial employees and the new phenomenon of donor-led giving networks). 

Take a look around the site to see examples of projects we have worked on and to give you an idea of how you might benefit from our help and expertise...

Projects include quantitative and qualitative surveys, focus groups, analysis of your or third party data, research data visualisation, report-writing and presentation. For policy-focussed research, strategic research, impact assessment, membership profiling, analysis of potential or existing funding sources or other connected projects, just call the Doctor at The Researchery.