What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Charity & voluntary
All you need to know about the Charity & voluntary industry
The charity and voluntary industry, sometimes referred to as the third sector, is working toward a greater social good - rather than towards a profit like a private sector businesses. Working in this industry is highly rewarding - people take a lot of pride in what they do, and the results are tangible.
Charities span numerous different sectors, and people tend to be drawn to this work because they have a desire to make change and are highly socially conscious. As a result, the workforce is highly passionate, driven and has a strong sense of comradeship.
Larger charities have similar departments to businesses, so within the charity industry you could be working within finance, marketing, HR, or in any other number of sectors. If the charity is smaller you will be expected to be quite versatile in the work that you do and help out across the business. Most of the team will be involved with fundraising and campaigning.
Paid work placements within this industry are quite rare as many people offer to do the work voluntarily. However, it will give good experience of teamwork and seeing first-hand how a charity is run operationally.
Skills & interests needed for Charity & voluntary
To work in the charity and voluntary industry you need to be highly motivated and proactive, to ensure that you can get the most out of your time and the resources available to you.
Charities are looking for people that they can rely on to get the job done and to spread a positive image of the charity by being an ambassador both inside and outside of the office. In fundraising roles, this is particularly important.
The work is most likely to be in teams, which means you’ll need to be a strong communicator with good interpersonal skills. Charities are dependant upon teamwork for fundraising and campaigning, which is fundamental to the future of the organisation.
Events and campaigning require strong planning and organisational skills. It’ll also need you to be creative to come up with concepts that’ll work within your budget and resources.
If you already have a charity in mind, ensure that you research the work that they have done and are ready to demonstrate how you could help them and what skills you can offer to bring to the workforce. Having an understanding of why you’re driven to the charity industry and what it’s all about is a must.
Other key skills that’ll help you in the charity sector are:
- Problem Solving
What work experience do you need for a career in Charity & voluntary
For unpaid placements, which are the most common, you can usually secure a voluntary position within a charity by demonstrating your skillset and how it can benefit the charity. For example, if you’re a strong writer, you could help write newsletters or blog posts. Perhaps you are persuasive or a strong communicator; therefore you’d be well-suited for fundraising.
The competition for the paid placements can be tough because there are not many of them. Work experience will depend on which role you are applying for, but demonstrating that you are a charitable person by helping out with events for other charities, or doing fundraising yourself, shows that you are proactive and interested in this industry.