Graduate jobs: The charity sector

Written by Calvin Bowers

Many graduates are looking for a job that will have a tangible impact on society and their community. For many people, it’s essential that their work helps others, and contributes to the greater good. The charity sector is a great place to do this. From the climate crisis to food poverty, many social and political causes rely on charity work.

What is the charity sector? 

The charity sector is also sometimes known as the third sector or the voluntary sector. It is a sector made up of not-for-profit organisations and voluntary organisations. These organisations and businesses aim to create and promote social-good rather than wealth and profit. The charity sector differs from the public sector and the private sector as it is neither run by the government nor owned by private groups to generate wealth.

Why work in the charity sector?

The charity sector is a rewarding and enriching sector to work in. Charities that carry out essential work across the UK wouldn’t function without the millions of people who work in the charity sector. Working for a charity is a great way to align your personal views and interests with your work.

Many people choose to work in the charity sector to support people who have faced a challenge that they face. For example, if you are deaf or have a hearing impediment, you may want to work for a charity that supports deaf children and adults.

There is a misconception that all work in the charity sector centres around fundraising. In reality, the charity sector comprises thousands of various roles, each requiring a wide variety of knowledge and skills.

What roles are there in the charity sector? 

  1. Marketing and campaigning

These are some of the most creative roles in the charity sector. They involve promoting the work and mission of the charity you work for. You may have to develop campaigns, design promotional material, or think of new ways to reach your audience.

  1. Operations

Operations refers to anybody in charge of running a charity, from logistics and problem solving, to managing a team and liaising with the public. This is an essential role as charities often have a lot of work to do, and limited resources; You may need to make difficult decisions about budget or which projects to focus on.

  1. Policy Development

As well as charities that actively support people in their daily lives, many charities instead focus on changing, supporting or reforming the government and legal policy that affect those people’s rights. In a charity like this, people research the cause they are trying to support and from this create strategies on what needs to change, and how it can be changed.

  1. Fundraising

Fundraising is the role that most people think of when working for a charity. It’s a hugely important department in any not-for-profit. Fundraising can be a challenging and demanding role and requires passion and commitment to the cause at the charity’s heart. Those who work in fundraising may work with the general public, creating new ways to encourage donations, or you could work with other businesses and corporate partners.

  1. Volunteer management

At the heart of a charity are the volunteers. They give up their time to support the organisations’ work and mission. As a volunteer manager, it would be your responsibility to find, recruit, support, and manage the volunteers’ day-to-day working life. This role requires a love of working with others and excellent team management skills.

If this has inspired you to work in the charity sector, keep an eye on our student and graduate opportunities board. We regularly update the board with a whole range of careers and employment opportunities.

Last Updated: Wednesday March 31 2021
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