Charitable organisations in the UK, otherwise known as the ‘third sector’, are an essential cornerstone of society – and together bring in around £41.7 billion in aid money. You might be hoping to become part of the 2.7% that work in the third sector but are perhaps unsure where to begin.
Is there even a place for your skill set in a charity or non-profit? The answer is invariably yes, as the following will reveal. There are numerous ways to get into working for a charity, and what follows represents some of the main routes to doing just that.
Solicitors and Law Work
Charities and non-profits are beholden to strict laws and regulations – necessitating liaison with a charity law firm to ensure legal compliance in reaching a given objective. These solicitors understand the system in and out, and can be invaluable in navigating the red tape that sometimes frustrates the charitable enterprise. Law might not seem a likely entry point into the third sector, but it is vital for its survival.
Fundraising is the core purpose of the charitable organisation, one way or another. Some charities aim to raise money in order to directly fund a given cause or aim, while others seek funding to carry out essential work or services in aid of a cause.
Fundraising is a job all of its own in the third sector, requiring excellent administration skills as well as a predilection for public speaking. Many people break into the role by volunteering with smaller local organisations, but the skills are transferable from a wide variety of roles, such as sales, marketing and executive assistance.
As with any sector, the third sector relies heavily on technology to carry out its work and overall mission. A robust online footprint is necessary for outreach, and digital databases are key to fundraising efforts as well as cataloguing donors and donations.
As such, tech support jobs are rife in larger offices and organisations – whether fixing individual computers and systems or installing higher-grade servers for site hosting and more. Digital support is also key, with programmers and web leads crucial to creating and updating bespoke websites that further a charity’s message.
Every charitable organisation or non-profit has a public face – and behind that public face is a team of marketing and communications professionals. Again, there are strong parallels with companies in other sectors in terms of the need for marketing specialists, and roles pop up all the time that relate to the curation of a marketable identity.
SEO professionals help raise charity profiles in search engines, while content executives draft copy and evergreen content for websites and other publications. Communications and PR are also crucial for hunting out opportunities to make news, or simply to get the news out.