There's plenty more to this sector than just fundraising and campaigning - discover what the charity and voluntary work sector can offer you...
Often referred to as the 'third sector' or the 'not-for-profit' sector opportunities can be grouped into:
You could work in a hands-on role such as social care, or in a support or management role such as fundraising or campaigning. As in the private sector, not-for-profit organisations also have positions in marketing, finance, IT and HR. There are also opportunities both in the UK and abroad.
In September 2015 there were 181,566 main and linked charities in the UK, ranging from small voluntary organisations to large charities with big budgets.
For examples of job roles in this sector, see graduate jobs in charity and voluntary work.
The charity and voluntary work sector includes large, well-established organisations, such as:
Some of these organisations provide graduate training programmes and many offer internships.
Employers also include a range of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), such as charities, voluntary organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises.
Pressure groups including Amnesty International offer graduate opportunities in research, campaigning and government lobbying. Education charities such as Teach First, IntoUniversity and City Year UK offer traineeships for those interested in working in schools or encouraging young people living in deprived areas of the UK to go to university.
You can expect:
To find out about typical salaries and working conditions in your chosen career, see types of jobs.
There has been an increase in graduate opportunities in fundraising. This is an area that is very important to large companies in this sector, particularly in times of recession where there is often a decrease in charitable giving. The Institute of Fundraising promotes fundraising as a career choice and provides a range of courses up to International Advanced Diploma level.
An increasing emphasis on CSR has resulted in many companies investing in employee volunteering activities, creating more jobs for volunteer co-ordinators. Some large employers also recruit graduates to specific CSR roles or include CSR in commercial graduate schemes.
There is a diverse range of opportunities in this sector and you will need to decide how you can best fit in. In a small organisation you may need to be a jack of all trades, so demonstrating you have a range of skills will be important. In contrast, larger charities often look for people with specific professional skills and experience, such as teachers, doctors and lawyers.
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