Whether you want to save the planet, help people suffering across the world, try and make money for scientific research or any number of causes in between, then a charity or not for profit job could be a rewarding career.
Sure, you won’t make a huge salary or drive the flashest car as a result, but you will be able to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that you’re helping to make a difference. But what is a career in this sector REALLY like?
You wouldn’t be alone if you avoided the clip board charity collectors like the plague – we can all admit to doing that now and again. But there’s a lot more to running a charity than just collecting the money, and there are lots of very different graduate jobs available within this sector.
Some of the jobs included in this field are:
- Aid work
- Charity admin
- Community work
- Social responsibility
- Housing work
- Volunteer coordination
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
"He who wished to secure the good of others, has already secured his own."
The best thing about working in this sector is the variety of jobs available. From editing and running charity websites to getting out in the field, the type of work you can do in this sector is 100% dependent on your own skills and personality, making it a very interesting career direction to consider.
Do you have what it takes?
If you’re going to be doing aid work then, it goes without saying that you have to be physically fit (nope, running for the bus doesn’t count) and also emotionally resilient as you’ll be dealing with difficult situations.
However, if you’re looking at working in fundraising then you need to be more outgoing and prepared to arrange – and attend – events regularly. Otherwise, it’s all business acumen and organisational skills.
Oh the glamour
Working in the field is not like Gorillas in the Mist but then neither is it likely to be much like Hotel Rwanda unless you’re opting for the really hardcore assignments. And over the years, the movie industry has – surprise, surprise – glamorised and over-dramatised life in the charity sector…
Top 5 charity movies you just HAVE to watch
Hotel Rwanda – a true, heart-wrenching story about the Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda
Beyond Borders – Angelina Jolie, war-torn Africa, renegade doctors... this is a powerful story about the plight of charity field workers
Constant Gardner – murder and corporate corruption set against a beautiful African landscape, with an even more beautiful cast!
Sahara – if all the hard-hitting movie watching has got you down, this will cheer you up... or annoy you
Rambo IV – actually, don’t watch this!
It seems it's one extreme or the other with Hollywood!
...But what is it REALLY like?
Most jobs within the charity and not for profit industry are office-based roles that some people may consider ‘boring’. There is a lot of administration involved as well as ensuring that the money keeps rolling in – no easy task in an age where most people don’t have much in the way of extra cash to give away…
"Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there."
However, the most rewarding part about being in this industry is that you may be contributing to something important and helping to raise awareness of important causes. Also, some jobs have decent wages attached – you are not a charity, after all!
Money, money, money
The starting salaries for charity and not for profit jobs can be low, but it depends on what you’re doing. Some roles can attract much higher starting salaries, particularly if they’re skilled roles involving IT or engineering for a charitable organisation.
Trainee charity or not for profit worker: £10,000-£28,000
Check out our charity and not for profit jobs
Think you’ve got what it takes? To find out more check out the charity and not for profit jobs we have and our totaljobs salary checker to see how the charity and not for profit market is performing at the moment. We also have internships and placements currently live on the site so you can start your journey to really making a difference.