Although a great deal of the work for larger charities is fundraising and appropriating of said funds, there is also a further practical job which any charity must be involved in and that is the raising of awareness and either trying to change attitudes, policies or to help those affected by circumstances.
Therefore, outside of fund raising and administration, there are a number of fascinating charity jobs which exist for the brightest and best candidates.
Campaigning takes on two distinct aspects for a charity. On the one hand you may be campaigning for public awareness (and funding) but on the other hand you may be campaigning for changes in policy or legal change.
In terms of awareness campaigning, you’ll need to work with the marketing department to come up with eye catching and thought provoking campaigns which will excite existing supporters and encourage the involvement of new supporters. It’s important that you have a great understanding of advertising, marketing and public opinion and depending on the size of the charity in question, you may have to have a marketing qualification.
Campaigning for changes in policy is a little different and will use your political knowledge rather than your marketing skills, although these will still be necessary to get the support you need to make your organisation’s voice heard. You may be required to attend summits, council meetings and act as the public face of the charity for the media, so some PR or media work would stand you in good stead.
Again, research can also take on two aspects. You may be a paper and information researcher in which case you’ll need to be well read and be able to extract and interpret information and use it for the purposes of the charity. On the other hand, you may be actually researching in a scientific way and this might involve laboratory work to find a cure, new medication or a way to eradicate symptoms. Cancer research and other charities which support those suffering with illnesses often take on scientific researchers and there are some great opportunities for chemists and biological researchers.
Care and Support
Many charities operate hospices, care facilities or counselling services for the sufferer and their families and although these are often staffed by volunteers, there is also the necessity for paid and qualified staff. You’ll need experience, enthusiasm and empathy for what can often be seen as a heart breaking and extremely testing role. many charities offer support to the people performing these roles to help them cope with the situation they face and you’ll need to be a great team player in order to give support and help to the people you’re working alongside.
An advocate is someone who deals with legal, social and care issues for people who don’t have the ability or capacity to do so for themselves. As an advocate you may find yourself working with vulnerable children or adults who are either too young to make decisions for themselves or unable to because of learning or physical difficulties. You’ll need to be supportive, a good communicator and have a good grasp on current legal issues as well as empathy for the situation of your client.
Trevor Mayfair is a writer who covers advocacy and Third Sector jobs.
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