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Any lifers work in the charity sector?

Hi all. To be fair I have put this on the looking for work thread before but haven't asked this specific question. Does anyone work in the charity/not for profit/third sector on here?

I'm a very pent up and frustrated telesales person with 9 years experience looking to get into fundraising/business development roles in the charity sector as I believe what I have is transferable, but would welcome any advice from anybody who works in this sector as it's always good to get first hand advice.

I've been applying for roles on charityjob.co.uk, third sector jobs, and I hear the guardian's website is also quite good. Anyone who does work in this space if they have any info however small I would love to hear about it.

I have to say I don't have a preference for a type of charity, but I am interested in science, so maybe there is an educational angle there. I did some legal advice line help for MIND (mental health charity) when I did my LPC at law school, so there's a good link there. Finally I worked at Camp America when I was younger at a camp for disabled adults and children, so albeit a tenuous link but I'm just trying to link my experience etc.

Thanks all
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Comments

  • edited November 2015
    @cabbles My father was a director of several charities in his working life. He's long since gone, but he started out with Cystic Fibrosis (CF Trust) in Blyth Rd in Bromley and became assistant director. I was interested in following him into that career at one stage and the advice he gave me was to 'broadcast' the bigger charities with my CV and highlight the transferable skills I had, just as you say. I ended up getting a temporary job for the Childrens' Liver Disease Foundation working on publicity and magazine. That was over 25 years ago. I moved on into teaching as it wasn't paying me enough and I wanted to move out of London.
    I know things are done differently these days in terms of recruitment, but it is worth spending the time getting your CV updated and adapted and emphasising in it your complete enthusiasm for charity work. There might be nothing to lose in doing what I did - as they say, fortune favours the brave. Good luck.

    Edit: out of interest I went on the CLDF website. They're now based I Birmingham but have seemingly grown substantially since I was there. Notice they have two job vacancies. Might be worth getting a list of these bigger organisations, ignoring the charityjob site and seeing what's available on a range of sites.
  • @cabbles My father was a director of several charities in his working life. He's long since gone, but he started out with Cystic Fibrosis (CF Trust) in Blyth Rd in Bromley and became assistant director. I was interested in following him into that career at one stage and the advice he gave me was to 'broadcast' the bigger charities with my CV and highlight the transferable skills I had, just as you say. I ended up getting a temporary job for the Childrens' Liver Disease Foundation working on publicity and magazine. That was over 25 years ago. I moved on into teaching as it wasn't paying me enough and I wanted to move out of London.
    I know things are done differently these days in terms of recruitment, but it is worth spending the time getting your CV updated and adapted and emphasising in it your complete enthusiasm for charity work. There might be nothing to lose in doing what I did - as they say, fortune favours the brave. Good luck.

    Thanks mate I really appreciate it
  • Some recruitment agencies, big and small, specialise in the charity sector. Have a look on reed.co.uk - as you probably know already hundreds of agencies use it. Ive been contacted for charity sector jobs in the past by Morgan Law, on oxenden street. They may be able to help. Get a decent CV in order first and post it on Reed too.

    As for transferable skills, an additional short course or voluntary work or both is always going to help corroborate where you're coming from and can result in quick wins. I'd look on hotcourses.com. Before you know it you'll spot a vacancy and could find a door opens you didn't expect.
  • Some recruitment agencies, big and small, specialise in the charity sector. Have a look on reed.co.uk - as you probably know already hundreds of agencies use it. Ive been contacted for charity sector jobs in the past by Morgan Law, on oxenden street. They may be able to help. Get a decent CV in order first and post it on Reed too.

    As for transferable skills, an additional short course or voluntary work or both is always going to help corroborate where you're coming from and can result in quick wins. I'd look on hotcourses.com. Before you know it you'll spot a vacancy and could find a door opens you didn't expect.

    Thanks Swords, very helpful
  • Try doing your own research on charities that appeal to you/ would suit your skills, then send a speculative letter and CV to a relevant, named contact person -use LinkedIn to help identify them. Just ask if they can spare 20-30 mins for a chat over a coffee, rather than explicitly saying "give us a job".

    Those with an outward facing culture might take you up on it, and if you click with them and they have a vacancy now or in near future, you have a big advantage as you have been proactive and as a direct candidate would save them c 20% of salary in recruitment fees. You still need to demonstrate you could do the job, of course.
  • edited November 2015
    Hi @cabbles I work for charities in the arts sector, its really worth getting on the arts council jobs mailing list if you feel you can help any arts charity with fundraising, message me if you want any more details or if you'd like me to forward you opportunities. The welcome trust is another great organisation that supports many charities through a science angle.
  • Try doing your own research on charities that appeal to you/ would suit your skills, then send a speculative letter and CV to a relevant, named contact person -use LinkedIn to help identify them. Just ask if they can spare 20-30 mins for a chat over a coffee, rather than explicitly saying "give us a job".

    Those with an outward facing culture might take you up on it, and if you click with them and they have a vacancy now or in near future, you have a big advantage as you have been proactive and as a direct candidate would save them c 20% of salary in recruitment fees. You still need to demonstrate you could do the job, of course.

    Thanks weegie
  • The Wellcome Trust, BHF, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK are big scientific charities...have a look on their websites.
  • Try the royal society as well
  • Thanks mcbobbin and chrissypowell
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  • Tim Sherwood is also looking for charity apparently. Coincidence?
  • Good luck to you Mate.

    Couple of ideas I'd suggest is if this isn't something you immediately want to do now but a year or two down the line, a lot of London companies do mentoring schemes where they have a partnership with an inner London school, and 1-2 hours a week go in and help with things like reading, English, role model stuff. If you firm don't do this, it might be worth looking into and putting a proposal doc together to the top of your company. It would show initiative to your current employer, and would look really good on a CV.

    Secondly, (appreciate this is a bit idealistic) if you really do want to work in this industry, I'd suggest doing some ground work volunteering for at least 6 months in whatever field of interest appeals to you, be it care industry, dealing with kids with special needs, OAPs, research, Samaritans phone lines etc.

    Knowing the impact of what you do 'on the ground' is important in any job, but I think even more so in this industry. I've grown a bit cynical towards this industry, I think it has lost its heart a little in terms of what it should be about and has become focused too much on aggressive, competitive approach. Like we moan about politicians not knowing anything about the real world. Truly knowing what your charity / field is about would I think increase your chances in wanting to succeed, but also make you more marketable. Good luck.
  • Go to charityjob.co.uk and also have a look at NCVO which is the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
  • Thanks Masicat and AFKA

    I think you've raised a good point AFKA re knowing what these organisations do at ground level. I will use that to my advantage definitely when researching for interviews. I have been put forward for one role so far (waiting to get an interview time) which is a social enterprise that sells into schools, giving their most disadvantaged children access to better opportunities through a partnership they have with businesses. So that looks okay. I will definitely firm up maybe what charities I focus on, I made errors previously when applying for training contracts at law firms by being too scatter gun etc.

    Again thanks for the input. I'll keep you all updated.

    Ps @Shrew I pm'd you mate, so thank you
  • edited November 2015
    Cystic Fibrosis Trust have moved to Aldgate. They are one of my clients. They are growing and need good fund raisers but like the other charities I do work for they want you to "get it".

    Inbox me if you want to talk about them.
  • LoOkOuT said:

    Cystic Fibrosis Trust... they want you to "get it".

    Bit extreme that, isn't it???
    It's genetic not infectious but it was a poor choice of words : - )
  • I did a run (alright jog) for them around Richmond Park a couple of years ago, my second fave charidee
  • McBobbin said:

    Try the royal society as well

    Sounds like you, sirchrissypowell and I might work in the same field.

    OP - Wellcome Trust, don't really fundraise, but it's a good place to consider if you have an advanced academic background. They also do a lot of outreach/society and education work. Also consider the new Francis Crick Institute, which is on a big recruitment drive at the moment, with more back office roles coming on board soon. Also, consider NESTA for another science and technology focussed organisation.

    For fundraising, other places than the obvious charities to consider are universities, who are increasingly tapping up with their alumni for funding. They'd call it Alumni Relations, but it's essentially fundraising. Finally, check out the AMRC website for a long list of all the different charities it works with.
  • Thanks mate. Yes the Francis Crick institute would be amazing. I've got a real passion for science, particularly physics, but without any of the academic aptitude :(

    If I could have my time again I would def go down that route. However as you say, maybe back office roles are viable.

    Thank you to all of you in general, the responses have been great
  • Sponsored links:


  • McBobbin said:

    Try the royal society as well

    Sounds like you, sirchrissypowell and I might work in the same field.

    OP - Wellcome Trust, don't really fundraise, but it's a good place to consider if you have an advanced academic background. They also do a lot of outreach/society and education work. Also consider the new Francis Crick Institute, which is on a big recruitment drive at the moment, with more back office roles coming on board soon. Also, consider NESTA for another science and technology focussed organisation.

    For fundraising, other places than the obvious charities to consider are universities, who are increasingly tapping up with their alumni for funding. They'd call it Alumni Relations, but it's essentially fundraising. Finally, check out the AMRC website for a long list of all the different charities it works with.
    Not me but my wife worked for them in the education policy section. So working for a charity rather than charity work if you get the distinction. But these are massive organisations run like any large business, so there are opportunities for any skill, even if you have no knowledge of the charity's key work (wife has a social science/arts background at her than a pure science background that the RS promotes) in short... There will be jobs going that match your skills somewhere OP
  • cabbles said:

    Thanks mate. Yes the Francis Crick institute would be amazing. I've got a real passion for science, particularly physics, but without any of the academic aptitude :(

    If I could have my time again I would def go down that route. However as you say, maybe back office roles are viable.

    Thank you to all of you in general, the responses have been great

    The life of an academic, especially in the natural sciences, can be pretty cut-throat, and only a minority survive, so it may be a blessing. Loooooads of back office roles in research/grants management. Check out the universities for entry research/grants admin positions, and work your way up from there. Research is biiiig business now, like McBobbin mentioned in the post previous, so there's lots of roles related to science, without being tied to a bench as a postdoc.
  • McBobbin said:

    Try the royal society as well

    Sounds like you, sirchrissypowell and I might work in the same field.

    OP - Wellcome Trust, don't really fundraise, but it's a good place to consider if you have an advanced academic background. They also do a lot of outreach/society and education work. Also consider the new Francis Crick Institute, which is on a big recruitment drive at the moment, with more back office roles coming on board soon. Also, consider NESTA for another science and technology focussed organisation.

    For fundraising, other places than the obvious charities to consider are universities, who are increasingly tapping up with their alumni for funding. They'd call it Alumni Relations, but it's essentially fundraising. Finally, check out the AMRC website for a long list of all the different charities it works with.
    What is it that you do?

    Forgot about the Crick institute actually, the place looks amazing. Sort of a weird cross between academia and industry by the looks of it.

    I have seen quite a few roles advertised regarding public engagement in science (at Universities and funding bodies). Although not charity work per se, providing output to the layman is a critical part of a charities remit (scientific research related that is). 1) in order to educate the public about health risks and how their money drives research, 2) to try and encourage more support from the public, both financial and spreading the word for more niche diseases, 3) to get more funding from the government.
  • I'm sure I injected a bit of humour into this thread this morning and now it's gone.....?
  • I live with a Director of a national charity and volunteering is a very good way in. If you volunteer for a charity and you get on with them they'll try their hardest to get you a paid job.
  • Saga Lout said:

    I live with a Director of a national charity and volunteering is a very good way in. If you volunteer for a charity and you get on with them they'll try their hardest to get you a paid job.

    Thanks Saga
  • cabbles said:

    Thanks mate. Yes the Francis Crick institute would be amazing. I've got a real passion for science, particularly physics, but without any of the academic aptitude :(

    If I could have my time again I would def go down that route. However as you say, maybe back office roles are viable.

    Thank you to all of you in general, the responses have been great

    The life of an academic, especially in the natural sciences, can be pretty cut-throat, and only a minority survive, so it may be a blessing. Loooooads of back office roles in research/grants management. Check out the universities for entry research/grants admin positions, and work your way up from there. Research is biiiig business now, like McBobbin mentioned in the post previous, so there's lots of roles related to science, without being tied to a bench as a postdoc.
    Agree with that. I've worked at KCL, Birkbeck and now QMUL in their Research Support offices for the last 14 years now, pretty much learning the entire pre and post-award sides of the job.

    If you're looking, we'll have a couple of jobs going out after Xmas.

    You'll find most RG jobs on jobs.ac.uk, the job site for Uni's.

  • McBobbin said:

    Try the royal society as well

    Sounds like you, sirchrissypowell and I might work in the same field.

    OP - Wellcome Trust, don't really fundraise, but it's a good place to consider if you have an advanced academic background. They also do a lot of outreach/society and education work. Also consider the new Francis Crick Institute, which is on a big recruitment drive at the moment, with more back office roles coming on board soon. Also, consider NESTA for another science and technology focussed organisation.

    For fundraising, other places than the obvious charities to consider are universities, who are increasingly tapping up with their alumni for funding. They'd call it Alumni Relations, but it's essentially fundraising. Finally, check out the AMRC website for a long list of all the different charities it works with.
    What is it that you do?

    Forgot about the Crick institute actually, the place looks amazing. Sort of a weird cross between academia and industry by the looks of it.

    I have seen quite a few roles advertised regarding public engagement in science (at Universities and funding bodies). Although not charity work per se, providing output to the layman is a critical part of a charities remit (scientific research related that is). 1) in order to educate the public about health risks and how their money drives research, 2) to try and encourage more support from the public, both financial and spreading the word for more niche diseases, 3) to get more funding from the government.
    Research Grants Manager. The Crick is indeed amazing, although it's more of a cross between government and academia, with charity on the side. I'm sure industry will look to get involved if there are any major translational outputs, but that may be for a while. How they got the big three London unis to work together I don't know. Pretty big and ambitious, and great to see in London.
  • I have that interview at that social enterprise that sell into schools, giving their most disadvantaged children access to better skills etc. it is next Thursday at 3.30pm. Shit time for me to get away given I work in an office of 8 people. I will let you all know how I get on. Thanks
  • Good luck mate
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