Anybody worked for a charity?

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  • Anybody worked for a charity?
  • Premier Icon white101

    Looking at applying for a job with a charity, its a (relativley short) fixed term contract and thats not something I am used to after 12+ years with the same company who have now deemed me surplus to requirements. Its a bit of a change in job terms but I have plenty of the skills they are looking for and it might just be the kick up the arris my life needs.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Most of my working life.
    No different to many businesses, you do get a good few colleagues who are pretty committed to the work in general, and a few who might not cut the business world.
    Big charidee or ikle one?

    Premier Icon white101

    Matt – bit of a middler I would say, big enough to be known but not a household name. In a way I see the chance to leave as a good thing, gives me a chance to do something useful rather than plod along a tedious corporate line in a dinosaur of a company.


    I have for the last year on a part time basis, some do it for the love of the work others because it’s a pay packet, they then make it difficult for the rest of us.

    The pay and conditions are good, but it’s a big charity. I really enjoy my work and it suits my skills set.


    Where I work we deal with 30-odd different charities, and regular staff turnover seems to be par for the course.
    Once you have experience with this one you may well get the opportunity to move around others.
    Who is it, out of interest?


    For quite a while. Could earn better in the commercial sector, but the workplace is more relaxed and allows me to be involved in all aspects around my role. I’m lucky to be permanent, quite a few roles are dependent on funding from year to year.

    I quite like it, good work life balance, get to play in the woods. Partly down to the people I work with, but guess it attracts people with a more open/relaxed outlook on life.


    Yeah, I’ve worked for free for a couple. One was an intentional thing where they needed skills, the other was a bit accidental where I sort of got roped into it.

    In both cases (and I’m not suggesting this is the case for all charities), they were hopeless organised, the people they were trying to help abused them terribly, the staff in general were a mixture of being uninterested and incompetent and if something they’d arranged fell through, everyone just shrugged their shoulders and disappeared for a week or so in disappointment. These were small, local charities to be fair but still….

    What they need from my perspective is strong management. If you can bring this to the party, it will transform the way they operate.


    Your experience of charity work is not the same as mine Samuri – I shudder to imagine where you worked.

    2 days out of my working week involve working in the voluntary sector (or 3rd sector, as it has become voguish to call it). I have to say these 2 days invariably demand more and pay less. But my colleagues and I remain 100% committed because we genuinely care about the needs of the people we provide services for – in our case, people with acquired brain injury.

    Some of the common patterns in the voluntary sector that I have observed include:

    – passion and commitment very high amongst most staff
    – high degree of specialist knowledge
    – high level of subjectivity, which means pretty poor ‘big picture’ or strategic thinking (the downside of points 1 and 2)
    – poor pay – worse than the public sector and all but the lowest paid of the private sector (‘they do it for love’ runs the cliché, which when translated means ‘…and therefore we can pay them peanuts’)
    – cynical use by government, local government and the NHS of the voluntary sector as ‘providers’ – this means that charities have to compete for contracts with giant predatorial corporates like SERCO and G4S, which squeezes their already limited resources still further, and deprives them of what I believe to be the prime purpose of the voluntary sector – to ADVOCATE on behalf of those who are socially excluded or disadvantaged.

    Hope that helps?

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I do, though tbh you can’t tell. Not in a bad way, just that we don’t act like we do because we’re a charity, we do it because it’s the job, if you know what I mean? Anyway, for us it’s really no different to any other job, we just get to be smug about it 😆


    I do. Have worked as a CEO, Trustee / Chair, Interim Manager and management consultant for a wide range of smaller charities.

    At the CEO and other management levels there is a need to have a wide skill base as you don’t necessarily have all the specialist support in the organisation e.g. HR and ICT, which you might expect in a commercial organisation of a similar size.

    It’s nice to see the outcome of your work which in most cases has a positive impact on either individuals or specific groups / communities e.g. disabled, and as such is probably more rewarding than many commercial jobs. It is certainly more rewarding (though not in a monetary sense) than previous roles I had in marketing in financial services and retail.

    Premier Icon white101

    thanks for all the input, have put in my job app today!

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