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Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO careers

Administration

Why get into charity administration?

Oh what a life, that of a charity worker. What could be better than devoting your time and efforts to others?

Of course, you don’t have to be Bono to get involved. There are loads of opportunities for regular folk like you or I. Administrative work is just one path you can choose to follow, and to be honest, it’s one of the best, as you get to turn your hand to pretty much all areas of charity work.

What skills do I need to be a charity administrator?

As an administrator, you could be employed by charities, NGOs or not-for-profit organisations. Whichever charity you end up working for, you will be absolutely essential to the way they operate. If you pursue a role in charity administration, you are seriously going to be a jack of all trades: getting stuck into some general admin tasks, dabbling in the financial side of administrative support and maybe even handling a bit of the HR responsibilities.

Incidentally, you’re going to have to be able to adapt to different challenges. Admittedly, you might be doing some repetitive tasks at times, but other times you might get the chance to work on some really cool projects. You will also need to be unbelievably organised. If a colleague needs something then *BAM* - you must have it for them straight away!

You’re also going to need to be a marvellous communicator: a smooth talker, if you will. If you’re on the phones, you are the voice of your charity. Consequently, you need to be a super happy and confident individual who is always eager to help.

Employers will also be looking for people with a decent amount of work experience. Any admin experience would be great, but if you manage to get some experience within a charitable organisation or do a ton of volunteer work, you will be even better placed for getting hired.

What will I be doing as a charity administrator?

Your professional life is going to be entirely dependent on the kind charity you work for. If it’s a big, international one, you might be working on one specific aspect of the administration team’s remit and you will most likely be working alongside other young, dynamic people. Alternatively, you might get a whole bunch of extra responsibilities and experiences if you opt to work for a smaller organisation.

Generally, you could be:

  • Manning the phones
  • Taking minutes in important meetings
  • Acting as a secretary
  • Conducting the occasional research project
  • Getting stuck into a big wad of filing
  • Assisting all the other teams, such as the volunteers, the fundraisers, the marketing department and the research team.

You will get to know everyone and everyone will get to know you. Essentially, you will be the ‘go-to’ guy or gal for the entire organisation.

An administrative position tends to be the primary entry route for young enthusiastic types who want to break into other aspects of charity work.

So go ahead and give a little to give a lot! A job in administration may be just what you need to get your foot in the door to charity work.