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Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO careers

Arts, Cultural & Sport

Why are arts, culture and sport funding important?

Arts, culture and sport are three of the most engaging and hotly debated topics on the planet. Where would the world be without each of them? Furthermore, where would they be without the financial backing and charity support behind them? In 2012 alone, for example, the Art Fund gave a staggering £6.3 million to 70 museums and galleries throughout the UK for the acquisiton of works of art.

We’re not talking about making Wayne Rooney’s wallet weightier here; nor are we discussing raising money to build a new car park for your local multiscreen cinema. Rather, this subsector is all about charity work for the benefit of people wanting to get into, or who are struggling within, arts, culture and sport.

How can I get into arts, culture & sport charity work?

Forging a career in any area of charity work is tricky purely because of its competitive nature. Having a university degree in an arts, culture or sport-related subject will put you in excellent stead. However, what most employers look for more than anything is as much actual hands-on charity experience as possible. Get involved with some volunteering; you’ll get a better insight into the world of arts, cultural and sports charities and you may make some awesome contacts too.

What are my roles likely to be?

Obviously, working within a sports charity is a lot different to working for an arts charity, and that’s before throwing cultural charities into the mix!

One of the key roles when working for an arts charity is that of the fundraiser. They are responsible for raising money, so that art galleries and museums can acquire art, which everyone can get pleasure from. Quite a responsibility, right? It’s a lot to take on, but can be extremely rewarding, particularly when you see people enjoying the art you’ve raised money for.

Alternatively, you could be raising money for art supplies for youth groups or old people’s homes, and even starting up courses where underprivileged people can take art courses for free. Either way, it’s all about giving something back to the community. It helps massively if you have a genuine love and passion for art.

You can pursue a career in all kinds of other cultural charities that raise money for various different causes. The funds could go to struggling theatre groups, to put on acting classes for young budding actors or to pay for musical equipment for youth groups or old people’s homes.

What about sports charities?

Sports charities are entirely different altogether. The most well-known charities in this sector are Sports Aid and United Through Sport. The type of work they do can be anything from raising funds for community sport initiatives, to working alongside the national lottery to secure funding for amateur athletes, athletes with disabilities and youngsters at grassroots level. In more corporate positions, employees will be expected to create long-term partnerships with brands that will donate their time and money to the charity.

Marketing executives will be expected to raise the public profile of the charity, which can involve anything from PR activities, to working with past and present sports stars. You could meet David Beckham, Paula Radcliffe or even Kriss Akabusi.

Many people also get involved with sports charities as a volunteer. These volunteering roles can vary massively depending on what you’re interested in. You could teach football to youngsters at weekends or coach sports teams in your spare evenings.

A heart of gold helps in arts, cultural and sports charity careers, but what will help most is the gift of the gab, the golden tongue if you will. Why, you ask? Because gold, cash, benjamins, big-ones, dough, loot, lucre – that is what these charities need and, in most cases, that is what it will be your job to source. Happy hunting!