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Charity, Not-for-profit & NGO careers


Why work with a cancer charity?

The ultimate aim of cancer charities in the UK is to find a cure for cancer. Consequently, careers in this area are incredibly important and greatly rewarding.

Most of the money that cancer charities raise, through donations, legacies, and fundraising events, goes into researching the cure. As well as this, they focus a lot of their resources on raising awareness and educating people about all the different types of cancers.

How can I get into working with cancer charities?

To start off with, cancer charities quite often look for volunteers to help out at large scale events etc. A great source of volunteering opportunities is V Inspired. Check out: http://vinspired.com/ for more details.

To pursue a career in this area, it is crucial that you are passionate about the charity that you want to get involved with, as this will become clearly evident in your first interview. You have to have a strong belief in the charity’s aims and feel determined that you could help them in their mission.

Attributes that the charity may be looking for are:

  • Good organisational skills
  • Confidence communicating with people
  • Good at coming up with new and innovative ideas for fundraising
  • Honesty
  • Dependability. 

If you feel that you could bring something beneficial to a specific charity and you are keen for them to give you a chance, but they are not advertising new roles, it is always best to contact the charity itself and make an enquiry.

How do cancer charities work?

Much like any business, a charitable organisation would not be able to exist without a fantastic team of hard-working employees and a clearly defined organisational structure. As well as the governing body, which is made up of three or more trustees, there are CEOs, managers and directors.

To get the charity’s message out efficiently and effectively, it requires a marketing department. Along with this, there are also plenty of PR opportunities.

Once an organisation becomes an official charity, it has to keep a clear account of all the money raised through donations and fundraising. It needs to know how much money is spent and what it is spent on. This is written up in a report and given to the Charity Commission. To be able to keep a concise account of this, various people in financial administration roles are required, as well as a reputable accountant. 

Other roles include: fundraisers (people that actively bring money into the charity), administrators (people who deal with emails, letters, meetings, and all other correspondence), social media coordinators (people who make sure the message is getting out effectively, using the most innovative channels), and people who work in creative roles, such as photographers etc.

The roles available in cancer charities are hugely varied and no matter what you decide to do the job satisfaction that you would receive is unparalleled. If that sounds good to you then a career in cancer charities may be the one for you.

Written by Maren Hallenga
Creative Director @ CoppaFeel!

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