As in other sectors, the not-for-profit sector is feeling the effects of the current economic climate. A direct result of this is that jobs are less plentiful than in previous years. Nevertheless, the sector still attracts job seekers from a wide range of backgrounds and it is common for people working in the commercial sector to view not-for-profit organisations as an attractive source of employment, offering a change of environment and the opportunity to work in more rewarding roles.
The roles of fundraising, marketing and public relations are vital to any not-for-profit organisation. Most organisations would find it hard to exist without a fundraising team to help raise the money required to finance its services and carry out its aims and objectives.
The not-for-profit sector
There are currently many thousands of organisations in the UK which fall into the category of not-for-profit. They can be defined as organisations whose aims and objectives are not centred around profit making but are concerned, for example, with providing a service for a particular group of people or campaigning for a particular cause etc. They include charitable organisations, NHS Trusts, housing associations and some educational establishments.
Most of our vacancies are with charitable organisations. To register as a charity, organisations have to apply to the Charity Commission setting down their aims and objectives and stating how they hope to achieve them. Currently there are over 180,000 charities registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales. They represent a whole range of different causes including health, disability, children, older people, homelessness, education, animal welfare, the environment, overseas development, medical research, arts and leisure etc.
There are a number of skills that are transferable to the not-for-profit sector especially in the areas of fundraising, marketing and public relations. For example, experience of business development, account management, general marketing, brand and product management, press and PR would be relevant to many of the current roles within charitable organisations. However, it is vital that commercial sector candidates make themselves as attractive as possible by doing as much research on the sector, the particular skill area they are looking to get into and how their skills transfer. A good way of doing this is to volunteer in a relevant position as this will give the greatest insight.
For details of the different jobs within fundraising select 'New to fundraising?' from the menu below.
A common question we are often asked is whether a move to the not-for-profit sector would necessarily mean a reduction in salary. Given the different priorities of organisations within the sector, many people making the move across do have to take a pay cut to begin with, but this is often outweighed by the opportunity of working for a particular cause with a very different set of objectives. For details of current salaries within the sector select 'Fundraising salaries' from the menu below.