Career Development: Working For A Charity

Working For A Charity

Career Development: Working For A Charity

Working For A Charity -The voluntary sector in the UK is complex and dynamic, ever changing to meet the needs of society and growing at a significant rate as an employer and provider of services.  It’s an exciting and demanding environment and the individuals who work within it, whether paid and unpaid, know that they can have a real impact on the world and the lives of the people their organizations exist to help.

As well as the term “voluntary sector”, you will also hear the terms not-for-profit, voluntary and community sector, third sector, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and charities. Sometimes these terms refer to the same group of organizations and initiatives and sometimes they don’t. In addition there are an increasing number of organizations defining themselves as social enterprises and the wider context of civil society organizations broadens the definition even more.

Working For A Charity is a program run in the UK by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). For the purposes of this program,  NCVO Working For A Charity uses the narrower definition of  the voluntary sector which includes the well known national charities such as NSPCC and Shelter and the vast numbers of local charities serving their local communities.

General charities are defined by key criteria which are that they

  1. formally structure their people and activities;
  2. are independent of government and business;
  3. are non profit-distributing;
  4. are truly self governing;
  5. have a meaningful degree of voluntary activity or funding;
  6. support the growth of a ‘civil society’ by providing a wider public benefit that goes beyond any membership.

The Working For A Charity program exists to promote the voluntary sector as a positive career option for those seeking paid employment and to promote the opportunities and benefits of becoming a volunteer to people who wish to do unpaid work.

For anyone interested in finding out more about managing voluntary and community organizations they provide information and training to improve understanding of the issues involved.

Working For A Charity aims to increase understanding of the voluntary sector and to encourage new people, with their resources and skills, to join and strengthen the sector. Through training,information and work experience they serve as a bridge for those wishing to transfer their skills to the voluntary sector.

You can find out more at this link;

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at and find out more at

2 thoughts on “Career Development: Working For A Charity”

  1. Hi Wendy – this is good advice. Many solid transferable skills cane be honed in the not for profit sector and voluntary work. It’s also a useful avenue for women seeking board experience.

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