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Charity Officer Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Charity Officer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Charity Officer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Charity Officer Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

The following description is an overview of what the above job position entails, what kind of salary you can expect, what hours are involved in carrying out the work, where you can find additional information about the job in both web and trade publication formats and the required skills that may help you in looking for employment in this particular field.

Charity Officer - An Overview:

Fulfils one or more of a variety of functions depending on the size and the aims of the charity. In larger charities officers may concentrate on a single role within a team, for example, providing administrative support to others. In smaller charities they may fulfil some or indeed all of the functions. Typical functions include dealing with accounts, budget management, fundraising, applying for grants and other public funding, liaising with outside agencies, organising volunteers, and managing staff or other professionals in specific roles.

Actual job titles can vary. An officer may be known as administrator, project officer, support co-ordinator, development officer or liaison officer.

What does the role encounter?

Charity work has many strands, and therefore responsibilities can be varied and wide-ranging. In larger charities officers may concentrate on a single role, often within a team. In smaller charities officers may be responsible for one or all of the functions described below. Whichever tasks are undertaken, all those involved in charity work must understand the unique nature of the working relationship with volunteers, and the vital contribution that volunteers can make to the work of the charity. Officers must be prepared to turn their hand to any job that needs doing, especially in a small charity and when volunteer help is not available. Typical functions include:
Financial and administrative:

• accounting for daily receipts and expenditure and petty cash payments;
• authorising payments and managing a budget;
• gathering/analysing information and data and preparing reports;
• applying for grants and other public funding;
• doing general clerical and administrative work.

Fundraising:

• creating and organising fundraising initiatives;
• maintaining donor lists and prospecting for new donors;
• contacting potential donors by telephone and/or letter;
• designing and preparing fundraising support materials, for example, leaflets and flyers, using a computer desktop package.

Organising:

• organising/managing teams of volunteers;
• managing clerical, administrative and professional staff;
• co-ordinating the work of volunteers and paid staff;
• recruiting and training volunteers and paid staff.

Liaising:

• liaising with outside agencies, for example, local authority social work departments, police, courts, probation services and environmental groups and other charitable/voluntary organisations;
• dealing with public relations (PR), for example, talking about the work of your organisation with the media, local/national press, radio and television;
• addressing public meetings, for example, presenting the work of the charity to the public, and making speeches when accepting donations.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Typical starting salaries; £10,000 - £15,000.
• Typical salaries at age 40; £15,000 - £30,000.
• Salaries vary widely depending on the organisation and the nature of the role and responsibilities. Smaller charities may expect to pay less than the market rates available in the public or private sector. However, salaries in larger charities are improving, reflecting the specialised skills and experience needed for some jobs.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Working hours are typically based around nine to five, five days a week. However, evening and weekend work may be expected, for example, when attending public meetings. Flexible working patterns may be offered, such as part-time work and job sharing. The fluctuating nature of funding means that many jobs are offered under a temporary contract, typically from six months to two or three years. This can impact on job security, so officers may move between charities/voluntary organisations.The work is generally office-based, with occasional travel in the local area, for example, to public meetings.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• initiative and forward-thinking;
• research, analysis and planning skills;
• the ability to communicate ideas, both on a one-to-one basis and in presentation to groups;
• good administrative and budget management skills;
• an appreciation of marketing and PR methods combined with an understanding of the commercial world;
• an understanding of the important role that volunteers fulfil;
• commitment to, and belief in, the charity's aims.

Charity work is a popular employment choice and entry can be very competitive. Therefore, it is essential to have some experience of working in the sector. This may be gained by working as a volunteer for a charity or other voluntary group. Ideally, you would shadow someone in the role in which you want to work, but experience of any area of charity or voluntary work will stand you in good stead.

What type of training will I receive?

Most training takes place on the job under supervision until competent. Short courses, for example, those in administration and in marketing or public relations (PR), are widely available at centres throughout the country and by distance learning:

• Community Service Volunteers (CSV) offers relevant courses and opportunities for practical experience.
• The Directory of Social Change (DSC) offers a wide range of short training courses. These typically last one to two days and cover areas such as organisational development, management, finance and law and skills development.
• The Institute of Fundraising offers relevant training, including the Certificate in Fundraising Management.
• The National Centre for Volunteering offers professional-level training in the core skills of volunteer management, for new and experienced managers. These short courses usually last one to two days and are held in London, Manchester and Bradford.
• The Department of Voluntary Sector Studies, University of Wales, Lampeter, offers a range of relevant modules in their BA syllabus. Students can take one or more modules, or the full degree programme, by distance learning.
• Volunteering England (VDE) offers opportunities for practical voluntary work through their countrywide network of Volunteer Bureaux.

Charity officers need to develop a range of transferable skills. These are normally gained on-the-job and sometimes with employer-sponsored short courses, though most charities do not have big training budgets.

Career Progression:

Opportunities for career development can vary depending on the size, resources and aims of the charity. In larger charities there may be more opportunity to contribute to the work of teams, and to develop skills in a particular aspect of charity activity, for example, as an administrator, fundraiser, marketing, or liaison officer.

Smaller charities may offer exposure to a number of different aspects of the charity's work, and the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and experience in different roles. This may bring with it a heavier workload, but may also offer increased hands-on opportunities to propose, plan, develop and execute initiatives.

Larger charities may be more likely to offer a structured route of promotion, through posts such as team leader, supervisor and manager. In smaller charities, where routes of promotion are not as accessible, officers may need to move between charities to improve promotion and salary prospects.

What Sort Of Industries Have A Requirement For This Type Of Job?

Opportunities for paid work include administrative and fundraising posts, as well as events organisers and commercial/industrial liaison roles and occasional vacancies for legacy/wills specialists. In organisations using large numbers of volunteers, volunteer co-ordinators or organisers may be employed. Depending on the nature of the charity there may be vacancies for social workers, counsellors and other professional staff. Charities also need the same sort of specialists that other organisations require - IT, human resources, finance etc, although only the larger charities will employ people specifically for these functions.

Are Their Related Types Of Jobs?

Yes. This list is not exhaustive but here are some similar and associated types of role:

• Charity fundraiser
• Civil Service fast streamer
• Education administrator
• Health Service manager
• Local government administrator
• Public relations officer
• Training and development officer/manager.

What trade magazines or publications are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Charities Digest.
Community Care.
The Daily Telegraph.
Getting into the Voluntary Sector.
The Guardian.
The Independent.
International Directory of Voluntary Work.
The Times.
The Voice Newspaper.
Voluntary Sector Magazine.
Working in the Voluntary Sector: How to Find Rewarding and Fulfilling Work in Charities.
Worldwide Volunteering.

Where can I find further information?

Further information can be found by visiting any of the following bodies and organisations the addresses and their respective websites are:

Volunteering England (VDE)
New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street, Birmingham B2 5UG
Tel: 0845 305 6979
www.vde.org.uk

Charity People
38 Bedford Place, London WC1B 5JH
Tel: 020 7636 3900
www.charitypeople.co.uk

Community Service Volunteers (CSV)
237 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NJ
Tel: 020 7278 6601
www.csv.org.uk

Department of Voluntary Sector Studies
University of Wales, Lampeter, College Street, Lampeter, Ceredigion SA48 7ED
Tel: 01570 424785
www.volstudy.ac.uk/

Directory of Social Change (DSC)
24 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2DP
Tel: 020 7391 4800
www.dsc.org.uk/

Institute of Fundraising
Market Towers, 1 Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5NQ
Tel: 020 7627 3436
www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/

The National Centre for Volunteering
Regents Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL
Tel: 020 7520 8900
www.volunteering.org.uk

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Regent's Wharf, 8 All Saints St, London N1 9RL
Tel: 020 7713 6161
www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
18/19 Claremont Crescent, Edinburgh EH7 4QD
Tel: 0131 556 3882
www.scvo.org.uk


Other Useful Charity Officer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Charity Officer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Charity Officer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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