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October 12, 2023, by Leah Sharpe

Different roles in the charity sector that you may not have thought about

By Grace Smyth, Languages graduate

The charity sector is extremely competitive and sometimes the number of roles can be overwhelming. Many people are unaware of the breadth of roles within the charity sector, read below for some roles that you may not have thought about.

Charity grad schemes

A select number of organisations do offer graduate schemes which offer a direct entry into the charity sector. For example, Charityworks offers a 12-month scheme which gives graduates the opportunity to work full-time for a partner charity. Other schemes include Cancer Research UK, The British Heart Foundation, Smart Works, Wellcome and IntoUniversity.

Entry-level roles could include marking, communications and campaigning.

Communication and marketing roles are some of the most vital positions within the charity sector. Raising awareness of your charity’s mission and the charity itself is the primary way to attract supporters, volunteers and educate the public on your charity. Social media is one approach to promote an organisation, gain widespread attention and stand out from the crowd. So, marketing and communications roles are some of the most plentiful, creative and useful in the charity sector.

Volunteer management

Charities survive off of the help and dedication of volunteers, thus, volunteer management roles are needed in almost every organisation. Implementing training programmes, coordinating volunteers and increasing the number of volunteers are just a few of the tasks under the volunteer management bracket. Organisational skills and people skills help you excel at this role and many charities offer these types of roles to graduates.


Fundraising doesn’t necessarily mean standing in the street trying to get people to stop walking and talk to you. Fundraising can be through social media, funding proposals from larger funding bodies or from well-known figures. There are also countless specialised fundraising roles: for example, corporate, events, legacy and community and the tasks within each can differ greatly.

Policy development and research

Research is vital to the work charities are doing, research provides charities with the hard-facts they use to gain support for their cause. If you have loved researching and writing up your findings while at university then why not have a look at research and policy development roles in the charity sector. Research lends itself to policy development roles, many charities and organisations work closely with the government to develop new political, social and legal policies.


Fundraising and general community events are an important tool for charitable organisations to raise funds and awareness of their work. Even if your role is not necessarily event organisation, many roles within the charity sector involve participation in the organisation and management of corporate and community events.

Other roles to consider:

  • Outreach and Education Officers: play a huge role in gaining support from the local community.
  • Finance and Legal specific roles: if you have the required skills and qualifications then why not use your skills in the charity sector.
  • Advice workers: depending on your skills and qualifications this could be providing individual advice and support to vulnerable people or it could be an advisory/consultancy role working to provide the charity with sector specific advice.
  • HR roles: if organisation and administration roles are your thing then the charity sector is full of available positions for you.
  • Retail: many charities have high-street shops in the community that promote the donation of pre-loved items in order to raise vital funds.

As you can see the roles within the charity sector are extremely varied and there really is something for everyone.

So if you’re thinking of working in the third sector then knowledge of the roles and responsibilities is vital so you can start gaining experience and developing your skills.

For more information on working in the charity sector and the roles available head to the Careers and Employability Service website.


Posted in Choosing Your Career