Volunteers’ Week 2021: How to succeed in the Charity & Volunteering sectors

group of volunteers working for a charityFor those who want to turn their talents to a good cause, pursuing opportunities to work as a volunteer or with charitable organisations could be just what you are looking for.

With Volunteers’ Week around the corner from June 1st-7th, the time therefore seemed right to take a look at the top skill that’s in particular demand for career success in such roles.

The importance of management skills

According to recent analysis carried out by the website CoursesOnline, charities can’t get enough of those with a proven background in management. By looking at the roles being advertised across a number of specialist job industry job boards, management was the popular skill in demand – being requested in 29% of roles. For comparison the second most requested skill was communications, which appeared in 23% of roles.

As for what’s driving such demand for this unique skill, a lot of it’s likely down to the fact that charitable and voluntary organisations have to be run differently to a standard for profit business. They have to put the work that they do above simply making money which necessitates having a very specific type of person making decisions. That’s not to mention the impact of Covid on funding and operations, which has further stretched everyone’s budgets and resources.

Highlight your “lived experience”

Unfortunately effective management techniques can’t be learnt in a day or two and require years of study combined with experience for anyone to hone their skills in this regard. The good news though is that many charities don’t view such a lack of experience as prohibitive to success when counterbalanced with other things that you might be able to bring to the table.

For example, according to the CEO of the charity Overcoming MS, Grazina Berry, they seek out those with “lived experience and passion for grassroots impact”. The thinking is that this will greatly aid with community engagement and ensures that the charities “values and vision are at the forefront of everything we do”. Such experience can’t be acquired from anywhere else and is most welcome at every level of the employment structure.

How to improve your useful skills

You might very well be thinking to yourself something along the lines of “I want this job, but don’t think I have the skills to do it effectively.” Recognising this need for self-improvement can go a long way and raising such concerns with your current or prospective employer is an effective way of showing your dedication to a position. If you find yourself having such a conversation, here’s a few things you can suggest that both you and your colleagues can use to get ahead:

  • Encourage your organisation to invest in more networking and collaborative projects to exchange ideas and practices with other charitable groups.
  • Have dedicated sessions within your team to discuss new things that you might have learned and could potentially implement.
  • Ensure that everyone involved with a training course has a say in the specifics of what they are learning to ensure it’s relevant to their job and to their interests.

Bringing such suggestions to the table will not only be effective performance-wise but by including your colleagues as well, again highlights your suitability for a management role. Upskilling those around you is a really tangible way to show off your effectiveness and will boost performance throughout your organisation.


Read this next…

Key Benefits of Volunteering for Career Advancement and Business Opportunities! (F)Key benefits of volunteering for career advancement and business opportunities

Volunteering is becoming a good way to develop new skills, boost your career and find business opportunities. Besides giving the satisfaction of helping others, volunteering could be the opportunity to develop new skills in a fun way. Most volunteering jobs are challenging, so this helps to gain new competences and develop leadership capabilities. Volunteering works are always pleasant and satisfactory experiences, so the return outweigh the time you invest.


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