How to develop the skills you need to work for a charity

Working for a charity or a nonprofit organization is something that a lot of people dream of doing. It gives you the chance to make a real positive difference in the world, give back to your local community, and change people’s lives for the better. As such, charity work can be very rewarding and often provides high levels of job satisfaction. It also means that it can be a surprisingly competitive field to break into. To help you out, here’s an overview of some of the top skills you will need in order to excel in the charity sector, along with some advice on how to develop them.

Enthusiasm and dedication

In order to be as effective as possible when doing charity work, it’s crucial that you are genuinely passionate about the cause. It’s likely that you already feel this way if you’re thinking of applying for jobs at nonprofit organizations. However, a great way to prove it on your resume is by doing some volunteering work. Most local charities have opportunities available on both a regular and one-off basis, so contact one or two in your area to find out more. This is also a great way to get a better idea of what it’s like to work in the charity field, brush up on many different relevant skills, and prove that you’re willing to work odd hours and help out with the mundane jobs too!


Communication – both written and verbal – is a considerable part of charity work. This is particularly true if you work in a campaigning role, which involves writing leaflets, booklets, social media posts, and other content designed to make the public or lawmakers care about the issue that you’re working on. Similarly, you may have to do interviews on television or radio about the work that your charity does or chat with members of the public on the street about your campaigns. This may also require you to explain complicated or scientific information to people with no background in the field. Alternatively, if you work in the fundraising department, then you’ll need to be able to ethically and honestly convince people to support your organization financially. You can boost your communication skills by practicing public speaking whenever you get the chance, asking for feedback from friends and colleagues, or starting up a blog.

People skills

Being part of a nonprofit organization requires working with lots of different people, from your colleagues and charity volunteers to media employees and members of the public. That means you need to have excellent interpersonal skills to enable you to liaise with people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as strong teamwork abilities so you can collaborate and achieve your collective goals. For those who wish to be promoted to higher-level positions within the charity sector, good leadership skills are a must too. You can work on all of these abilities by volunteering for group projects at work or college or joining a sports team, choir, or another similar hobby club in your spare time.

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