What Different Types of Charity Work Are There?

3 minute read

Are you looking for a career that really makes a difference? A varied, challenging job that could help change the world? Welcome to the charity sector. Whether it’s your first job or a career change, read on for our overview of the different types of charity work available.


An overview of the charity sector

From small local organisations to multinational charities, there’s plenty of variety in the charity sector. Generating revenue isn’t the main purpose as it ultimately is in the corporate world. But if you’re not involved in frontline delivery work you’ll likely end up, in some way, working towards securing continued funding for your charity.

The sector can be competitive, and demand for certain roles can be high. But the many benefits of charity work include increased flexibility, motivation and job satisfaction. While some roles are unique to the charity sector, transferable skills are welcomed. Here are some examples of different types of charity work.

What Different Types of Charity Work Are There?

An entry point: volunteering

For many, the first port of call is volunteering, which has several benefits. A rewarding experience in its own right, it can also strengthen your applications for paid jobs. Plus, it allows you to get a feel for a charity and meet the people working there. You can get advice and feedback on why they enjoy their job and what aspects they’d like to improve. You’ll gain insight into the various teams and establish where you might best fit. You may also get the chance to interact with service users.


Care and support

Many charities help people by providing information, practical support or a safe space during a difficult time. This support may be given in person or remotely, for example over the phone. If you cope well in a crisis and are a good communicator, frontline care and support jobs may be the route for you.



In many ways, fundraisers keep a charity running. Charities exist because they’re supported by various funding streams. These may include government grants or private funding, trusts, private donations, legacy funding and events. Fundraisers persuade people to give by telling them about the great things the charity has achieved and its plans for the future. If this is something you’re drawn to, fundraising could be the charity career option you’re looking for.

Charities have a positive public reputation to maintain and are often under scrutiny to justify spending and evidence their need for recurring money. So admin and compliance roles are also vital.

What Different Types of Charity Work Are There?

Marketing and communications

Raising awareness of a charity is essential, both to reach service users and to secure funding. We can all name a few very large charities that almost everyone will be familiar with. Similarly, one amazing idea is all it takes for a charity to get hundreds of thousands of people to support them (just think of Movember or the Ice Bucket Challenge).

If you’re creative, idea-oriented and tech-savvy, marketing and communications roles are worth exploring. You’ll contribute to campaigns across multiple channels such as webpages, email, social media, audiovisual and print.


Policy and research

Research is at the core many of charities’ work, often informing their policy and campaigns. Depending on the organisation’s needs, it could involve market research or it may be more academic or scientific. For this type of charity work you’ll need a head for facts and figures, and it can help to have a background in a relevant field.

Policy plays a big part in influencing government and engaging political figures. Often charities will campaign on the back of certain bills and proposals being announced. This role may involve going to parliament committee meetings and debates, writing policy briefings on key topics and attending conferences. You’ll need an up-to-date knowledge of UK political institutions and a keen eye for detail.


Volunteer management

This is a well-established career in the sector―charities rely on volunteers, which we touched on earlier. The role of a volunteer manager or coordinator is to organise and coach them, and ensure they’re working toward the charity’s aims and mission. If you’re a people person with great organisational skills, this could be the role for you.

What Different Types of Charity Work Are There?

…and much more

The sector certainly isn’t limited to the different types of charity work we’ve listed here. There are plenty of other familiar and transferable career paths on offer, including (to name just a few):

Finding a charity job that’s right for you will take time. In a charity sector job, you’ll often need to ‘muck in’ and help in various ways, so being able to show flexible skills will be a bonus. Whatever you decide to do, charity work will offer you a meaningful and fulfilling career.


See what inspiring charity opportunities are currently availablebrowse jobs now.

This post was originally published in 2018. We’ve updated it to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.

Tomas René

Tomas is Senior Content Manager (maternity cover) at CharityJob.

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