According to CV-Library, the charity sector is quickly becoming one of the top industries to work for in the UK. And that’s hardly surprising when you consider the diverse range of roles available and the digital shift that the sector is currently undergoing. True, it may have been a bit late to the technological party, but more and more charities are starting to see the value of digital skills, particularly in light of the pandemic. This means that there are more and more tech roles advertised. There’s also plenty of room for new expertise and new perspectives to step in and shape the direction of these organisations.
And that means there’s more opportunity for innovation—from finding creative ways to source donations to enabling more people in underdeveloped nations to understand and access technology themselves.
So why aren’t more tech people seeing the charity sector as a viable career path? From growth opportunities to motivation, these organisations are the perfect platform to showcase your skills.
Think this might be the right career move for you? Let’s explore what benefits (both professionally and personally) a tech job in the charity sector can provide.
Donors are using more digital channels than ever, so a charity that isn’t tapping into the digital realm is missing out. That’s why the sector is now adopting a digital mindset in traditionally non-technical roles—things like fundraising, volunteer management and communication. It’s all about reaching more people and automating the processes as much as possible. You can even donate directly on social media, making it a simple one-click process.
And that’s carrying over to areas like project management and business development. Similarly, with the introduction of GDPR in 2018, the need for tech roles in security and compliance are also increasing.
And based on the NCVO’s latest report on skills gaps in charities, over a third of voluntary organisations (36%) reported their staff were missing digital skills and more than half of these organisations (52%) did not have a digital strategy.
In other words, there’s a real demand for tech roles in the sector right now. That’s where you come in.
This is true of many people who make the switch to the charity sector, but it is particularly true of tech roles, where you’ll be able to immediately see the impact that your work is having. Last year, the Charity Digital Code Benchmark Report stated that if charities didn’t improve their digital strategy, they would ‘go the way of Woolworths’. This is why your skills will be incredibly appreciated and you’ll likely have your team rallying behind you to solve a particular challenge or bottleneck.
There’s also something deeply satisfying about using strategies you’ve previously adopted for commercial projects within the charity sector where they will directly, or indirectly lead to an increase in funding and impact the lives of the people or communities that they serve. As well as many in-house roles, there are great freelance opportunities in the charity sector-which might suit you better if you’re looking for flexibility.
Have you ever seen one of those donation boxes on Facebook during a natural disaster? Or maybe you’ve started seeing more people collecting donations on the streets using contactless pay points. Some charities are even starting to invest in VR to give people a better understanding of what vulnerable people are going through across the world.
These technologies are still developing and changing, and there’s no better time to jump in and start using them for the greater good.
Just look at how AI has transformed donor appeals via chatbots. Facebook Messenger is used by over 1 billion people every month, surpassing Facebook itself. So why not use that to share the stories of the people your charity is helping? Take, for example, WaterAid’s bot, ‘Talk to Sellu’. Using Facebook Messenger, users were immersed in the story of Sellu, a farmer, fisherman and father living in the remote village of Tombohuaun. This raised 25% more donations and created greater awareness during their winter appeal.
And that’s only a fraction of the many ways in which charities are disrupting the tech space. If you have the right digital skills, you can help build more meaningful connections, increase donations and ultimately have a tangible impact on people’s lives.
Why not start by taking a look at the roles advertised on CharityJob?