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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Voluntary Sector

There are a large number of graduate occupations within the Third Sector. Examples of well-established charities that employ graduates include Oxfam, British Red Cross, Age UK and Cancer Research UK. Due to the large variety within the third sector and within charities themselves roles on offer can be varied and unique, from Charity Officers to Charity Fundraisers.

Charity work

Role: Charity Officer

A charity officer works for a charitable organization, but, the role varies depending on the size of the charity. Typical roles include marketing and public relations to raise the profile of the charity, designing fundraising materials and organising fundraising events, administrative tasks and volunteers.

Source Prospects

Skills Required:

• Both written and verbal communication skills

• Organisational and time management skill

• Research skills

• Creativity and initiative

• Commitment and passion

Things to Consider:

The University of Southampton organizes an annual Volunteering and Third Sector careers fair which will improve your knowledge about careers in this sector and how to apply. In addition Social Sciences and Career Destinations, in collaboration with external training, run a Third Sector training event.

Charity work is a popular career choice, and therefore, it can be competitive. Previous voluntary experience is an advantage because it demonstrates your understanding of the sector and your commitment to a project. You can take advantage of our Career Destinations Volunteering Scheme whilst at the University of Southampton and gain valuable experience in this sector. You can also gain experience of this sector by applying for a placement through the Excel Placement Programme which offers a range of different paid roles in the Third Sector. In addition, Social Sciences has organised voluntary placements with local Third Sector Organisations during term time and students on these placements can take the Social Science Placement Module.

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Third Sector Work



Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Charity Fundraiser

Role: Charity Fundraiser

As a Charity Fundraiser a primary role is to increase the contributions from donors to the charity to maximise the funds raised. Therefore, the role includes raising awareness about the charity, developing strategies to increase funds, motivating supporters and volunteers, organising fundraising activities and managing the finances of the charity.

Source Prospects

Skills Required:

• Commitment

• Communication skills to build relationships with supporters and donors

• Organisation and project management skills

• Ability to motivate others

• Enthusiasm

Things to consider:

Being a Charity Fundraiser can be a rewarding task because the money being raised goes towards a great cause and helps those in need. Also, this role allows variety; different tasks will be faced each day.

Charity fundraising is popular and a competitive area of work, and therefore, relevant work experience or volunteering is a must. There are many opportunities to gain valuable volunteering experience at the University of Southampton via the Career Destinations Community Volunteering Project .

Useful Links:

The University is not responsible for external content

Charity Works

Third Sector

Working for a Charity


National Career Service

Photo of Kenny McCarthy
From working in the third sector to playing regular football for the Social Sciences team, the skills I have developed at Southampton will prove invaluable in any future job.
Kenny McCarthy , BSc Applied Social Sciences (Anthropology)

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