Charity Fast-Track Alumni: David Plant

Nov 20 / David Plant
Our Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme is designed to give you the tools and skills you need to break into the charity sector and start making change happen. 
Charity Fast-Track graduate, David Plant, writes about his experience on the programme, what sets it apart from other online tools and how it helped him get to where he is now.

The Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme came onto my radar quite soon after I decided to quit my sales and marketing job in the clothing industry and pursue a career in the non-profit sector. I had been volunteering in my local park for a number of years, eventually becoming a trustee of the Friends group, and found this work much more satisfying than my day job. One day it just clicked in my head that I could ‘do good’ for a living, and the rest is history!

I first heard about the Foundation programme on the Charity Connect forum and thought it sounded like the ideal way to get a rounded view of how the sector works. Once I started looking for jobs I learned that around half of all charity jobs are in fundraising, and I was pretty sure this was what I wanted to do, but I decided to sign up for Charity Fast-Track and get an idea of what else is available.

I wasn’t going into the programme as a complete beginner, but it soon became clear how much I had to learn! As I had my first look through the overview of each module I started to get a really appreciation for how big the sector is and how much time and research goes into ‘doing good’. The programme covered everything, from fundraising to governance, and impact measurement to finance, just to name a few key categories.

The programme started with a general overview of how the sector works, before giving you a chance to delve deep into the different subjects. Clearly the course had been designed to inform us about how each subject fit into the sector as a whole before getting into more technical details.

I could ‘do good’ for a living, and the rest is history!
David plant
I think this was a great way to structure the programme as it teaches you the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’; if you’re planning on making a difference in the world, you need to understand why this work is important before you start doing it. Yes, there are techniques and job specifics that you will need to learn about, but understanding how different roles fit into the overall aims and objectives of a charity is so valuable.

This is what sets the Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme apart for me; they aren’t training you to be a fundraiser or a researcher, they’re helping you understand your place in a charity’s work. Being informed about how various departments operate and cooperate to achieve a charity’s mission is probably the most valuable thing you can learn about the sector and will put you a step ahead of candidates who only know about their chosen job.
The course materials contained a great mix of different media and assessments. There were opportunities to hear from an impressive selection of charity professionals, with video content and interviews that were created specifically for Charity Fast-Track. A particular highlight was learning about what some CFT alumni are doing in their current roles, some of whom had risen into very impressive position in just few years. 

Now, onto the important bit: will the Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme help you start a career in the charity sector? My answer to this is a definite and resounding...Yes! If you’ve already decided that a non-profit career is for you then this course will give you the foundations and direction you need to make that happen. You already have the passion; the course will show you what’s available and where your skills would be best put to use.
will Charity Fast-Track help you start a career in the charity sector? My answer to this is a definite....Yes! 
Even before you’ve completed the Foundation programme, enrolling shows to employers that you are determined to learn about the sector and maximise the impact you can achieve. I know this because I was actively job-seeking when the course started, and was very fortunate to be offered a job a few weeks into the course. My skills and experience were a good match for what they wanted, and seeing that I was has completed the Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme showed that I was committed to working in the sector.

I’ve been fundraising for a local wildlife charity for 8 months now, and have helped the charity navigate a global pandemic and a brutal economic crisis. I could not have adapted and risen to these challenges without the knowledge and confidence that the Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme gave me.
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Have you graduated from our Charity Fast-Track Foundation programme? We love hearing from our alumni, so please do get in touch and tell us what you're up to now.
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