Where do I fit into the charity sector?

Feb 10
The charity sector is complex, and sometimes it's hard to see how you fit in. Jenny Brodie explains how Charity Fast-track helped her get to where she is today.

Finding the charity sector

I stumbled into the charity sector after leaving university with a degree in Graphic Arts. I didn’t feel that I wanted to join an agency and have no choice on the brands I worked with, and I was lucky to get an internship at Cancer Research UK.

I loved the atmosphere at the organisation, not just in the office but at the fundraising events I had the opportunity to help out with.
A few jobs later I found myself working in the design team at Great Ormond Street. It was a great job and a great team, but whilst I still loved working in the charity sector I wasn’t sure if I was in the right role. My team sat with, and worked closely with, the digital team.

I was really interested in what they did and reached out to collaborate on a couple of projects. I worked with digital content officers on a Photo-shoot with patients, and I explored more work in social media, creating a Snapchat filter and animated gifs. 

How Charity Fast-Track helped me

In the same year I took part in the Utopy Charity Fast-Track course (called Charity Apprentice back then!) I wanted to learn all the types of roles in the charity sector and develop my charity sector knowledge.

The course covered a wide range of topics, some I enjoyed more than others. I loved creating the concept for my event, but didn’t like running it on the night!

I loved writing about why Child.org was a great charity, but never got into the nitty gritty of running international development projects.

However, every experience helped me figure out what I did, and didn’t, want to do in my perfect role.
The course definitely helped me get my next role, in super small charity in a really varied role. I worked on design, branding, social media, and general communications.

I helped run, and photograph events, conduct interviews and got stuck in right across the organisation.

Having an understanding of the roles my colleagues worked in really helped me to work effectively with them. I continued working with Utopy, as a Fast-Track mentor, which has really helped grow my confidence.

Where I am now

I knew digital marketing was for me and sought out a more specific role. I completed free online courses through Google Digital Garage and Yoast SEO to boost my CV.

I now work at a not-for-profit credit union as a Digital Marketing Officer, and I am currently developing a website to take on freelance work. I feel that with Digital Marketing I’ve found a way to apply my creativity and analytical skills to the sector.

The knowledge, skills and connections from Charity Fast-Track have been invaluable to me. I hope that my story shows that whatever your skill set, if you want to work in the charity sector there is sure to be a job for you.
My top tips to find your fit:

  • Don’t wait for the perfect role - get into a good organisation and see what it’s like!
  • Ask if you can help out. Get to know other teams and their roles, ask if they need any help. It’s likely they will be super busy and jump at the chance!
  • Try a few role out first. It goes against some career advice, but I have found working in different roles, in big and small charities invaluable to figuring out what I prefer.
  • Keep learning. Of course - Charity Fast-Track is a great place to start! The breadth of knowledge across the sector is amazing. If another area interests you, seek out free courses online too!
  • Find friends. Lot’s of charity sector professionals can be found on Twitter, Facebook Groups, and are active on LinkedIn…so get stalking! 
Created with