Charity manager, managing director
Charity directors plan ways to develop a charity’s services, generate income and raise awareness of its work.
Salary range: £30,000 to £55,000
How to become a charity director
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a business management foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree to learn the general management skills needed for this job.
Another option is to do a degree in the subject area you want to do charity work in, and work your way up into management and director roles.
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a college course like a Level 4 or 5 Diploma in Business Management.
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course
You could start out in the voluntary sector as a charity fundraiser or administrator and work your way up into management after getting experience and training.
Volunteering and experience
Volunteering is often a good way to start. You could volunteer with organisations that promote the causes you’re interested in and then apply for paid roles as you get more experience.
With further training on the job, you may be able to move up to senior positions within your charity.
If you want to apply for this type of job directly, you’ll need a lot of experience at senior management level, and of building partnerships and fundraising.
You’ll also need a lot of knowledge of the challenges faced by your charity’s service users, what can be done to help them and a very strong commitment to the charity’s aims.
Excellent presentation and confident public speaking skills are essential.
You can find out more about working in the charity sector from The National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- business management skills
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- leadership skills
- the ability to motivate and manage staff
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- financial management skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- planning policies and raising income
- representing the charity at meetings, events and in the media
- managing relationships with partners, funding bodies and service users
- presenting information about the services your charity offers
- writing funding bids and negotiating contracts
- making sure policies meet changes in law and regulations
- meeting regularly with the senior management team and trustees
You could work in an office, in the community or at events.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
You could move to a bigger charity, work for an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), or become a consultant, advising charities and government on policy.