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From business to charity

 
#1 From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:21

Jane

Hi guys,

I've worked in IT since 2001 (insurance, government, banking).

Now I feel very attracted by organisations like Amnesty or Oxfam.

I would accept a massive paycut.

Do you think it is possible?

Thanks,

Jane

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#2 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:33

Tony to Jane (#1)

How much is your salary, Jane?

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#3 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:35

Jane to Tony (#2)

It's 61K, but I would accept a paycut.

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#4 From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:38

Tony to Jane (#3)

I don't know anybody who has done that.

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#5 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:38

anon to Jane (#3)

You'll be taking a big paycut if you want to move into the IT dept of a charity. With a few exceptions, their CEOs hardly earn much more than what you're on now.

Also please do consider the true impact your chosen charity really makes. A lot of them just spend most of their funds on empire building or projects of dubious value. Some are really good though.

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#6 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 12:50

Sylvia to Jane (#1)

Hi Jane,

Your government experience is likely to be the most relevant for the voluntary sector. There are a number of parallels between the statutory and voluntary markets.

In the UK paid roles in the voluntary and non-profit sector account for approximately 11% of the jobs market. That's an astonishing number unparelled thoughout the world. So finding a role should not be difficult. You could try contacting the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) for information about national organisations or the CVS or NACVS for information about local organisations. You will also find a dedicated sector on many of the job boards and small job boards dedicated to the voluntary sector.

One of the problems you may face in transferring to the voluntary sector is security. Typically registered charities and voluntary organisations will receive funding on a year by year basis which can mean that if the funding goes so does your job. In reality funding is often far more secure than can be promised but it is something to investigate for each position you go for.

Voluntary sector work is usually fast paced, varied and rewarding. Go for it!

Sylvia

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#7 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 15:12

Jane to Sylvia (#6)

Thank you for your advice, I hope I will be able to find my way.

It must be a rewarding experience.

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#8 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 16:15

anon to Sylvia (#6)

"Voluntary sector work is usually fast paced, varied and rewarding. Go for it! "

Erm....

1. From my experience, it is slow. You have layers of trustees, committees and the executive board to get through whenever you want even a semi-important decision made. Plus you have a huge regulatory and reporting burden to deal with at the same time. All these different interest groups to deal with, combined with the not insignificant egos and politics you find in the sector, make for some very long-winded decision making processes indeed.

2. Agree that it is varied.

3. "Rewarding" in the 'feeling good inside' sense maybe, but certainly not financially. It can also be extremely frustrating for reasons given in (1) above.

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#9 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 16:30

C to anon (#8)

I have to agree with anon.

From my experience it is not the most fast-paced environment and in some charities more time is spent trying to prove that you are more 'right on' than your colleagues.

People I know who have left a 'high-flying' job for charity and enjoyed it tend to have joined smaller more entrepreneurial charities where the other people are both inspired and keen on actually getting things done rather than the giants like Oxfam (although I also know people who have worked in the 'field ops' positions - actually out doing work in developing countries - and that is meant to be much more rewarding and with decidely less bureaucracy).

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#10 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 16:45

Conrad Chakrabati to C (#9)

if you do join up, establish a "right on buzzword box"....collect a pound every someone says "inclusive" or words of that ilk.....before you know it, you'll be a millionaire...mwhaahaa

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#11 RE: From business to charity
31/07/2007 17:36

Anon to Jane (#3)

...From my experience, it is slow. You have layers of trustees, committees and the executive board to get through whenever you want even a semi-important decision made. Plus you have a huge regulatory and reporting burden to deal with at the same time. All these different interest groups to deal with, combined with the not insignificant egos and politics you find in the sector, make for some very long-winded decision making processes indeed...'

...so just like Government then!

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#12 RE: From business to charity
02/08/2007 15:04

Jane to Conrad Chakrabati (#10)

Sorry Conrad, I didn't get it.

Do you mean that their directions and intentions are not clear?

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#13 RE: From business to charity
02/08/2007 15:19

anon to Jane (#12)

I think he means that a lot of charities over-use words and phrases such as:

"diversity"

"community"

"we're a charity so we need a discount"

"we need a new website.. blah blah blah... our budget is £2,000 (yes we know we spend £1.5M per year on our offices in central london)"

"you charge £700 a day!!?! we can't pay THAT!"

"yes we only invited 400 suppliers to bid for that project... yes the budget is £8000"

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#14 RE: From business to charity
03/08/2007 09:27

Tony to anon (#13)

I agree with anon

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