“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”- Mahatma Gandhi
For most of you looking at jobs in the charity sector, it is substantial to acquire specific skills before appearing for an interview. Not everyone can comprehend the desired skills and attributes required to end up with a job in this domain.
Everyday fundraising companies are hiring hundreds of candidates as development professionals. Even the hiring team is not exactly sure of the set of skills required by an individual to prosper in this charity industry.
Beyond the specific requirements of a job role, some skills and qualities will mould your future in the charity sector.
Here is the compiled list of eight qualities that you must possess to excel in this industry.
8. Gain expertise in multiple languages
It is an advantage for every job aspirant in this world to speak in various tongues. If you want to work for an international charity organisation, you need to travel from one country to another and interact with people of different races. They have their own set of languages.
For example, if you are working for a charity organisation of France, you might have to travel to places like Paris, Marseille where you have to communicate with the natives in English or French. So learning additional languages for doing charity work is a must for every aspirant in this field.
You should be well-versed in more than one language so that you can communicate with clients who might are from abroad. It would eventually eradicate the language barrier problem. Off and on foreign clients prefer to talk in their native language. It acts as a litmus test for the fundraising organisation to converse with them in that language.
If you possess knowledge in that language, you might take the ownership of coming forward and clinch the deal for your organisation by choosing to talk to your client in their preferred language. This initiative will not only augment your confidence level, but the client will be impressed with your versatility and might show interest to invest in the efforts of your charity organisation.
7. Try to remain energetic and persistent
An employee must be highly dynamic with his work to acquire more tangible benefits in life. To excel in your career as a fundraiser, you require an iron will and determination. Being steadfast will encourage you to garner the candied fruits of your challenging work. Energy remains the key to keep you engaged and motivated at the workplace.
You should take proper diet, and practice exercises and yoga to relieve your stress and boost your energy level. If you admire the work you are doing, you can even work for extended hours. Being proactive and energetic remains the key to excel in whatever you are doing in this field.
Another attribute that the professionals in this industry need are patience or perseverance. To climb up the ladder in this fundraising industry, you need to set long-term goals and pragmatic standards to gauge your performance. Plan strategically is one-way to do it. Develop a realistic time frame within which you take care of your assigned work. On demand of your bosses, you might have to work under stringent deadlines and often without adequate planning. Perseverance will support you in such situations. It would assist you to overcome the monotonicity of your job and satisfy you once your work gets completed.
6. Be flexible with your work
Flexibility is one of the very few traits you need to join this fundraising domain. A job in this industry may not be a conventional 9-5 job. You might have to stretch beyond your working hours or even have to attend the charity shows and events during weekends. So, you need to get accustomed to novel situations and work in synchronisation with new teams demand flexibility from you. Act sensibly in handling every responsibility coming in your way.
5. Brush up your Oral & Written communication skills
In this charity sector, communicating effectively with your clients is a must. Naturally internal and external communications involve the exchange of thoughts and views on a subtle note. When you are talking with your client, you need to be fluent in the language you are speaking.
Efficient communication on social media and other digital platforms is equally necessary for any fundraising job. Charity agencies need to spread the word about their activities through initiatives where they communicate with a potential audience. Consequently, you need to interact with them in a language understandable to them. You need to communicate with your clients in a fluid and convincing manner.
Charity industry is composed of a contrastive workforce of introverts and extroverts. As a result, you need to deal with every one of them diplomatically. You should be compassionate and amicable with others and develop a robust network of colleagues, clients.
4. Listen attentively
The ability to listen keenly comes with excellent communication skills. Being a courteous listener is a fundamental aspect of every individual working in this charity sector.
As a solicitor, listening helps you to foster a symbiotic relationship with the donor. Suppose, a donor is interested in contributing a certain amount of money for the cause of upliftment of studies in the rural sector and you, you need to pay attention minutely to his explanations. The donor will notice your patience level and your attention to every detail which will bewitch him in real time. It would assist you in developing a rapport with your client.
3. Be Innovative & full of ideas
Being a fundraiser or an executive from this industry, you need to go through those brainstorming sessions through which you can come out with creative ideas that will benefit your organisation in the extended run. In some cases, a charity agency may encounter the problem of budget-constraint, and to overcome such obstinate situations, you need to come up with canny and demiurgic ideas that will save the day.
You should have the ability to come up with path-breaking ideas that may sound dicey but will be fruitful for the growth of your company. Through ideation, you can achieve the goal of helping people in an advanced way.
Being creative also tests your problem-solving skills. It also assesses your decision making expertise and pronounces you an adroit individual.
2. Acquire team-building and organisational skills
To establish your career in the charity sector, you need to grab people management skills that are pivotal for your growth. To perform well in your industry, you must have the competence to communicate with people from different races, culture and age group. Start mixing with these people and work side-by-side with them.
You must be open to conversations with your colleagues and perform as a team player. What you need to do is to acquire the ownership of various activities on behalf of the team.
There are all types of people working in this sector. Some are associated with the cause of the job while others are passionate about helping others. You need to work collaboratively with your peers for achieving success in this industry.
1. Motivate others through your approach
If you are a professional in this industry, you need to motivate your peers with your thoughts and perceptions. You should encourage your donors by teaching them the essence of humanitarian activities. You need not be convincing them or forcing them to serve anything against their will. But you should make them understand how these charity activities convey joy to their lives.
By sharing the motto or the mission of your organisation, you can influence your donors. Each donor has a fixed set of motivating factors that drive the donors to donate to the charity funds. Listen attentively to what your donors want to say. It acts as an encouragement to them, and they will feel more motivated in contributing to the mission of your non-profit organisation.
Motivating your co-workers is equally vital like encouraging your donors. Through facile communications with volunteers and staff, you can inspire them to the core. Try being empathetic with them, request them to share their concerns with you, suggest solutions to their problems. By motivating your peers, you can foster a long-lasting relationship with them, and they will soon start developing respect for you. By sticking to your work ethics and maintaining your workplace hygiene, you can motivate others.
Involve them in the planning process for raising a fund and accept help from them to implement the plan. It would stimulate them to work towards greatness.
The Final Note
Apart from these eight qualities, other attributes will support you in becoming a successful individual in a non-profit industry.
Being enthusiastic and dedicated to your charitable cause is one of them. Charity organisations receive millions of funds from the private companies and independent entities. You need to be responsible enough to manage these funds with perfection.
As a part of your job, you need to develop a constructive knowledge on ethical fundraising. Irrespective of the situation, safeguarding the interests of your donors is your priority. In case you are trying establishing yourself in this fundraising sector, try to act like a smart-worker, not a hard worker. You might possess the skills of an employer but what you must need above all is the commitment to your job role.
There are hundreds of job roles available in this charity sector. It is a level playing field for every innovative and ambitious individual who is eyeing success through their back-breaking work in this field. Try to give the best sales pitch obtaining the help of your colleagues and establish a sustainable, functional relationship with your clients.