Julie Harrington who is a Freelance Charity Fundraiser Advisor studied Marketing and Portuguese at the University of Leeds. She went on to a career in sales for four years before starting to work for the third sector. Since then she has worked for Oxfam, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Breast Cancer amongst many other charities.
Julie also emphasised that charities need entrepreneurs because there are going to be radical changes to the third sector in the next 10 years.
Jacinta Kent is a Campaigner and Activist. She left school at 16 and starting working for charities a couple of years later. She had five valuable top tips:
- Find out what you are passionate about
- Get informed and know your information. Don’t just accept one source as being right, use your skills as a student and cross-reference information to find out what is accurate.
- Live your beliefs, don’t just say them. But you also have to be realistic about how far you can live like this, just try to be the most ethical you can. She suggested visiting www.thegoodshoppingguide.co.uk to find out where to buy fair-trade, ethical goods.
- Be proactive. Motivation to make a difference needs to be the reason you volunteer. If a charity doesn’t exist for your aim then set one up. Be a direct part of change.
- Question everything. Don’t just listen to her advice! Get out there and find out for yourself.
Erin McFeely is the Head of Regional Policy and Development at the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO). After graduating from Leeds University she worked as the Democracy and Communications officer at LUU, whilst also lobbying for a political party. She then went on to work for ACEVO which is a company that offers practical advice and support to charities. Her top tips were:
- Get yourself out there
- Build relationships and networks and maintain them. A way to do this is through the Leeds Alumni mentoring scheme. This is available to graduates even when they have left University and it involves alumni from Leeds University offering one to one advice on how they made it in their career.
- Lean how to sell yourself. Being a Leeds Graduate is valuable.
Some useful websites that were mentioned are:
Finally, Oxfam and Cancer Research run graduate recruitment schemes, whilst many other charities have volunteer internships available throughout the year so get out there and make a difference!