Resources for aspiring trustees

Changing the face of trusteeship - Getting on Board helps find the best possible volunteers to serve on charity boards. We support and train charities to improve their board recruitment, and we help individuals and their employers to find the best possible opportunities.

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Why become a trustee?

What is a trustee?

With the exception of a handful of organisations, all charities have a board of volunteer trustees at their heart.

 

Trustees are the final decision-makers of a charity, and have final responsibility for its success or failure, although their role varies depending on the size and complexity of the organisation.

What does a trustee do?

At most of the 400,000 charities in the UK, trustees are the ones who do the work. There aren’t any other volunteers or any paid staff. Being a trustee varies a lot, depending on whether you're doing the work yourself, or overseeing paid staff.

But at all charities, trustees are the final decision-makers, with oversight of all the charity’s decisions, but the board’s main job is usually to set direction and have oversight of what’s going on. Boards offer the executive strategy, scrutiny, and support. 

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What are a trustee's responsibilities?​

Trustee boards will typically meet four to six times a year to look over the most important issues facing the charity, although how involved trustees are in between times will vary depending on the organisation. For the chair of the board, the commitment can be significantly greater.

If you want to become a trustee, make sure you understand the legal duties and responsibilities you’re taking on. If the charity’s incorporated as a company, you’ll be listed as a director on Companies House. If the charity’s unincorporated, you will in theory have personal liability.

Becoming a trustee could boost your career, your health and your happiness.

Trusteeship could change your life

​Here are just a few of the powerful reasons to consider charity trusteeship.

Trustees get to sit at the top table with the most senior decision-makers, and trusteeship is a chance to get involved in every aspect of an organisation. It can be an incredibly effective way to build your skills and your CV.

Becoming a trustee could boost your career

Becoming a trustee could be the challenge you're looking for. Try out something totally new, making sure that you’re engaged in something vital and stimulating.

Becoming a trustee could challenge you

As a trustee, you can donate your skills, time and attention to a cause you love.
Trustees are often drawn to a charity because they’re passionate about a particular cause, whether that’s the environment or animals or education.

Become a trustee and give back to your community
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