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Bumps on the road to trusteeship


Three women, one Asian, one Black and one white are working together collaboratively

The road to trusteeship is rarely a straight line. There can be twists, turns, and bumps along the way.


Finding the perfect role can take time. Sometimes after a bit of a detour, it can feel like you need a bit of a boost to get your plan to realise those board aspirations back on track.


Here are some of the most common hurdles aspiring trustees encounter:


The wrong time

Sometimes life gets in the way and your search doesn’t get off the ground. Whether you took a conscious decision to take a step back from your search or it simply fell down the priority list because work, family, health or something else needed your attention more, waiting for the right time is always a good plan. Trusteeship positions are not something to add to a plate that’s already too full. They are something to take on when you have the time, energy and passion to contribute.


The wrong target

Finding the right cause that ignites your passion combined with the right organisation that can benefit from your skills and expertise can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Maybe you never quite figured out where you could make the biggest difference and went for the scattergun approach. Either way, you can end up spending a lot of time and energy targeting organisations that are not a good fit and getting frustrated and burnt out in the process.


The wrong role

What if you get a role and it’s not all you expected. It might be the culture or the commitment level that aren’t quite as described. Maybe you’ve got more to offer and feel ready to step up to a more challenging role. It could be time for the move from committee to board. In any case it’s time to revisit all that you learned in the Charity Board Leadership Programme and update your CV with all the extra experience you’ve gained in both your professional and governance roles.


Regardless of your reason for reigniting your search or seeking out a new role, we want to make sure you have all the help you need to change the face of trusteeship with us.


Getting on Board runs regular alumni group coaching sessions for any participant who has been through the Charity Board Leadership Programme. These are designed to be informal, practical and flexible opportunities to work with a coach and your peers on the issues that impacting your board aspirations. You can find out more about the Charity Board Leadership Programme here.


Sapna Marwaha is an experienced commercial lawyer, board member and independent consultant working with a range of public, private and third sector organisations. She is a Getting on Board associate and a Charity Board Leadership Programme trainer and coach.


Photo by Alexander Suhorucov at Pexels


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