A Board of Trustees are a vital and important part of the everyday and long-term running of a charitable organisation.
With the exception of a handful of organisations, all charities have a board of volunteer trustees at their heart.
Trustees ensure their charity has a clear strategy, and that its work and goals are in line with its vision. A trustee’s role in a charity is to be the ‘guardians of purpose’, making sure that all decisions put the needs of the beneficiaries first. They make sure the charity is run sustainably.
Trustees are often people with essential skills that they have gained from other aspects of their lives or former/current careers which contribute to the effective running of the charity. Their duties can include:
- strategically oversee the management and administration of the organisation
- Make key decisions about what the organisation does
- Perform on sub-committees on matters such as HR and Finance
- Supporting staff in their role and holding them to account
Here at One Walsall we spoke to our Chair of One Walsall’s Trustee Board, Councillor Chris Towe, about what it means to him to be a trustee and why he enjoys it so much:
You can find out more about becoming a Trustee by reading the Charity Commission’s Essential Trustee Guide.
Should I become a Trustee of a Charity?
Being a Trustee is often described by many as an honour and a chance to be part of something bigger, that helps lots of other people.
Some trustees bring professional expertise, such as in finance, fundraising or IT, but you don’t need to have specialist knowledge to be invaluable and contribute to an organisation’s smooth running, you just a fresh perspective, commitment and some common sense.
But it is important to be realistic about how much time you can commit, as most charity’s needs are likely to be made up of a range of activities that may occur at different times of the day and vary across the year. It may be helpful to think about the following questions:
- What skills do you have that make you think you would be the ideal trustee?
- How many trustee meetings are there each year?
- How long are the meetings, where and at what time of day?
- Are trustees expected to serve on committees?
- What contact is there in between trustee meetings and how does this usually take place?
- Are there any one-off events or annual occasions that trustees are expected, or will have the opportunity, to attend?
- What induction and training will the organisation provide, and how much time will that take?
If you would like to become a Trustee of a local group in Walsall, find out more by emailing our Team at firstname.lastname@example.org