Why you should become a charity trustee and how to do it!
There are approximately 194,000 charities in the UK and just over 1 million trustees! And the Charity Commission should know!
These dedicated people give valuable help and support to small organisations all across the country. As a lawyer (and a “just” one, purely by being on this site!) you have a wide range of skills that would be really valuable to a charity. So have a read of the information below, and take look at the links to see if an opportunity takes your fancy.
What is the role?
There are plenty of articles out there that explain what it is all about (see below), but in essence, you just need to care about a cause, be willing to give a little bit of your time, energy and expertise for free and finally to be pro-active to hunt out the role that is right for you.
You will largely be working behind the scenes, setting the strategy of an organisation and making decisions as a board that help to shape and drive the direction of the charity. You will be taking a leadership and governance role but remember you won’t be alone – there will be other people on the board that can help get you up to speed.
The Charity Commission has produced guidance covering formal elements to the role, including eligibility criteria and specific duties that you need to keep in mind.
There is also a helpful video here that describes these in more detail… https://www.youtube.com/embed/5iW0tW42mck?feature=oembed
…and some advice for first time trustees. https://www.youtube.com/embed/fCRwsRYHOAk?feature=oembed
How to find roles?
There are a number of websites that advertise trustee roles (set out below) however don’t forget to get in touch directly with a charity that you are passionate about and offer your services. Very few charities will turn down assistance and so just get out there and get talking!
What is the best thing about being a charity trustee?
Here is a short clip answering this question: https://www.youtube.com/embed/44dSgVpqDZ4?feature=oembed
What are you waiting for….?
- Leon Ward “How to become a charity trustee”, Guardian, 13 August 2014
- “Our guide to being a trustee”, Reach Volunteering
There is a multitude of advice and information online to help you find the right volunteering opportunity. Try the following links:
National volunteering database:
Charity/Third Sector jobs boards which include volunteering roles:
Recruitment Agencies specialising in skilled and/or non-executive or trustee appointments in the Public and Third Sector:
Finding out about volunteering – resources
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action – provides support for charities through regional members. Check out their map of members to find one in your area.
National Council for Voluntary Organisations has information and guidance on volunteering.
Individual charities have volunteering vacancies on their websites, so search for one you are interested in and check out their volunteering page.