Small charity trustees: how to overcome key challenges

Document type
Briefing
Author(s)
Carrington, Oliver; Denselow, Sarah
Publisher
New Philanthropy Capital
Date of publication
14 June 2017
Subject(s)
Social Policy
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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Thousands of people volunteer to be trustee of a charity, a role that can be immensely rewarding. Trustees have overall legal responsibility for the charity. They guard its mission, appoint and oversee the chief executive and play a key role in shaping the organisation’s values and culture. These responsibilities are shared by all trustees in small and large charities alike and there are both good and bad examples of governance no matter the size of the charity.

Small charities make up the bulk of the UK charity sector, with 87% of all charities having an income below £100,000. Smaller charities can often be more flexible and respond quickly to local needs, and may have strong roots in the community they serve, so getting involved with a small charity can be an opportunity to make a real difference.

Three themes emerged from this discussion:

  • Coping with limited funds and staff capacity.
  • Balancing governance and operational roles.
  • Attracting new talent and keeping the board energised.

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