The guide below helps explain what a trustee does. who can be one and the benefits of the role. If after reading you think you would like to take on a trustee position, have a look at the links to current opportunities in Oxfordshire.
Trustees are a group of people who have the overall legal responsibility for a charity. The trustees make important decisions regarding the running of the charity. Individual trustees usually have specific areas of responsibility e.g. managing the finances, marketing etc.
The first thing is to ask yourself some questions. What are my interests? What do I care about? What does it feel really important to support? Find out as much as you can about charities working in these fields.
You can approach organisations themselves expressing your interests and asking to talk to someone. Try to be clear about skills and experience you might offer to a charity. However, remember as well that good people who are reliable, of sound judgement and prepared to contribute where they can are always in short supply!
Trustees usually need to be over the age of 18. Most adults can be trustees, as long as you have not been declared bankrupt or had certain criminal convictions. The most important skills as a trustee is a commitment to the charity and an honest approach.
Fundamentally, the role of trustees is to work as a group to take decisions about the charity they represent to ensure it fulfils its aims. These decisions are taken as a group at formal meetings and once a decision has been made, all trustees are bound to support that decision.
Many charities also delegate day to day or operational matters to individual trustees e.g. an individual trustee may have the responsibility for the charities finances or for volunteer recruitment and training.
You may well want to contact an individual charity or organisation you are thinking of applying to and ask questions about what the role would involve and many organisations may make this quite clear in an advert for a trustee. A good general place to start is this article from the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations).
If there is a particular organisation you would like to volunteer for, you can always approach them directly and express your interest. If you are not sure where to start, the suggestions below will give you some ideas:
The Lieutenancy Trustee List is a confidential list of people with senior leadership experience. Charities who are looking for trustees describe their service and specify the experience and skills they seek. This brief information is then distributed to all on the list, in confidential format. Those who are interested contact the organisation direct for further information and to take matters further if they wish. There is no commitment to engage unless interested in doing so and contact details of those on the list are never given to organisations without permission.
You can register your interest in being a trustee and receive adverts by email for potential trustee positions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. National Websites: Websites including The Guardian, Charity Jobs, REACH, Trustee Finder and Young Charity Trustees all list trustee roles, often for larger charities;
Trustee Finder and Young Charity Trustees all list trustee roles, often for larger charities.
Association of Chairs
We support Chairs of charities and non-profit organisations to lead your boards effectively and ensure delivery of your organisation’s mission. Our resources are designed specifically to support you in your skilled and demanding role. We provide practical guidance and governance support tailored to the needs of Chairs. https://www.associationofchairs.org.uk/