Charity Trustee Recruitment - How To Find Trustees For A Charity Board

Charity Trustee Recruitment - How To Find Trustees For A Charity Board

Charity Trustee Recruitment - How To Find Trustees For A Charity Board

Charity trustee recruitment for your board can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be. This practical guide gives you everything you need, including links to organisations who will help you recruit trustees. But not from a trustee recruitment agency - these are free.

How To Find Charity Trustees - Recruitment Adverts

Ensure your trustee recruitment adverts are in clear, simple English and include the time commitment and length of appointment. For under-represented groups, think about barriers to joining that may exist for them and be clear how you will deal with these. For example, some people may not think they will be listened to, or have the board level skills they might think they need and some may need financial support.  Make clear how much their input would be valued and that support will be available, such as an induction programme, development opportunities, mentoring and paying expenses. And not everyone has a CV, so perhaps application by letter, without asking for a CV, and leave it to the applicant to attach one, or not. You can explore the detail at interview.

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Be Clear On The Trustee Board Skills & Experience You Need

The first step is to carry out a trustee skills and diversity review of your board. Really effective boards have both the professional skills needed and are diverse. However, to be effective, most boards should usually be no more than about a dozen trustees. Just recruiting whoever's available isn't usually a good idea, yet that's what very many charities still do. The fact that trusteeship is a volunteer role, doesn't remove the obligation to recruit on an equal opportunities basis, diverse boards are more effective and doing so is most likely to source the best candidate.

Trustee Recruitment - Use The Right Communication Channels

To engage people, use the communications channels that will reach them, talk about what is important to them and in their language. For those who may not be online, posters/flyers in your facilities, or local shops and libraries etc can work well. For those who are, you can use your social media, website and e newsletters. Trustees or other supporters may work for major companies, or belong to professional, or other networks and may be able to use these to advertise your role.

However, that's still a very limited pool, so always advertise more widely. Fortunately, there are some fantastic charities working hard to support you, by not only posting roles, but also providing great resources too, and it's free.

  • Getting on Board helps individuals, employers and members of professional networks become new leaders in communities through board-level volunteering. They provide a free service to charities to post their vacancies and find new trustees.
  • Reach Volunteering runs a trustee recruitment service which is free to charities with a turnover of under £1m. Roles are posted to their online community, and through partner sites like LinkedIn. They recruit over 450 trustees a year.
  • The Honorary Treasurers Forum will advertise your treasurer vacancies.

Or, you could post your role on Twitter, using the Trusteeship Matters account (@TrusteeshipM).

Board Recruitment - Finding Specialist Charity Trustees

There are also other organisations that can help source volunteers for specialist roles.

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) has a recruitment portal, which provides free access for volunteer roles to its 134,000 members.
  • Bar in the Community operates a free service for those, in England and Wales, looking for legally qualified trustees.
  • The Media Trust can help find communications volunteers.
  • For young trustees, you could post in the Young Charity Trustees Face Book or LinkedIn groups. And, if you're a young trustee yourself, why not join them?

If you're in Northern Ireland, Community NI and Volunteer Now will help you.

And, don't forget that volunteer roles can be posted for free on some job boards, such as Charity Job and TPP, a charity sector recruitment agency.

Many of the charity sector recruitment agencies can help with sourcing trustee candidates. This has the benefit of engaging recruitment professionals and also in tapping into their networks, but obviously costs money. And there is no end of useful guidance, from finding new trustees, to eligibilityrecruitment, induction and selection to beneficiaries and young people on boards to finding digital trustees.

Always Appoint The Best Trustees

Appoint the candidate who most closely fits your requirements and will be able to contribute most, always. Being a charity trustee should be fun, but it's not a game.

Charity Trustee Recruitment FAQs

  • How long do trustees of charities serve? The length of a charity trustee appointment will be in your constitution but, in general, most charities opt for 3 years, with the option to reappoint.
  • Can trustees of charities be remunerated? Generally, charity trustees are unpaid volunteers who may be paid expenses.  It is possible to pay trustees for services provided but usually requires Commission approval and it would be unusual to pay a trustee for simply being a trustee.
  • What is the age limit for trustees of charities? You must be at least 16 years old to be a charity trustee that is a company or a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO), or at least 18 to be a trustee of any other charity.
  • Who can't be a charity trustee?  As long as you are old enough, most people can be a charity trustee. Those who can't, include people who have been disqualified as a director or trustee, are bankrupt (undischarged) or have an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), or have unspent convictions for offences of dishonesty or deception.

Free Charity Trustee Toolkit & Resources

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