Trustees are volunteers with statutory and other duties, who are ultimately responsible for the organisation of a charity. The Charity Commission have plenty of advice and information about being a Trustee.
All Trustees attend an annual round of meetings, including quarterly Trust meetings and also any additional committees that a Trustee is co-opted onto – such as the Executive Committee or Finance Committee, both of which sit every six weeks.
In attending these meetings, Trustees hold the following duties:
- Ensure that the organisation complies with its Memorandum and Articles of Association, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations;
- Ensure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document;
- Ensure that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects (ie the charity must not spend money on activities which are not included in its own objects, no matter how worthwhile or charitable those activities are);
- Contribute actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the organisation, setting overall policy, defining goals, and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets;
- Safeguard the good name and values of the organisation;
- Ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation;
- Ensure the financial stability of the organisation;
- Protect and manage the property of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds;
- Appoint senior staff and monitor their performance;
- In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have, to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, or other issues in which the Trustee has special expertise.
The qualities required of a Trustee are as follows:
- A commitment to meditation and a minimum of five weeks’ experience of silent retreat, ideally at Gaia House.
- A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to the organisation.
- Strategic vision.
- Good, independent judgement.
- An ability to think creatively.
- A willingness to speak their mind.
- An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
- An ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
- Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
If you are willing and able to contribute as a Trustee, and wish to be considered, please get in touch to arrange to discuss this.