About the role of a Gaia House trustee

Expectations
Gaia House Trust expects that trustees will:

  • Be able to commit the necessary time and effort to the organisation.
  • Attend the quarterly Board of Trustees meeting and participate in Advisory Groups and other committees as appropriate (this equates to an overall time commitment of approx. 12-15 days per year). Attendance may be facilitated using a range of media, including video conferencing.
  • Attend in person at least three out of four of the Trust Meetings held within a year.
  • Have a commitment to Dharma practice in the Buddhist tradition. A full Trustee will have the opportunity to attend up to 7 nights’ retreat per year as part of their continuing development and training as a Trustee.
  • Uphold a commitment to Gaia House’s ethical framework and undertake their role in a way that is in keeping with The Five Precepts as outlined in the Gaia House Code of Conduct.

Trustee responsibilities

  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its Memorandum and Articles of Association, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations.
  • To ensure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • To ensure that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects (i.e. 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).
  • To 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.
  • To contribute to the decision-making processes of the Trust in a way that is solely in the best interest of Gaia House and its stakeholders.
  • To safeguard the reputation and values of the organisation.
  • To ensure the effective and efficient administration of the organisation.
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation.
  • To protect and manage the property and assets of the charity and to ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds.
  • To uphold and support the Gaia House Code of Conduct and to act in accordance with the Principles set out in the NCVO’s Good Governance Guide.
  • To 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/working groups, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, attending advisory groups or sub-committees, or advising on issues in which the trustee has special expertise.
  • To understand and support Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • To understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • To demonstrate willingness to take lead responsibility in specific areas of Trust work e.g. chairing an Advisory Group or working party.

Person specification

  • Experience of at least one silent meditation retreat at Gaia House.
  • To have a commitment to Dharma practice that extends to offering service to Gaia House.
  • To be able to act in a way that is solely in the best interests of Gaia House irrespective of any relationship with other stakeholders.
  • To have experience of taking lead responsibility when working with others.
  • To be able to adopt a flexible approach in utilising your own skills and experience to respond to Gaia House needs.
  • To be able to assertively and confidently contribute your own ideas to discussions on a wide range of issues.
  • To be able to absorb and analyse information presented on a range of subjects.
  • To have an ability to work effectively and harmoniously with other Trustees, and staff as a member of the Gaia House team.
  • Ability to assess your own strengths and weaknesses against the Trust Responsibilities outlined above and recognise where learning and development is needed.
  • To be willing to undertake any necessary training to meet identified learning needs.

Becoming a Volunteer Trustee
Gaia House Trustees