Who are trustees?
Charity trustees are individuals who form the governing body of
a charity. They maybe known as trustees, directors, board members,
governors or committee members. Trustees are responsible for
controlling the management and administration of a charity. Further
information about trustees and the role of trustees in fundraising
is available from the trustee and governance advice
of Fundraising and the Charity
What are a trustee's responsibilities?
Trustees have, and must accept, ultimate responsibility for
directing affairs of their charity, ensuring that it is solvent,
well run and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of
the public for which it was set up.
Trustees must ensure that their charity complies with charity
law and the Charity
Commission, as well as other legislation and regulators. They
must also ensure the organisation is meeting the requirements,
charitable purpose and objects, set out in the charity's own
governing document. Trustees must act with integrity and avoid any
of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.
Duty of prudence
Trustees must ensure that the charity is and will remain
solvent, therefore they need to understand and be kept informed of
the financial position of the organisation. They must ensure the
charity's funds and assets are used wisely, and only to further the
purposes and interests of the charity. They must also avoid actions
that bring undue risk either financially or to the organisation's
Duty of care
Trustees must exercise reasonable care and skill, using personal
knowledge and experience to ensure that the charity is well run and
efficient. They must also consider getting external professional
advice on all matters where there maybe material risk to the
charity, or where the trustees maybe in breach of their
What can trustees do?
The powers of trustees are set out in the governing document so
this should always be checked to see if an activity is allowable
for the organisation.
What else do we need to know?
There is a range of information sheets and resources on trustees
and governance including the trustee and governance advice
section. Training is also available locally for trustees
through Courses for Communities.
Alternatively, contact your local county voluntary council or WCVA's Helpdesk for
advice and support on trustees.