Our vital support if you’re already a trustee or thinking about coming one.

What is a Trustee?

Trustees across the BCP area benefit the local economy by around £25,000,000 a year – that’s pretty spectacular!

If you sit on a board or committee of a charity with others that ultimately control and decide how the charity operates then in law, you are a Trustee.

You might be called a management committee member, Board member, director, etc. but in law, you are a Trustee. Your organisation may be a charity even if it does not have a charity number because only charities with incomes of more than £5,000 a year have to register with the Charity Commission and so receive a charity number.

Trustees are usually volunteers and so are not paid but can claim reasonable expenses. It is possible for employees of the charity to be a Trustee but there are various hoops to jump through to satisfy charity law. CAN and the Charity Commission do not recommend that employees are trustees.

What are a Trustee’s legal roles and responsibilities? 

  • ensure the charity is well run, solvent and working towards its charitable purpose
  • take ultimate responsibility
  • always act reasonably and prudently so that the charity always comes first in decision making
  • use the knowledge you have (if specialist) and ask for expert advice if you do not know
  • make sure the charity follows the law (not just charity law!)
  • make sure the charity follows its constitution
  • look after the charity assets (cash, equipment, property, reputation, etc.)
  • act collectively
  • avoid any conflict of interest

The Charity Commission has lots more information, including their publication ‘The Essential Trustee’.

Why be a Trustee?

There are thousands of people that generously give their time for free as trustees across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. They tell us they love the role and get a lot out of it. So even though it might look scary and a big responsibility there’s loads of support and you’ll have fun while giving back to your community. There are many benefits that include:

  • Help to make a difference
  • Give something back
  • Learn, and develop, skills (e.g. strategic planning, financial management, employment, etc.)
  • Career development
  • Gain experience in a new sector
  • Use the skills you have
  • Develop new professional relationships
  • The charity benefitting from your skills, expertise, enthusiasm and new ideas
  • Having fun!

Support for Trustees

We offer advice and support through:

  • this website
  • training
  • forums
  • our staff, in particular, Steve Place
  • organisational health checks
  • trustee board reviews

While we’re developing this page we maintain more detailed information on our old website www.bournemouthcvs.org.uk/trustee.asp