Becoming a trustee is a continuous learning journey that will challenge you and allow you to join a network of fascinating and inspirational people making a positive difference in the world. It's an important decision to make, so we thought we would share our top 5 tips to consider, for those interested in joining our board.
Tip 1: Learn what a trustee does
Not many people are familiar with the role of a trustee and what exactly a board does. In essence, it's a fabulous way to be at the heart of a charity and the important work it carries out. You use your skills, energy, and network to shape the direction, make crucial decisions and help us grow. You have oversight of the activities, funds, and future of the charity. Boards offer executive strategy, scrutiny, and support. It's a dynamic role with lots to learn and you will be working with and supported by people who also share similar values. As a starting guide on the responsibilities and key duties of a trustee, see the Charity Commission Guidance here.
Tip 2: Understand the charity and its vision
Being a trustee is a serious commitment - so you have to be passionate about what you are working towards. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the charity - what is its history and where does it plan on going? Is everyone on the team on the same page? Does it excite you where it's heading and do you feel the charity is doing meaningful work? Join our drop-in session (details below) and follow up if you have any unanswered questions.
Tip 3: Working culture
As you will be joining a small team, you will be in close and regular communication with the staff as well as the other board members. It is a great idea to meet for a (virtual) coffee and get to know each other; what is the working culture like, what aspirations does the team have, what is the work ethic, do people listen well to each other? Are these people you want to work closely with?
Tip 4: Time & dedication
Board meetings are every quarter and are used as a time to reflect and discuss the most pressing issues facing the charity. However, with a team of our size, there are also meetings and catch-ups in between these. This can range from a one-off, short discussion, to something more longer term such as being part of the fundraising working group or deciding on a new policy that needs to be implemented urgently. Read the role profiles- do you have the time to dedicate to this role? Everyone's role is vital and we all pitch in where needed and work together to achieve the goal.
Tip 5: Skills, experience, and qualities
Do you have the skills, experience, and qualities the charity is looking for? Consider what you can bring to the team - and don't have self-doubt here! Everyone can bring something - it's just a case of whether it aligns with the charity’s needs. We love people who come with suggestions and solutions, who are proactive, have a positive attitude, and who ultimately believe we really can make a positive difference with our work.
For more information, you can meet our CEO, Holly, and Chair, Marissa, at our drop-in session on Tuesday 16th February at 18:00 (GMT) - email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.