Trustees’ Report – Time to get started

Published by Susan Robinson on 11 February 2020

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This may seem a strange comment especially if you have a March year end and we are not there yet. However, there is logic in my madness. The statutory information required to be included in the report is unlikely to have changed much.  If it has, you probably know this by now and hence it can be dealt with. However, if you do write the draft report now, you should re-read it when the accounts are finalised to ensure a) it is correct and b) it reads well.

The most important part of the report is explaining what your charity has been doing during the year, what you have achieved and what your plans are for next year. Ten months into the year, you already have a story to tell. You have been working incredibly hard and have delivered some great actions so start putting them down on paper. This is not about the figures at this stage (that section can be added later); it is the narrative about your activities and achievements.  As part of your budgetary process you are already considering your plans for next year and reflecting on how successful you have been on last year’s plans – put pen to paper for the trustees’ report. If you want to include case studies or testimonials, get them now while it is still fresh in people’s minds. The Charity Commission is urging charities to provide more disclosure on the impact charities are having in the area in which they operate. A good trustees’ report will also help the charity in a number of areas.  A strong report:

  • Helps the users and public understand what you are doing, why you are doing it and what you have achieved
  • Engages funders and potential donors in your journey and hopefully increases income
  • Supports grant applications
  • Encourages volunteers to work with you

Once you have written the report, ask someone independent of the Charity to read it  Does it make good reading and does it enthuse them? In our heads we have the perfect story but once put down in writing it can read differently so do not be afraid to ask for help.  Happy writing.


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