What makes a good Trustee?

Published by Sean Rodwell on 12 November 2018

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Charities are generally good at conducting Trustee reviews on a Board basis, ensuring they are functioning well and acting in the best interest of the charity, identifying if there are any skills gaps and if the board is structured in a way which allows effective decision-making. Assessing Trustees on an individual level is when it becomes more difficult for charities though. As the title asks, what makes a good Trustee?

  • Impassioned – Trustees should be driven to make a difference in their role.
  • Invested – It is necessary for Trustees to be bought in to the objects of the charity.
  • Challenging – It is important that Trustees aren’t simply nodding dogs, as such. A charity needs Trustees to challenge decisions and ideas to ensure these are well thought out.
  • Promoter – Trustees should be promoters of your charity, shouting about the good work it does, ensuring the represent it in a positive light.
  • Detailed – Contracts, agreements and other charity documents are usually filled with details that require Trustees to have a good eye for detail; when they’re reviewing these documents.
  • Objective – Often decisions that need to be made within a charity can evoke personal feelings and or opinions, but these should be put aside so that decisions can be fact-based.
  • Open – Trustees should be receptive to new ideas and concepts in order to allow the charity to progress.
  • Transparent – This is of paramount importance, charities depend on their Trustees to be honest and straightforward in all of their dealings to protect the reputation of the charity.

These are just some of the traits that we consider to make a good Trustee and of course there are many more that could be added to this list. Whether all of your Trustees have these traits or not, they all have one important thing in common; the time, support devotion they give to your charity in helping it deliver the invaluable services you offer.

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