11th Jul 2022

Did you know that having a clear strategy and process for the recruitment and induction of trustees can support your organisation to achieve its aims and objectives?

Here at DCA we have supported many organisations and trustees over the years, and we know that the recruitment of trustees can be challenging but having a trustee board with a wide range of skills and experience and that is representative of the community it serves will help organisations feel well equipped to make decisions in the best interests of the charity.

Each trustee board is different and over time is likely to change, as new people get involved and as the needs and priorities of the organisation change.

In developing a recruitment strategy, it is important to be clear about:

  • What you want to achieve as an organisation
  • Understand what existing skills you have on your board
  • Identify any skills gaps that will support the development of your organisation

Trustees are recruited in many ways and often this is through word of mouth or the fact that people have engaged with or used the charity in some way as a beneficiary. In place-based charities, such as community centres, residents of the local community will often be keen to contribute. It is always worth advertising the role to a wider audience, with a clear and concise role description listing the skills and experiences you are looking for which could include social media experience, financial skills, lived experience, business planning etc.

Most often a selection process will usually take place with candidates putting forward an expression of interest, followed by an informal interview, but it is important to ensure each potential trustee meets the basic Charity Commission eligibility criteria for trustees before being formally appointed. How Trustees are formally appointed will be described as a process written in the governing document for the organisation. Different types of charity have different rules on this, for example charities with a wider membership require potential new Trustees to be voted onto the Trustee Board by its members at an Annual General Meeting (AGM), whereas in a charity which has trustees as the only members, the potential new trustees would be voted onto the board at a trustee meeting.

Once appointed, having a good induction process is important to ensure that all trustees understand their role and responsibilities as well as getting to know the ins and outs of the organisation. This will help them to feel well informed, valued as a trustee and confident when making decisions.

Trustees are at the heart of leading charitable activity and make an impressive contribution to the influence of volunteer-led community action across County Durham. Building a dedicated and well-functioning Trustee Board is essential for success and we would recommend all Trustee Boards take time to review and plan for succession in order to maintain and sustain their activities.

Further information about the recruitment and induction of trustees, including the DCA volunteer platform, for the advertisement of trustee and other volunteer opportunities can be found here:

Recruitment of Trustees

Induction of Trustees

Advertising Trustee Vacancies

As always if you would like to speak with one of the team, email info@durhamcommunityaction.org.uk and your enquiry will be directed to a member of the team.

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