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Trustees’ Week 2017 round-up

Melanie May | 17 November 2017 | News

Today marks the end of Trustees’ Week, so here’s a round-up of some of the key events and announcements to have taken place.
The week kicked off with the Charity Commission’s report Taken on Trust: the awareness and effectiveness of charity trustees in England and Wales, which found that men outnumber women trustees on boards by two to one and that the vast majority of trustees are white, older with above average income and education. As well as calling for more diversity on boards, it also recommended that guidance and support for trustees should be reviewed and enhanced and should draw on developments in digital technology.

A second report, Taken on Trust, the provider perspective on advice and support for charity trustees was delivered by NCVO with the Cranfield Trust. It found that that the uptake of formal support by trustees is low, with trustees reporting finding it difficult in identifying appropriate support. It also showed that trustee recruitment is largely informal, with organisations providing trustee service raising questions about whether existing support offerings are tailored to the needs of trustees.
The NCVO held its NCVO/BWB Trustee Conference 2017: Good Governance in Action. Sessions included an update on the legal and regulatory landscape, and sessions on data protection, diversity, mergers, finance and digital technology.
NCVO also made a range of its online tools available for free for non-members for the week (so still available today, Friday 17 November).

Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum hosted two conferences in partnership with the OSCR, celebrating the work trustees do in Scotland. The first took place in Inverness on 13 November with a second in Edinburgh on 15 November, offering a range of speakers and workshops.
The FSI started the week with the launch of its Essential Trustee video series. The films are based on the Charity Commission’s Essential Trustee guide and offer trustees an overview of their core responsibilities. Each film lasts four minutes and offers advice on the key areas Trustees need to consider in order to carry out their duties, including compliance, accountability, and acting in the charity’s best interests.
Lord Grade, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, published a blog on the Regulator’s site on the rewards and challenges of being a trustee, and on the importance of bringing diversity into your trustee board.
Judi Dench, Maxine Peake Monica Ali, and Katie Piper were interviewed in the Guardian on why they had become charity trustees and what they had learnt.
STEP launched a new online course, aimed at both established and aspiring trustees. Called The Informed Trustee, the course is designed to equip both established and aspiring trustees with awareness and knowledge of a broad range of governance issues, and in particular charity regulation and charity finance matters. It will cover aspects relevant to the 21st century trustee, including social media and data protection, as well as more long-established topics of charity law, regulation, accounts and risk management.
The NCVO and Trustees Unlimited announced an extension of their board level volunteering programme Step on Board, to individuals or companies wanting to help between one and six employees become charity trustees. The Step on Board Open Programme prepares, trains and places professionals onto charity boards as trustees. It is run in two stages, starting with a ‘Becoming a Trustee Briefing’ session which explores what it means to become a trustee, before a ‘Diagnostic and Matching Service’ to match people’s skills, interest and motivations with a suitable trustee role. The next open programme briefing sessions are on: 22nd November 2017 and 9th January 2018 at NCVO’s offices in King’s Cross and can be booked here.
And finally, a whole range of charities said thank you to their trustees: