David Saint

5 Dec 2017, 10:41

‘Taken on Trust’ research into trustees, and the Charity Commission’s response

Taken on Trust is a new report into awareness and the effectiveness of charity trustees in England and Wales. At 92 pages it is a lengthy read, but it includes a wealth of insights into the role of trustees and the massive contribution they make to society. The report also identifies areas for improvement. The full report can be found here. 

The Charity Commission response and provider perspective to the report also makes for interesting reading (and could be seen as a kind of executive summary if you don’t have time for all 92 pages!) Their response can be found here.

Key points that we have drawn from the Charity Commission’s response include:

  • ‘There is no room for complacency about the state of trusteeship.’
  • ‘Most trustees are recruited informally from within trustees’ existing networks, even in larger charities, meaning that this lack of diversity is perpetuated over time’.
  • ‘Trustees report a lack of digital skills and again this speaks to the need to expand the pool of talent.’
  • ‘Looking ahead, our [the Charity Commission] offer will need to focus not simply on the knowledge base trustees must hold, but also on the behaviours and culture that makes for good governance.’
  • ‘The NCVO/Cranfield report on support available to trustees, published alongside the main research, demonstrates that a wide range of rich support is available to trustees. Taken together, the two reports indicate a gap between the support available and the uptake.’
  • ‘Those with a mission to provide support to charities should study these findings and respond, including by tailoring their offer to the needs of smaller charities with ‘hands-on’ trustees.’

If you would like to know more about how Action Planning can help you strengthen the governance structures, processes or behaviours in your organisation, do get in touch

David Saint

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