Charity Trustee

Here is a bold statement, everyone who can qualify needs to volunteer as a Charity Trustee.

The sector relies on the Charity Trustee to function effectively.

Those who donate know that Charity Trustees are rarely paid to fulfil the time-consuming role.

Diversity in Trustee Backgrounds

Why Volunteer to be a Charity Trustee?

The stock phrase is “to give something back”, that isn’t really a good reason. Consequently, the question is accompanied by what can you achieve as a Charity Trustee? Will and does it make a difference?

Here are three reasons to think about:

  • You are needed
  • The skills and experience you bring are valuable; and
  • the work needs to be done

Odd reasons for many, because they focus on what the experience gives them, however, charity is philanthropy and benevolence in action!

Yes, it is true – whoever we are there is a critical place for us in supporting the most vulnerable in society, changing lives through direct action.

I Give Money!

It’s not just about the Money – without help, this person will be still in this place tomorrow

Money is a tool the real gift is your time, your skills and your passion. Does something mean a great deal to you? Is someone going through the experience you have endured going to help more by people who have an academic understanding or by you as a survivor?

Raising money makes little difference to the running of the charity, and I often hear doners say “where does the money go? how do they justify that expense?” The answer is without your voice in the Boardroom or at the trustee meeting that important message will be missed.

Money achieves little without volunteers at all levels of the charity and the best example is always set by hardworking and dedicated trustees.

It Is All About the Gift!

Let me share an experience with you. My first three trustee roles were very challenging because the charities had issues with finance and I was asked to help sort out the issues.

With the task defined I literally got on with a job that the Trustees should have been doing for years. Once complete there was no further use for my skills, at the next AGM I couldn’t give a good reason for the membership to vote me back in.

The impact was shocking because it was then I realized I had no idea about the Charities, their purpose and how they benefitted others. Consequently, I was the wrong person for those charities (although my skills were useful to the charities my personal investment was nil).

Therefore the next charities I chose, I was recruited for my interest and what I could give. Consequently, changing my approach to volunteering as a Trustee resulted in a real personal investment.

Bring your gift! Bring your Talent! Share your skills! Be philanthropic with yourself.

Because you build your personal confidence, professional business skills and stay in touch with those who most benefit from your support.

Why am I passionate about Charity Trustees?

The local trustee is in decline, national charities use the media to get into our homes to highlight problems. They want your money.

Consequently, let’s turn our attention locally there are real issues and problems, communities, individuals need support and only those who live close to them can help. Therefore, that requires time, management, resources, and us!.

The Charity Trustee creates that.

Need to know what a charity trustee does? What responsibilities they have? and understand the rewards of volunteering? Contact me to discuss how we can help you find the right charity for you.

Therefore, are you looking for new trustees, looking for direct and simple training for trustees, contact us.

Governance Review

Charity Blogging

Governance Review

I wrote my first article on charity governance over 30 years ago and things don’t seem to change much. Introducing our Governance review service.

A local community-based charity asked for help. The Trustees needed to understand their role.

Initially, the focus was on roles and responsibilities. However, the real issue was the Trustees were not allowing staff to do what they thought should be done.

Two trustees were asking difficult questions.

What is the role of a Trustee?

The role is explained in the Charity Commission publication “Charity trustee: What is involved?”

Point 2. Comply with your charity’s governing document and the law

I asked for a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association. No one had a copy.

Consequently, who knew what they were doing?

The Review Process

There are four stages to my review

  • Objects
  • Powers
  • Process
  • Evidence of compliance

The outcome challenged the whole Charity.

Consequently, none of them knew the original objects of the charity. They hadn’t looked online and they certainly never thought to ask for a copy.

However, instinctively they knew that they were collectively and individually accountable.

Drawing the Line

This style of review leads to real change. Therefore, this empowers and enables. Subsequently, fundraising suddenly becomes easier, and management more effective.

Use this support to draw the line under poor practice. Enable and empower the charity and serve the community you were set up to serve.

Contact me for more information about the Governance Review Service.

Charity Sector

The Charity Sector is failing to meet the needs of local communities often because there is a lack of funds or because the skills have been lost. This needs to be addressed Nationally.

Having a social conscience in business is often used to demonstrate that an individual is “giving back” to society. Many are rewarded and applauded for doing so. Truthfully the accolade is the driving force for many from all sectors of business and the public sector.

However, to truly “give back” we have to invest something of ourselves without seeking a reward. Using our talents in ways that enable and empower Charities and Not for Profits.

“The 3rd Sector”

“The 3rd or Voluntary Sector and not for profit organisations” are certainly awful labels for organizations that reach into the challenging areas of modern life and support individuals.

These institutions have never been somehow second rate or less than brilliantly resourceful. Often pioneering and innovative, their reliance on “living social capital” to support those needing investment is exemplary.

Most are served the scraps from the table. Lottery, large appeals like Children in Need and Comic Relief or Cancer Research appear to make the sector appear well funded.

The History of Modern Charity

Fundraising Cloud modern propaganda tools

In 1998 the team of consultants working in Plymouth for an organization called Plymouth Community Partnership was asked to explain the history of Charity.

That research took us through a range of formulae and structure, trusts and charters, covenants and arrangements. All required benevolence and philanthropy from those engaged in the service. However, with the development of the National Lottery, the Modern Charity (Community Project) with its professional staff materialized.

Oh, what damage this has caused. The so-called professional gives personality to the words of Alexander Pope: “A little learning is a dangerous thing; … There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,”

As a society, we are blessed with the Internet and Google, a digital presence, social media and just giving pages. How these tools are abused and how misinformation creates a false picture of the sector really saddens those with social values.

Charity Sector’s Abuse of Trust

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, MONEY, MONEY”

A Lyrical endictment

As CEO of Charity and senior management with management years of paid and unpaid work in the sector, it saddens me to report that the larger charities have abused the public.

How can a charity that accepts donations from pensioners and those limited incomes use funds to pay “professional” staff £100,000 and more? Why do trustees get away with poor governance practice and a lack of accountability? The Charity Commission is an excellent public sector tool but over the years its relationship with external institutes has emasculated the role it plays.

This is an abuse of trust. Don’t take my word for it check the charity register and if you support a charity find out how much the CEO is paid. As one of my colleagues once said: “as we have to ask for – donations and grants, it can’t end up in our pockets”.

Staff are needed and they need to be paid. The living wage mandatory. Staff must be rewarded for their hard work. So how do charities meet the challenge and “fund the frontline staff properly!”

Why Can We Say this?

Our team are experienced advisors, fundraisers and trainers, therefore, we have clear values and provide the support needed.

We provide services that many charity trustees find challenging to cover, for example:

  • governance updates,
  • advice and support,
  • accounting and reporting,
  • fundraising management.

These services are designed to fit the structure of the charity and the purse.

Presenting monthly accounts reports takes very little time once we have all the information, for a treasurer this whole process can take hours. Consequently, we enable the trustees to use their resources effectively.

Are we professional charity workers? Yes, and No, we earn the bulk of our income working with commercial operations. However, organizations that need our help, contact our professional services.

Please contact us for more information.

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