The 7 – 11th November is Trustee Week for the charity sector. The theme of this year’s Trustee Week is stronger charities through good leadership. According to the Charity Commission there are a million trustees in the UK, volunteering their time to help the 162,965 charities to achieve their aims and help their beneficiaries. A trustee board that really leads and inspires can help their charity to achieve so much.
Trustees are often seen as being between a rock and a hard place as the trustees are legally responsible for the charity. This means constant scrutiny from the regulator and government, and most recently from the media. In the current environment of high profile failures by trustee boards (yes, the infamous Kids Company example) the board’s role has never been more important to help charities build trust and understanding with the public.
However, few people really understand the role of the trustee boards, how charities are governed and the dedication and time commitment that trustees but into their role. This lack of understanding, among not only the public but also the media and government, means a constant increase in calls for more regulation and straitjacket guidance, neither of which would be beneficial to charities. Now, more than ever, it is important to remind people that trustees volunteer primarily because they are motivated by altruism and want to use their skills, passion and experience to help others.
As part of CFG’s charitable aims we fully support the development of skills, learning, knowledge and practice to improve charities performance. CFG’s tag line itself is ‘Inspiring Financial Leadership’ and as part of our changed membership structure, we support the whole of the charity (including trustees) in developing good financial governance. We believe that good leadership (as promoted during this Trustee Week) needs to be based in good financial leadership.
For many trustees, financial governance is something they do, but few really know what it is or how it works. Many trustees fear that they do not have the expert knowledge to understand the key financial issues that their charity faces. We would encourage that trustees take advantage of Trustee Week and use the many resources available to improve their knowledge and skills. One such resource is CFG’s Finance Focus magazine which this month focuses on Trustee Week. Please use this free resource to help you learn how charities and boards can unlock their potential to add real value to a charity.
For CFG’s Finance Focus please click here