Nearly half of the c170,000 charities in the UK have vacancies on their boards, and 95% of people are unaware that they can support a charity by becoming a trustee.
There are an estimated 820,000 charity trustees in the UK. They are responsible for ensuring that their charities are well run and working towards their charitable aims.
Although much has been done over the past decade to emphasise the importance of governance in the voluntary sector, the quality of trustee boards varies greatly.
Recruitment of new trustees is getting harder, and many charities operate without a full range of appropriate skills on the board. Few charities have adequate induction for new trustees or assess their performance as a board.
An individual interested in becoming a trustee is faced with the prospect of searching on a number of different recruitment websites with little by way of coordinated support.
Research commissioned by the Company indicated that there are a number of key areas which require attention: increasing the pool of trustees; creating an effective matching service, bringing individuals and charities together; coordinating access to appropriate information on trusteeship; funding research into best practice; and improving trustee boards’ performance.
This has led to the Company’s decision to take a role in supporting this vital element in civil society.