Friday, 14 November 2014


A message from the Chair and the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission to charity trustees.
Dear Reader,
Charities exist to create a better society. The range and scope of their work and the variety of people they help is amazing. Whether working locally, nationally or internationally they have a remarkable history of driving social change which is reflected all around us in the world we live in today.
Charities could do none of this without their trustees. You're probably reading this because you have just become a trustee yourself. If so, we welcome you to this role and thank you for taking it on. The commitment and energy you display will make a direct difference to your charity and everyone it helps. You don't have to be a hero or famous to change lives for the better - trusteeship allows you to do just that.
Being a trustee can be hard work and, for most, it's unpaid. The trustees have the ultimate responsibility for running a charity, for its property, finances and the employment of any staff or volunteers.
But being a trustee is also immensely rewarding, providing both expected and unexpected opportunities for personal development. And while you bring your skills and energy to running your charity, you will also find you are gaining new experience and knowledge.
For instance, you will help plan the strategic future of the charity and its work, be involved in developing and managing staff and volunteers and make policy decisions for your charity. You will also ensure it's accountable to its beneficiaries, to the Charity Commission and the public in general.
But you won't be on your own. You'll be joining a team of trustees and becoming part of the 900,000 charity trustees in England and Wales. Effective trustee boards need a range of people with a good mix of skills. The best boards are also diverse, with people who have a real understanding of the needs to be met and others with good financial, business and management experience. The rewards of working with, and learning from, people from different backgrounds and skills will be great.
We hope you will enjoy making a difference to society. And remember that, as well as regulating charities and protecting their reputation, the Charity Commission is here to help you and your fellow trustees.
As you read this guidance, you'll learn much more about your responsibilities and about the many sources of help and support.
Please accept our congratulations on your new role.
Dame Suzi Leather
Chair
Sam Younger
Chief Executive

CC3 - The Essential Trustee: What you need to know


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