Trustees are literally the foundation of all nonprofit organisations. They are the volunteers who help control how the charity is run and responsible for making sure it is doing what it set out to do and that it has the funds to achieve its aims.
Trustees use their skills and professional experience to support the charity’s cause or causes, working together with the other trustees as a team.
One of the most important things charities need from their Trustees is someone who is committed to the organisation and enthusiastic about what they stand for. It is important that they recruit people from a wide range of backgrounds who offer a variety of different skills and experience.
Richard is a trustee for Egham Education Trust:
“I’m 23 years into a great career with Microsoft and I consider myself the luckiest person alive. I have a decent income, a loving family and a roof over my head. I don’t think I would have ended up in this position if it wasn’t for the Egham Education Trust, which stepped in when I needed it most to help me with financial support, so I was able to afford my education after I left school. The Trust set me on the road for a career in technology and I’ve always been grateful. Now it’s time for me to give back, to help others get the opportunities which I was given to live their lives to the fullest. I’m back at the Egham Education Trust, but this time I’m helping them find people who are in need like I was. It’s a chance for me to give back to the charity that did so much when I needed it the most, and it’s a simple thing to offer my time and skills to volunteer with them.”
Recruiting new trustees is an ongoing issue for most non-profits. Finding someone who has the right skills and experience, a connection with your cause and enough free time to make a genuine contribution can be time consuming.
For the sake of diversity don’t limit your recruitment process to personal connections. Use your social media channels, create a dedicated page on your website and use our Surrey-wide volunteer recruitment database Volunteer Plus (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information)
You can also go national using resources listed by the Small Charities Coalition
As you can see from Richard’s experiences, being a trustee is enormously rewarding. If you’re interested, have a look at our trustee volunteer roles – we have opportunities from a diverse range of local charities.
As we’re so fond of saying … we really do have a volunteering role for everyone!