The duties of a trustee 

  • Ensuring that the organisation pursues its stated objects (purposes), as defined in its governing document, by developing and agreeing a long-term strategy

  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with its Memorandum and Articles of Association, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations

  • Ensuring that the organisation applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its stated objects for the benefit of the public

  • Ensuring that the organisation defines its goals and evaluates performance against agreed targets

  • Safeguarding the good name and values of the organisation

  • Ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the organisation, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place

  • Ensuring the financial stability of the organisation

  • Protecting and managing the property of the organisation and ensuring the proper investment of the charity’s funds

  • Following proper and formal arrangements for the appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the lead staff member (Manager)

  • In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve scrutinising board papers, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, providing advice and guidance on new initiatives, or other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.​

Personal qualities that make a good trustee

  • A commitment to the organisation

  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort

  • Strategic vision

  • Good, independent judgement

  • An ability to think creatively

  • A willingness to speak your mind

  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship

  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team

  • A commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

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