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Being a Trustee

(5 Posts)
whooosh Thu 23-Jul-09 19:35:21

I have been asked to become a Trustee of a charity. Anyone have any idea what's involved/required and what legal ramifications there may be for me as an individual?

whomovedmychocolate Thu 23-Jul-09 19:36:21

There's a load of info on the charity commission website about this - it's not too onerous.

wonderingwondering Thu 23-Jul-09 19:46:06

You need to make sure the charity is a company limited by guarantee rather than unincorporated. That means if it runs out of money, creditors can't come after you personally.

And check they have insurance for their directors/trustees, so if there were any legal proceedings against you or the charity, you'd have insurance for legal costs and any award against you/the charity.

Your role is to ensure the charity is properly run (usually common sense!) and ensure its activities are charitable: i.e. you can't start trading as a business and still get the tax breaks that charities get. But that is less complicated than it sounds.

But subject to the insurance/liability thing, I'd really recommend getting involved, it can be very rewarding. What sort of field is the charity in?

MissisBoot Thu 23-Jul-09 20:00:28

Different charities have different requirements for their trustees and its worth finding out if they have a specialised role in mind for you or if they want you to just attend to make up the numbers.

Lots of charities now have role descriptions for their trustees and offer an induction which would really get you involved and part of the organisation.

How hands on are the board? Who really runs the charity? The board or the staff?

Bear in mind that in the current climate lots of charities are having their funding cut and in turn are having to make staff redundant unless they have sufficient reserves so think about how you would feel about having to be part of the decision making board to either make staff redundant or potentially close a charity. Maybe ask to have a look at their current management accounts to see what position they are in.

Apart from the above - if you have the skills, time and really believe in what the charity does then go for it - so many charities struggle to get committed trustees.

whooosh Fri 24-Jul-09 10:27:56

Thank you so much for the information.The charity is in the wildlife conservation field (here and overseas,funding vets/research etc).
I know the people fairly well but now have some questions to ask-especially about being limited by guarantee!

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