Guidance for Trustees


What is your role as a Trustee?

In your role as a trustee or board member it is your duty (with colleagues) to make decisions about direction.

Usually a charity is governed by a trustee board that takes overall responsibility for its work. Governance is a term used to describe the trustees’ role in:

  • Securing the long term direction of the charity (furthering its objects or purposes as set out in its governing document)
  • Ensuring that policies and activities achieve those objects
  • Ensuring the charity is run in a way that is legal, responsible and effective
  • Being accountable to those with an interest or 'stake' in the charity.

Good governance runs throughout a charity. The trustee board is responsible for good governance, but they rely on many different people to be able to govern well – staff and the chief executive in particular, volunteers, advisors and others with an interest or stake in the organisation (stakeholders).

Further information on the role of a Trustee and recruiting new Trustees can be found below: 

'Charity Trustee Welcome Pack' - Charity Commission. This has been developed as a guide for any new Trustees and will help them understand their role.

The Charity Commission – Trustee Role & Board

Charity Governance Code - This Code is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance. It focuses on 7 themes; Organisational Purpose, Leadership, Integrity, Decision Making Risk and Control, Board Effectiveness, Diversity, Openness and Accountability.

Charity Commission Guidance - Finding New Trustees

Lloyds Bank Foundation - Trustee Recruitment Toolkit -  the guide to Trustee Recruitment, Selection and Induction was developed alongside the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI). Attracting the right trustees with the right skills, experiences and perspectives to your charity can be a difficult task. This guide will help you master the basics of recruiting, selecting and inducting trustees - providing the basis to help your charity thrive.

NCVO/KnowHowNonProfit - Trustees and other governance

NCVO Sample documents and templates – Board Basics - NB You will need to be an NCVO member to have access to these templates

Association of Chairs - guidance and free resources for those who are Chairs of Charities

Promote your Trustee volunteering opportunities on Volunteer Connect