St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Trustees – what, why and how?

You probably know that charities have “trustees” or a “board” but do you know why and what that actually entails?

Trustees Adrian and Trevor celebrating half way point

Trustees Adrian and Trevor celebrating the half way point of our Big Give Fundraising Challenge

Could YOU or someone you know become St Nicks’ trustee? In this post we explain what the responsibilities and benefits are. If you’d like to know more, just get in touch.

Trustees are a group of people who share responsibility for a charity, directing how it is managed and run as well as maintaining strategic oversight. They will also ensure compliance with all relevant laws, legislation and that policies are fit for purpose.

There are 6 main duties of being a trustee, including:

– Carrying out the charity purpose for public benefit
– Compliance with your charity’s governing document and the law
– Acting in your charity’s best interests
– Ensuring your charity is accountable
– Managing your charity’s resources responsibly
– Acting with reasonable care and skill

Time commitments can vary from charity to charity. St Nicks’ Board of Trustees meet on a bi-monthly basis but some can meet monthly, quarterly or even every 6 months. Some trustees also choose to take a more hands on approach and volunteer alongside staff or as part of our usual volunteer programme.

Why be a trustee?
Being a trustee gives you the opportunity to shape the work and strategic direction of your chosen charity. Initially people may become trustees to give back to a cause they feel passionate about. However, it is also a great way to get involved with a community which gives you the opportunity for professional development.

Trevor Barlow has been a trustee at St Nicks for just over a year and is now serving as our Vice-Chair. In his own words: “St Nicks’ focus towards the environment and recycling really resonates with me and has really opened my eyes to the importance of the environment in our daily lives and how we need to protect it – it’s great to be able to contribute to this important issue.

Being a Trustee enables me to help contribute to St Nicks’ goals of a green and environmentally sustainable local community within York and I’m able to use my years of experience in business to help support St Nicks to develop and grow. The team at St Nicks are really great to work with; there’s so much happening and we’ve some ambitious plans for the future – I get a real buzz from my involvement.”

some of St Nicks Trustees

Some of St Nicks Trustees with representatives of related local organisations

How to become a trustee?
First, find a charity whose work inspires you to get involved. Other charities will have their own rules regarding how many board members they need and what the exact application process is. If you are interested in joining the St Nicks’ Board, we have an information pack on the Vacancies page of our website. It’s a good idea to try and spend some time at the organisation you may want to join to get a thorough understanding of the work the charity does and to meet staff at all levels. Taking part in one of our Events is a great start and gives you the chance to chat to St Nicks staff and volunteers to find out more. If you have any questions, get in touch with our Chief Officer Tom. We’d love to hear from you!

The St Nicks board of trustees have recently been shortlisted for the Charity Goverance Award for Improving Impact. You can read more here.

16 April 2019 | Categories: Inspiration, Volunteers' diary | Tags: awards, charity, governance, recruitment, St Nicks, trustees