Three reasons to become a trustee

It’s Trustees’ Week and, therefore, the perfect time to promote being a trustee. I’ve been a trustee of the Small Charities Coalition for three years and I have two more years left of my term. In that time, I have learnt so much about governance and the vital role that the Small Charities Coalition plays in our sector. Thanks to our small but amazing team, our volunteers and my fellow trustees – past and present, we have provided advice, support and help to thousands of small charities and given them a voice through our policy work.

As we all know from the closure of Kids Company, being a Trustee is a huge responsibility. Essentially you are legally responsible (along with your fellow trustees) for your charity so always make sure to do your due diligence before applying for a trustee role – it’s vital that you know what you’re getting yourself in to. But with this responsibility comes a heap of benefits too.

Here are three reasons to become a trustee:

  1. Gain experience in different areas

Prior to becoming a trustee, I had never held a management position. By becoming a trustee, you quickly learn about management, governance and strategy. It’s a great way to gain skills in areas where you are lacking. It’s a position of great responsibility so can help boost your CV. How? Well, the CEO of the charity reports to the trustees and the trustees also help manage finances and issues of governance.

  1. Feel good by giving something back

Being a trustee of a charity where you really care about the cause is very rewarding. There are no financial rewards as being a trustee is a voluntary role and it can sometimes be quite full on. However, knowing that your skills and experience are helping a charity reach its strategic objectives is a wonderful feeling. Even better is when you know how much your time, skills and experience is appreciated and valued.

A charity should always have a Board who all bring different skills to the table with them – although of course some will overlap – so that they can best serve their charity in all areas. As a digital marketing trainer, I offer my services to our members by delivering training or webinars on behalf of the charity. I also have a monthly column in Third Sector where my by-line says that I am a trustee of SCC, which helps get our name out there. And whenever I am delivering external training or presenting, I always introduce myself as a Trustee of SCC so look beyond just what you can offer in the boardroom.

  1. Extend your networks

SCC has 10 trustees from different areas, sectors and stages of their careers. By joining a Board, you are extending your network of peers and engaging with a diverse range of people. As a trustee of SCC, I’ve been invited to events which of course allows me to meet people and expand my network. I’m also a huge advocate of social media and always promote the work of SCC to my networks whenever I can, and I know that some people have followed me on Twitter or connected with me on LinkedIn because of my trustee role. Our CEO, Mandy Johnson, wrote this excellent post about the role of social media for a charity CEO and how it can be used to connect with our members across the UK as well as allowing ourselves to be transparent.

During Trustees’ Week, why not explore what trustee roles are available on Trustee Finder, in partnership with Make a lasting difference.