24th May 2016

Why I’m part of GetRaising!

We are delighted to announce Iain McAndrew as our Future Shocker in GetRaising! – our second event in our beyond governance series, happening on the 7th of June. Although he is going to reveal all at the event, below Iain tells us why he is taking part, why we need a new way of looking at governance & fundraising and why you should attend this event….. How many fundraisers reading this post have expressed with frustration a fervent wish that their boards of trustees better understood fundraising? How many trustees also wished they too could command a greater understanding of fundraising thus having a greater confidence in the decisions they were being asked to make – especially around those all so important moments when essential investment is requested. Listen up! In a recent blog I observed that there needs to be a new conversation between fundraisers, their management teams, their CEO’s and, most importantly, between fundraisers and Trustees. In challenging times for the sector, it is crucial that boards of trustees fully understand fundraising. There are of course the various techniques which may or could be deployed in raising funds. However, this needs to run much deeper. There needs to be a full understanding […]
19th May 2016

Fundraisers becoming Trustees? GetRaising!

In light of changing fundraising regulations and the wake of the Kids Company scandal, fundraising and governance have never been so high in the public consciousness. The donor landscape is changing, with a new generation set to give differently, and digitally. And charities all over are faced with the twin challenges of embedding fundraising innovation and diligence in their DNA. Developing and retaining these skills at a board level is crucial for survival and growth. How can a charity build a board that is equipped to deal with changing national policy and to lead from the future? And how can fundraisers themselves develop their skills to tackle the new reality as they grow in their careers? A recent survey we conducted with the Institute of Fundraising, showed that over 90% of fundraisers believe that having a fundraiser on their board of trustees would be helpful in their day job, and yet over 80% of fundraisers surveyed said that fundraising skills and experience were under-represented at  board level. In 2009/10 there were 834,000 trustee board positions within voluntary organisations in the UK and research suggests that the number of trustees is likely to be substantially less at just under 580,000. Over […]
3rd March 2016

The Experiences and Impact of a First-Time Chair of Board of Trustees

Walsingham Support – Chair Two years ago Peridot partnered with national disability charity Walsingham Support to help them appoint their current Chair of Trustees, Heather Benjamin. Heather is a highly accomplished Senior Executive with extensive experience operating at board level in a complex, international company. Her other accomplishments include working as a Non-Executive Director (NED)/Trustee for a number of private commercial businesses and not-for-profit organisations. With Walsingham Support celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016, we caught up with Heather to review her time in post, discuss both the challenges and learning she’s experienced in the role, and the impact she’s had upon the people the charity supports. It’s clear Heather finds the role hugely enjoyable and she was keen to say it has surpassed all her expectations. She thrives on and shares the energy and enthusiasm within the organisation, and its absolute focus on ensuring that the people receiving the support have the best experience is a key motivation for her. In the early stages of her role, Heather focused on learning about the organisation, working closely with the Chief Executive, fellow Trustees as well as services users and members of staff. Quickly capturing and distilling what the organisation was […]
3rd January 2016


  This an exclusive offer via Peridot Partners for Third Sector Leaders on behalf of Stephen Burke who  has thirty years’ experience working with national organisations as a leader and senior manager.  The issue Leadership is complex, demanding, lonely and pressurised at the best of times. We need to grow future leaders in the third sector as well as support current leaders, be they Chief Executives or Chairs. Often leaders and aspiring leaders find it difficult to talk confidentially with colleagues and have nowhere to turn in difficult times. The offer Coaching and mentoring can help develop and grow existing and aspiring leaders – from senior managers to new CEOs, trustees and charity chairs. Having a confidential sounding board, independent and removed from your current situation, to discuss issues with can be liberating and energising. It can give you the confidence to grow and develop and the strength to tackle the most challenging situations. Talking with someone ‘who has been there before’ can provide the experience and know how you need to test out ideas. Delivery  Meetings can be one-off as and when issues arise, or regular coaching sessions, say quarterly – at a venue of your choice, ideally neutral ground, […]
18th December 2015

To pay or not to pay charity Trustees? This is the answer.

The demand for better governance, increasing public scrutiny on charity staff salaries and change, consolidation and mergers across the charity sector, means that the role of a modern Trustee is increasingly demanding and time consuming. And I support wholeheartedly that the Trustee role should be more involved, engaged and their contribution better utilised by the charity. For too long the role of charity Trustee has been focused on fiduciary compliance and organisational scrutiny, with not enough attention being paid to individual Trustee contribution and overall board performance. In fact measuring the overall performance of the organisation’s leadership (how well the Executives and Trustees combined are propelling the organisation towards its mission) is increasingly important.  Is there a consistent value-add from Trustees in being ambassadors, opening up their networks, supporting fundraising, and deploying their skills and expertise broadly for the benefit of the Executives? Alice Maynard, Chair of Scope, said last year that the cost to her consultancy business was circa £70k a year in giving two days per week to Scope.  The point that she was making was that because she is in a fortunate position to take the financial hit, not paying Trustees is detrimental to diversity as you can […]
1st December 2015

Increasing Digital Capacity on Trustee Boards –  The GetWired Report.

Back in early November as part of Trustee Week, Peridot Partners and the Social Change Agency brought a range of charity and tech/digital leaders together to discuss issues around tech/digital and governance. Knowing that the future would always be digital regardless of which sector you operate in, we wanted to know why there was specific shortage of digital and tech strategy skills on charity boards. We wanted to explore with practitioners what the sector could do about it and generate some very practical suggestions to help. We had over 50 people attend our event held at tech investor Balderton Capital. What followed was a lively discussion both around the barriers of getting tech/digital people onto charity boards, and a very thorough debate around recommendations that both the tech/digital and the charity sectors could adopt to remove these barriers. We promised – and we are proud to be – launching the full report of the discussions and recommendations here. With mobile accounting for over 50% of traffic to charities and digital fundraising increasing by a factor of 10 over the past decade, charities have had no option but to embrace digital if they want to thrive in the future. It became […]
4th November 2015

BLOG: Why Trustees’ Week is obsolete

Written by Esther Foreman and Grant Taylor 04/11/2015 This week saw the report launch of More to Give: London Millennials Networking for a Better World, part of a London-wide research project on giving commissioned by City Philanthropy. The report looks at the charitable involvement of London workers generally and reveals that networked millennial employees, i.e. those under 35, have the potential to generate £20m in cash donations a year and thousands of hours of pro-bono support by 2020. That’s just over four years away. The fact of the matter is that while the majority of those responsible for generating that amount are connected to the City of London, they are also highly connected to each other digitally. Generation Y. The future of giving, volunteering and campaigning, a generation who cannot remember a time before the internet. This week is Trustees’ Week. Trustees are people who are in charge of a charity and charities provide a vital element to society. Trustees have a responsibility in steering an organisation through the choppy waters of change to ensure that they continue to meet their charity’s mission. This includes not just ensuring that they are governed smoothly now, but that they run smoothly in the future. Central to this […]
29th October 2015

Diversity or Digital? What’s more important to your Trustee Board…

The government backed Davies Report published today suggests that a third of all Board seats should be filled by women in the FTSE 250 companies by 2020. I’m an advocate for more female representation in both executive and non-executive roles, and for proactive and positive discrimination in this area (half of board seats should be filled by women in this day and age), but as far as I’m concerned this is a secondary issue. When I think about boardroom diversity, skills and experience are the primary focus.  What will improve governance and accelerate your charity’s progress towards its goals more effectively; having a generally more diverse board or one with relevant skills and experience? Just this week Talk Talk’s share price has dipped after a recent cyber attack and customers are likely to have lost confidence in Talk Talk.  I won’t be rushing to sign up and hand over my personal details, will you?  Marks and Spencer had to close its website for two hours and it made the morning news the next day.  Charities can’t afford to lose public confidence, but this is not just about risk management and reputation, it is about staying modern and dare I say […]