Being a trustee is life enhancing, not a life sentence!

It was quite disheartening to read an opinion from a Charity Commission meeting that trustees could feel the role is a “life sentence” because charities are struggling to replace their board members.

The comments came after Commission research showed up to half of all charities had at least one trustee vacancy.

This is a rather outdated and pessimistic view. The experience of being a trustee should be life enhancing, not a life sentence!

Why should we renew trustees to keep things fresh?

Charities don’t need to be in the position of holding on to trustees in fear of not finding suitable replacements. This is neither healthy for the person nor for the organisation.

It is important to refresh and renew trustees. Aligning skills, expertise and behaviours to the changing needs and challenges of an organisation as it evolves.

To do this, charities need to:

  • Review and clarify the skills and behaviours they need on their board;
  • Think about how they position the opportunity of trusteeship in their organisation – i.e. what impact you can have as a trustee;
  • Tell a story, make it meaningful and be proactive.

Sure, people are going to be generally interested in ‘giving something back’, but the trustees we recruit are commonly looking for a keen alignment to cause, values and mission and speak about this motivation.

People considering these roles want to feel they can make a difference and if the conditions are right for them to be able to do so. They want to be reassured the organisation is clear about its purpose, its strategic direction and therefore what skills they need on their board to propel them towards their strategic aims.

Seeking trustee diversity to get the right expertise

To target, engage and secure a diverse selection of new trustees, a bespoke and proactive recruitment approach will find the diversity of talent you need.

Often people will avoid this approach, seeing the cost rather than the valuable investment, but without this and an over-reliance on passive approaches is likely to produce little return in this area.

Getting the right expertise on your board can pay huge dividends in the longer term in many ways:

  • Enhancing your ability to illustrate impact;
  • Ensuring sustainability;
  • Drawing in new ideas and diverse perspectives.

Why you need to be proactive in securing talent for trustee boards

At Peridot, we work and support many diverse charities to find and secure the right talent for their trustee boards.

There is no shortage of talent nor motivation, but you need to be proactive, clear about what you need and take control of your engagement.

Recruitment doesn’t need an excessive cost and we pride ourselves on providing cost effective trustee recruitment solutions that will have a profound impact in enhancing your board and, ultimately, the effectiveness of your impact.

Are you looking for your first trustee role, a trustee looking for a new board opportunity or a charity looking to recruit a new trustee? Please get in touch with me on philippa@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07772 902071 to help your recruitment process.

Please keep an eye on our job pages for the latest trustee and board roles across a wide range of organisations.