Checklist: Being an effective trustee

By governance expert Judith Rich

You are honoured to have become a trustee, but how can you be sure you are equipped to make a difference to your organisation?

A quick web search will reveal an overwhelming amount of information and guidance, from the Charity Commission's website to many other groups and umbrella bodies.

But no good charity of any size will require you to absorb it all at once. They will provide an induction to start you on the road to involvement. If you haven't already received background information and an outline of your responsibilities, you should ask for it - and if it is not readily forthcoming, you should probably negotiate a speedy exit.

It is important to keep abreast of developments in the sector generally, as well as in your charity's specialist area. But it should not take you more than 12 hours over a year.

If you identify a specific training course that would enhance your contribution, ask your organisation to pay for it. No volunteer should ever be out of pocket when working for a charity.

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