Trustees should break bad news to charity staff, report says

It is their responsibility to guide charities through difficult times, according to New Philanthropy Capital report

New Philanthropy Capital
New Philanthropy Capital

Trustees should take responsibility for announcing difficult decisions, such as redundancies or the closure of services, according to a new report by the think tank New Philanthropy Capital.

Stories From the Boardroom was compiled from ideas put forward during a number of seminars organised by NPC and the City of London livery company the Clothworkers' Company, which were attended by more than 100 trustees from charities of various sizes.

It says that it is the responsibility of trustees to guide charities through challenges and make difficult decisions about issues such as closing services or losing staff.

"Trustees should take responsibility for difficult decisions – for instance, it may be more palatable for announcements about redundancies to come from the board, given that it is more distanced from day-to-day life at the charity," it says.

The report says the board can be better placed than the executive team to do this.

"Chief executives and senior managers will have more than enough on their plates dealing with the detail of day-to-day operations, so trustees need to keep their heads above water and ensure their charities remain focused on what they are trying to achieve for the people they support," it says.

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