Association of Chairs launched

First membership body for the chairs of charities will champion their role and develop best practice

A new membership body for the chairs of charities has been launched.

The Association of Chairs, the first membership body of its kind, will aim to develop best-practice standards, offer professional development and champion the role of charity chairs, it said in a statement.

Chairs of charities registered in the UK are able to join the organisation, which was launched this week at an event in London. Speakers at the event included Baroness Sally Morgan, chair of the school inspection body Ofsted.

It already has about 100 members thanks to a pre-launch recruitment drive among the largest charities by annual income.

The cost of AoC membership depends on the annual income of the charity the member chairs, a spokeswoman for the organisation said. Chairs of charities with annual incomes of more than £10m will pay £735 a year for membership; chairs of charities with annual incomes of less than £10,000 will be charged £25 a year. There are three payment gradings between those two levels.

AoC members will have access to network events, a regular e-newsletter and a members’ only area of the organisation’s website, which is also being launched tomorrow, the spokeswoman said.

John Gladwin, chair of the Association of Chairs and chair of Citizens Advice, said: "Chairs of boards lead their trustee colleagues, steer the development of long-term strategy and culture, and might also be central to appointing key senior staff.

"Despite this, there has been no single organisation for chairs, nor has there been a one-stop source where these leaders can find information, support and inspiration. Until now, that is."

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