Only 0.5 per cent of charity trustees are aged 18 to 24, according to research published today by the Charity Commission.
The report, called A Breath of Fresh Air, shows the mean age of a charity trustee is 57, and two-thirds of trustees are aged 50 or over.
It shows there are 4,200 trustees aged 18 to 24 in the UK, out of more than 810,000 trustees in total. Fewer than 30 trustees are aged under 18, it shows.
The report says one of the biggest barriers to young trusteeship is a lack of awareness of the role of a trustee among young people. A minority of those questioned had an idea of what the term trustee meant, according to the report.
"It is clear that in a fast-changing world there are real benefits for charities in having a diverse board that includes young people," the report says. "All charities should think seriously and imaginatively about recruiting young people to their boards and about the methods they use to do so."
The commission is publicising the first Trustees’ Week, which starts on 25 October.