A third of young adults would consider a trustee role, Charities Aid Foundation survey finds

Poll in advance of Trustees Week shows younger people are more willing to join charity boards than is commonly assumed, says Paul Rees of CAF

Paul Rees
Paul Rees

A third of young adults would consider becoming a charity trustee, according to research commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation.

A ComRes survey of 1,005 18 to 35-year-olds found 36 per cent would consider taking on the trustee role. The proportion rose to 49 per cent when respondents were told what being a charity trustee involved.

The poll comes ahead of the start of the annual Trustees Week on Monday. The week, organised by the Charity Commission in partnership with bodies including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, will see 50 events across the country to recruit new trustees and showcase the work of existing volunteers.

Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (73 per cent) for CAF last month believe getting more younger people on boards would help charities engage better with their generation, with two-thirds saying younger people would be able to relate more to charities if organisations had more young trustees.

More than half (57 per cent) of those polled would be more likely to support charities in the future if they were a trustee now, while 64 per cent believe being a charity trustee would improve their career prospects.

Paul Rees, executive director at CAF, said: "A lot of people might assume that young people would not be interested in getting involved in running a charity at board level. Our poll explodes that myth: there are, in fact, millions of young people who are ready and willing to help charities."

According to the Charity Commission, there are more than one million trustee positions in England and Wales. Only 0.5 per cent of trustees are aged between 18 and 24. Two-thirds are aged over 50, with 57 being the average age.


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