A new trustee recruitment service will charge charities up to £5,500 to find and train board members who are not the "usual suspects".
Trustees Unlimited, which is launched today, is a joint venture by umbrella body the NCVO, law firm Bates Wells & Braithwaite and interim management agency Russam GMS.
It offers to draw up and interview a long list of candidates and then present its client charity with a shortlist of five. If the charity chooses one, it will be charged between £3,000 and £5,000, depending on its income. Inducting the new board member will cost another £500.
Stephen Lloyd, the senior partner at BWB who came up with the idea, said it would plug the gap between free lists of trustees and expensive recruitment agencies. He said Russam GMS's database of 10,000 interim managers, which the service will draw on, constituted a "new gene pool" of trustees who were not the "usual suspects".
"I am a trustee of five organisations, but I often get people ringing me up asking me to be a trustee for them," he said. "I thought that there must be a better way of finding trustees than asking me."