Trustee recruitment cycle

A relatively new website has been developed by Reach Volunteering in collaboration with Association of Chairs, Small Charities Coalition and Getting on Board. The website, called Trustee Recruitment Cycle, supports boards to recruit trustees in an effective and inclusive way.

Diversity gap:

Charity trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity. Trustees oversee everything a charity does, from setting its strategy to being responsible for its work and finances. A lot more attention is given to diversity of boards by the media nowadays than ever before. There has been an observable increase in studies and research conducted on the topic of importance of board diversity.

Charity Commission research shows that over 70% of boards still recruit their trustees informally, using their own networks. This may mean that boards lack diversity. From the results, trustees are more likely to be male (64%), white (92%), of an average age between 60 and 62 years, and more affluent (75% are above the national median). The Trustee Recruitment Cycle has a purpose of supporting boards to overcome this diversity gap with guidance on the website separated into six distinctive stages which represent the recruitment cycle. The Trustee Recruitment Cycle aims to tackle lack of board diversity by promoting inclusive recruitment and by providing resources in the form of information and guidance on the website for each stage of the trustee recruitment process.

One additional matter that may form a significant part of the recruitment process is competency assessment, especially where the trustee is bringing some specialist expert skills to the board.

Rita Chadha, chief executive at Small Charities Coalition, said: “Recruiting trustees can be a pivotal turning point for a small charity. Getting it right is so important, good trustees can make an organisation, bad trustees break one. This guide from Reach Volunteering is an essential and invaluable tool in making sure not only that the process of recruitment is done well, but also that it envelopes and expands an organisation’s commitment to equality. No organisation should even consider recruiting without reference to this guide”.

Penny Wilson, chief executive of Getting on Board, said: “This will help charities recruit the trustees they need to thrive, a key part of which is to build a diverse board which has personal experience of the issues a charity is seeking to tackle”.

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