Friday, 29 August 2014

Check out an example entry for the One In A Million video competition - Featuring University of West London Students' Union

You don't have to be Steven Speilberg to enter the Trustees' Week One In A Million video competition!

Simply take a digital camera / phone / tablet and tell us about your experience of trusteeship, in a video of maximum 3 minutes in length.

We have filmed an example video to show that a simple entry is fine - this one took 1 hour to make, using an ipad (ipad movie). We had a lot of fun filming it with Hester Burnige, a trustee of University of West London Students' Union - so get your charity involved, and spread the word!

The 3 winning entries will win a ticket to the NCVO Trustee Conference and Drinks Reception on 10th November 2014, where Trustees' Week 2014 officially launches. The 3 winning videos will be aired at the conference, to 500 delegates, and also posted on the Trustees' Week site and YouTube channel, and promoted through twitter.

So get involved and win some publicity for your charity!

Read the competition brief and ENTER HERE

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Trustees Unlimited Recruitment Case Study: World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)

Trustees Unlimited were tasked with strengthening the board of WSPA and recruiting several new trustees to its board from around the world. Here's the story of what happened...

About World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
WSPA is a well-respected global animal welfare charity with a reputation for delivering results at the forefront of animal protection. With offices in 15 countries, an operating budget of over $70 million and an unparalleled network of more than 1,000 organisations in 156 different countries WSPA makes a powerful, global impact.

WSPA runs global campaigns on disaster management, stopping the illegal trade in wild animals and humane and sustainable agriculture to end the suffering of billions of animals in intensive farming. The organisation started as a membership organisation in the UK and USA 30 years ago, but it is now a truly global organisation with a new governance structure.

Its new strategy is to make animal welfare part of the global wellbeing debate and bring it more into the public consciousness, much like environmental and humanitarian charities have done over the past decade.

The charity is mid-way through implementing a five year strategy and focusing on delivering real and lasting change not only for the animals, but for the people who depend on them, which means it needs to engage at the top tables in both governments and big businesses around the world. 

To achieve its new goals, WSPA wanted to strengthen its board and recruit several new trustees to its board from all around the world with strong experience in promoting higher standards in animal welfare globally.

The challenge

Previously WSPA had recruited people through its own networks, and mainly from animal charities, but this recruitment and search process needed to be different and reflect the new organisational structure and mission.
Whilst there were trustee boards in place in several countries; the main International board based in the UK now needed to reflect the global nature of its work. The charity needed a more diverse group of international trustees from all walks of life not just animal welfare organisations, to join the International board. The search began two years ago and is on-going.
As Stephen Corri, director of governance and legal services at WSPA commented: “We wanted to find trustees with experience of working with large humanitarian or environmental charities that could help us raise the profile of animal welfare, as these kinds of charities have done in the past. We also needed people with strong commercial and financial backgrounds that are able to make change happen from a business perspective and help us build networks across the world.”
The recruitment process
To recruit on such a global scale is a challenge and to find an organisation flexible enough to be able to do this is also a challenge.
WSPA met up with several large recruitment firms, as well as Trustees Unlimited.
Even though Trustees Unlimited hadn’t undertaken a big international search before they were passionate about the project and flexible in their approach as they moved through the process, so they were selected.
Stephen Corri commented: “We needed a bespoke recruitment service; not an ‘off-the-shelf’ recruitment package that many of the larger recruitment agencies were offering. This was a unique search with a unique set of requirements. We also needed the service to be very cost-effective.
“Trustees Unlimited offered exactly what we needed, within our budget and working together we devised a very successful recruitment programme that has already brought us several great candidates.”
Olga Johnson, Associate Director at Trustees Unlimited headed up the search. Olga is well travelled and having been on the board of three international charities has first-hand experience of what was needed.
After taking a detailed briefing Olga set about the extensive global search to find potential candidates outside the UK that could offer the experience the charity needed to take it forward.
All of the WSPA trustee roles require significant global strategic expertise. In the last two years a skills audit of trustees identified a specific need for a new trustee with strategic finance expertise from the commercial sector, and another with humanitarian aid expertise.
An in-depth global search enabled WSPA to recruit three new trustees in 2012 and 2013 with the above experience. Another search was completed to identify a trustee with relevant global vetinary and animal welfare expertise, and for this role Olga focused on three sectors to identify candidates: 
  • International animal welfare voluntary sector including contacts within WSPA
  • Veterinary colleges and their alumni outside the UK together with veterinary professional membership societies
  • Veterinary pharmaceutical industry
Olga Johnson commented: “This is a very unique and long term search for us, and during the recruitment process I travelled via the web to China, Thailand, New Zealand, Malaysia, Australia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya  DRC and the US making contact with organisations we felt could help us find candidates with the right experience and background.
“By a fortunate coincidence I was able to interview one of the candidates in Kenya, as I just happened to be on holiday there at the time. It truly was a global search,” adds Ms Johnson.
The new trustees
So far Trustees Unlimited has recruited three trustees with a combination of humanitarian expertise and commercial and financial expertise, two of which are overseas. Paul Baldwin, managing director of HSBC Global Banking and Markets Division in London was recruited first in 2012.
This was followed last year by Nesta Hatendi, who is based in Kenya and is the regional representative for Africa for Help Age International. Another is Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly who is based in Thailand and is a senior advisor for Save the Children UK in the Asia region.
The search for trustees is on-going and, having successfully completed a global search for a veterinary trustee, Trustees Unlimited has put forward three more candidates for interview.
Olga Johnson comments: “This search has so far found three extraordinary new trustees for WSPA who are already in place; and in the next few weeks interviews will be taking place for the veterinary trustee role.It has been a pleasure working with WSPA and I very much look forward to continuing to look for trustees and completing their international board.”
Trustees Unlimited is a joint venture trustee recruitment company set up by Russam GMS, NCVO and Bates Wells Braithwaite. The company has seen rapid growth over three years and is working with charities of all sizes to appoint professional trustees to their boards. Currently one in five charities has a trustee vacancy on their boards, Trustees Unlimited has a database of around 1,300 trustees from professional backgrounds looking for trustee positions.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Masterclass on the Role of the Honorary Treasurer - from the Honorary Treasurers Forum (Half price for Trustees' Week!)

The Honorary Treasurers Forum is holding a Masterclass on 'The role of the Honorary Treasurer'.

Date: Tuesday 4th November 2014
Time: 6pm-8,45pm (Arrival and registration from 5.30pm)
Location: Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ
Price: £25 (usually £50 - half price to celebrate Trustees' Week 2014!)

The session will be led by Judith Miller of Sayer Vincent, and aims to introduce those who are new to charities or less experienced in charity accounting to the key aspects of charity governance and management.  As well as interactive group exercises, there will be a full set of notes to take away adding valuable information on taxation for charities, the accounting framework and a list of resources.

This will be an excellent opportunity to brush up on knowledge and skills and question one of the leading experts in charity accounting.

There is usually a small charge of £50 for the master class.  However, to celebrate Trustees’ Week 2014, the cost is only £25. We are particularly grateful to Sayer Vincent and Cass Business School whose support is helping subsidise this event.
Book your place HERE.
17.30 - Arrival and registration at Cass
18.00 - Shape and Size of the Charity Sector: Main sources of income, how many people work in the sector and diversity of sector
18.30 - The role of trustees: How governance is different to management, the role of the treasurer and interaction with managers and volunteers
19.15 - Charity Accounting: How charity annual accounts are different to commercial accounts, drawing out important aspects such as restricted funds, reserve levels and cost allocation
Judith Miller
Judith became a partner at Sayer Vincent in 2006. Before joining the firm, she trained as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, working for them in the UK and in Germany. She is a Fellow of the ICAEW and holds a Diploma in Charity Accounting.

As well as handling a portfolio of audit clients, Judith leads reviews of governance structures, and team, departments and organisational reviews. She also leads teams performing financial reviews where organisations are seeking assurance, including due diligence and reports to funders with concerns around financial management and governance.
Judith has worked with a wide range of charities and not-for-profit organisations, these include Community Service Volunteers (CSV), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), Mind, Movember, Combat Stress, The Park Theatre and the Institute of Development Studies.

Judith's work reflects our emphasis on the "people factors". This relates to both how the work is planned and performed as well as the likely risks and issues associated with the areas under review. Assignments are tailored to the way individual clients work. Judith is an experienced trainer and facilitator and designs bespoke development days for clients, as well as speaking at conferences and leading our client seminars. She supports clients achieve their objectives and makes areas that can be seen as complex and inaccessible, or perhaps just dull as vital, interesting and accessible.
Judith is a trustee for a charity which provides care to people with learning disabilities and a board member at BUPA Foundation.
Please contact Barbara Robertson at the Honorary Treasurers Forum with any questions, on or 0207 040 8781

Friday, 22 August 2014

Shining Your Light: A Burton Sweet Charity Seminar - Bristol

Burton Sweet (Chartered Accountants, Business Advisers and Tax specialists) are holding a seminar for charity trustees, officers, key volunteers, and those involved with charity management, finance and administration.

Date: 1st October 2014
Time: 9am-2pm (includes lunch)
Location: Events suite, M Shed, Wapping Road, Princes Wharf, Bristol, BS1 4RN (
NB: M Shed is fully accessible
Price: £43 + VAT

The seminar will cover:

* Spotlight on the new SORP

* Charity people - the opportunities and challenges

* Board effectiveness

* Update on the regulatory and financial environment

Burton Sweet speakers:

Ed Marsh, Head of Charity Services
Cecile Gillard, Legal Manager, Charities

Guest speaker:

Quentin Elson, Principal
Charity Eminence

BOOK NOW by contacting / call 0117 914 2057

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

How to Become a Charity Trustee - by Leon Ward

Looking to become a trustee but not sure where to begin? Leon Ward, trustee at Plan UK and ambassdor of Young Charity Trustees, explains the process in a handful of simple steps in this Guardian article. Read it here.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Charities & Volunteers: Who'd be a Trustee? from Roythornes Solicitors and Kidney Research UK

Date: Tuesday 16th September 2014
Time: 6.30-8pm
Location: Kingsgate Conference Centre, 2 Staplee Way, Parnwell, Peterborough. PE1 4YT

A free seminar for existing charity trustees, volunteers, potential trustees and community groups, exploring how to be a confident trustee.

Our panel of experienced professionals will highlight key roles and responsibilities of trustees and volunteers and give guidance on how to fulfil those responsibilities and provide maximum benefit to their charities and community groups.

Around the Trustees' table
Julie Robinson, Partner, Roythornes
  • an interactive case study
Duties, dilemmas and disputes: a guide for trustees
Nadine Wealands, Private Client team, Roythornes
  • duties of a trustee and trustee responsibilities
  • the dos and don'ts of being a trustee
Being a trustee
Sandra Currie, Chief Executive, Kidney Research UK
As well as being Chief Executive of Kidney Research UK, Sandra is ex officio Trustee of the Renal Association and a former trustee of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
  • hear from a top UK charity about how they work with trustees
  • the challenges faced and how issues are managed
  • lessons learned and what you should consider when you are a trustee
You can reserve your place at what promises to be an informative event in one of the following easy ways:

Register on-line:
Register by e-mail:

Please reply by Tuesday 9th September 2014

For more information, click

Friday, 15 August 2014

Help with Charity Mergers, from Practise Training & Consultancy

Practise Training & Consultancy is very pleased to contribute to Trustees Week 2014 by offering free support, through our Charity Merger One Stop Shop.

Any Questions on Charity Mergers? For a free, private, ninety minute session with one of our experienced consultants, please contact Ann Collins.

Email:  Telephone : 01792 233694                          

ACEVO approved, WCVA listed 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Success of Wales Charity Law and Governance Conference

The Wales Charity Law and Governance Conference was held in Swansea last month, playing host to a wealth of experienced speakers and focusing on helping voluntary organisations in Wales to stay on track with their governance and legal responsibilities.

The conference, which was run by Trustees' Week parter Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and supported by Geldards law firm, was attended by those responsible for a wide range of organisations that work within the third sector in Wales. Speakers included governance expert Linda Laurance, leading charity lawyer Giselle Davies, and Debbie Hawkins from the Charity Commission’s Wales office, plus many more. Sessions held throughout the day provided top governance tips and practical advice on a variety of subjects, including employment law, charity accounts, trading to raise funds, and how to ensure a successful relationship between your chair and chief executive.

WCVA strives to support and help Wales’ third sector in a number of different ways, including a specialist service for trustees to help them achieve good governance within their organisations. WCVA offers a range of advice and guidance options for trustees and others working within the third sector, including publications such as WCVA’s governance health check and numerous information sheets on a variety of topics, as well as a free legal information service, a comprehensive programme of trustee seminars and training, and specialist assistance from a dedicated Criminal Records Unit that provides a Disclosure and Barring Service.

If you are responsible for running an organisation that operates in Wales and you would like to find out more about how WCVA can help you, full details can be sourced on WCVA’s website or you can contact the helpdesk on 0800 2888 329. You may also find it useful to access the range of practical resources that are available for free at     

Monday, 2 June 2014

Top 10 tips for an Effective Trustee Board - from NUS and Joanna Davey Consulting

The National Union of Students (NUS), a Trustees' Week partner, has summarised top tips for an effective trustee board from a webinar the organisation previously ran on developing existing boards. Follow @nusuk 

1. Invest time in induction
Each new board member brings a range of skills and experience to the board. They will only be able to contribute these fully if they realise what is expected of them as a trustee, understand the organisation’s strategic objectives and appreciate the organisation’s operating environment, particularly the threats and opportunities. Spending time inducting new trustees is an investment in them and the organisation. It helps them to get up to speed quickly, feel confident and start adding value to the board. Where induction is neglected new trustees can feel confused, unable to contribute to discussions and decision-making leading to loss of confidence and enthusiasm. Some trustees leave boards far sooner than they had planned because they lose their motivation and feel they are not valued by the organisation.

2. Invest in your trustees

Once trustees understand the basics they will be able to contribute to the work of the board. They will be able to be even more effective if their skills and experience are enhanced by training or development. For example, they may need some specialist knowledge about the organisation and its environment, a greater understanding of the financial responsibilities of a trustee and how to better understand financial information, or how to communicate the vision of the organisation to others. Trustees will benefit from appraisal of their performance, highlighting which skills or experiences are particularly valued and how they can be used to benefit the organisation. Personal development planning may be appropriate and both mentoring and coaching are highly successful ways to provide tailored development opportunities.

3. Develop the board as a team

 The board is a team and benefits from having time to review working relationships and decide how best to work together. Knowing your board colleagues helps to develop trust and a good sense of commitment. It also builds the social aspect of being involved which is often an important reason people volunteer to join a board.

4. Nurture Chair and CEO relationship

The Chair and CEO fulfil two key roles for an organisation and their relationship is crucial to an organisation’s success. Together they provide a critical communication link between the board and staff. For many student officers this will be the first time they have had the responsibility of chairing a charity and as such it is especially important to nurture the relationship with an experienced CEO. Some students’ unions opt to appoint experienced external trustees to act as deputy chairs to offer consistency and mentor officers in supporting and challenging the CEO. Together the chair and deputy chair can be a sounding board for the CEO’s ideas, a listener when times are tough and a check when enthusiasm is in danger of overwhelming resources. Likewise the CEO needs to understand the board’s priorities and can discuss with the chair how these are being translated into reality.

5. Spend time planning the future together
Each year the board should review the organisation’s work; identify what has gone well and what could be done better; recognise what progress has been made with strategic objectives and agree priorities for the next year. These discussions can then link into a wider business planning process. Having an annual away day is an excellent opportunity to stand back and refresh the board’s thinking. It works best if it is run in a way that encourages fresh thinking and an open minded approach.

6. Plan the board’s work for the year

The board’s time is valuable and limited. Each meeting needs to be progressing the organisation’s work and priorities. There is a cycle to any board’s work so having a plan for key decisions during the year will enable staff as well as trustees to plan their work effectively. Where such planning is ineffective, extra or emergency meetings may need to be arranged, which are a poor use of staff and trustee resources.

7. Remember to scan the horizon as well as the day to day

If the board becomes focussed on the day to day this may drag down the focus of the CEO. It may mean that no-one is looking further ahead. It is the board’s job to ensure the organisation’s future and trustees have to scan the horizon regularly for opportunities as well as threats. Then the organisation can plan how to exploit those opportunities or avoid / mitigate those threats.

8. Decide on your appetite for risk

Both action and inaction present risks for an organisation. Knowing the costs and benefits of taking certain actions helps to develop an understanding of risk. Trustees should spend time each year considering the organisation’s risks and agreeing the type and severity of risk they are willing to accept in order to achieve the organisation’s objectives. Working with staff they can identify ways to mitigate risks should they be realised.

9. Appraise board performance

The best performing boards invest in their governance and carry out an annual appraisal of their collective performance. This can include self-assessment and independent feedback on performance, as well as feedback from senior staff. Such a process should identify what is working well, what needs to change and produce an action plan for implementation.

10. Focus, focus, focus….on your vision, mission and values

The board of trustees are the guardians of the organisation’s vision, mission and values. If they lose sight of the organisation’s purpose, the reason it exists and the values that underpin its work then the organisation can drift, get involved in unsuitable distractions and even fail. Focussing the work of the staff and the organisation’s resources on the vision, mission and values will keep the organisation on track and heading for success.

At Joanna Davey Consulting we support our clients to enhance their performance and lead their organisations to success. We offer a range of services including board effectiveness reviews, 360 degree appraisals, facilitation, teambuilding, coaching and mentoring. Please get in touch for an initial free consultation. or 07968 267630

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Why running a business and becoming a trustee go hand-in-hand, from Getting on Board

Getting On Board is a Trustees' Week partner and a charity that can help you, your employees and members of your professional networks become new leaders in your communities through board-level volunteering. Here, the organisation looks at how running your own business and becoming a charity trustee go hand-in-hand.
Follow @GettingOnBoard

Starting a small business is an exciting time, but cash can be tight, meaning there is little to spend on training and development. Step forward the perfect solution - volunteering on a charity board! It’s the ideal option for entrepreneurs as becoming a trustee is a fantastic way to gain and hone the skills you will need as a business owner and can give you a real head-start.

Sitting on a charity board gives you access to all sorts of training and development opportunities. As a trustee you will work with the charity’s paid staff and other volunteers and get to know all the functions of a company. From HR and financial matters to planning ahead and fundraising (which requires similar skills to pitching for new business) – almost everything you do as a board member is transferable to your role as a business owner.

Many entrepreneurs miss the daily office banter, not to mention the networking opportunities. So life as a trustee will give you the chance to make lots of new contacts, broaden your horizons and regain that team-working element.

Our US counterparts are already embracing trusteeships, with 61% of entrepreneurs sitting on the board of a non-profit organisation and 50% being a board chairman, either currently or in the past.

“I’ve learnt more from being a charity trustee than any other form of professional development, and the wide-ranging skills I have gained from being a board member have helped my business in so many ways,” says Katie Hodgson, Director of Creative Sensemaking.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Prospectus blog: Diversity leads to more Professional Boards

Prospectus, a specialist recruitment consultancy working exclusively with the beyond profit sector, is a Trustees' Week supporter. Here, Borge Andreassen considers how better gender balance on boards could lead to better governance.

Check out Prospectus' trustee pages here, and follow @prospect_us

Recent figures from the Government show that 19% of company board directors are now women. For FTSE 100 companies the figures are more mixed with the number of companies with a woman on their board has fallen; this is concerning as it means that there are still leading businesses with all-male boards. The figures are also more mixed for company executives; only a disappointing 6.1% are women.
The issue of boardroom diversity has recently had a higher media profile following news that the German government is considering making it a legal requirement that women make up 30% of non-executives on company boards.

In my native country Norway, the Government introduced a mandatory 40% female quota on listed companies’ boards in 2004, and the lessons to date are overwhelmingly positive.

According to research by Agnes Bolsø from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the experience is highly positive and evidence shows that more diversity resulted in better decision-making processes. Not only did boards operate better, respondents to Bolsø’s research said that they had become more professional. No wonder then that in Norway, women now make up 42% of board directors, exceeding the state imposed quota.

At Prospectus we established our Board Practice to improve governance through a greater focus on finding skilled, talented and diverse trustees, giving charities a real alternative to relying on networks and the traditional ‘who-do-we-know’ approach. To date, more than 42% of appointed trustees are women. Not yet as high as the 58% of executives Prospectus has helped clients appoint, but a significant step in the right direction.

Charities are not as different from companies as many assume. Whilst charity governance still needs to improve, to my knowledge no charity has yet had to be bailed out with billions of tax payer money. With that in mind, it is fantastic news that the number of women on company boards are increasing, hopefully leading to better corporate governance. In addition, the Norwegian experience suggests that more women on boards also lead to better gender balance on executive teams.

We still have a long way to go in terms of board room diversity, not just relating to gender but also ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural diversity. Hopefully the Government’s (voluntary) target of 25% women in the corporate boardrooms helps achieve some of that.
And wouldn’t it be great if more of the talented, high-impact executives, both men and women, from the charity sector could be appointed to corporate boards? That’s the aspiration at Prospectus!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Get Involved with Volunteers' Week, 1-7 June 2014!

Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place on 1-7 June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It’s run by NCVO in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

From showcasing the different volunteering roles on offer, taster sessions and team challenges with new partners, to volunteer recruitment events, awards ceremonies and launching new volunteering campaigns, events take place throughout the country.

Everyone is invited to join this national celebration of volunteers and volunteering; it’s up to you to decide exactly how you join in.

This year is the 30th anniversary of Volunteers' Week, and it's time to celebrate! To recognise the 30th anniversary, the number 30 is being used as a theme for the Week,  and there are lots of ways for you to get creative.

Visit the Volunteers' Week website for a resource pack, to sign up for email updates, notify the team of an even you're doing, and much more information!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Get involved with Small Charity Week!

Small Charity Week (16th-21st June) is the biggest event in the small charity calendar providing free initiatives, competitions and support over six days for any charity with an annual turnover under £1.5 million.

Events include:

I Love Small Charities Day: Two social media competitions to win funds for your charity
Big Advice Day: Free advice on any charity topic of your choosing from experts across the sector and business leaders
Policy Day: Local and national events will be held to support engagement between small charities and policy makers and influencers
Volunteering Day: Showcase your small charity volunteering opportunities and register for a number of free events
Fundraising Day: Take part in four free competitions and initiatives to raise vital funds for your small charity
Celebration Day: Get involved and run an event to help raise awareness of and celebrate your amazing work

We are calling on all small charities to get involved and make the most of the activities available. Check the website now as some deadlines are fast approaching

See for more information and follow @SCWeek2014 for breaking news

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Small Charities Coalition relaunches Trustee Finder Service

The Small Charities Coalition, a Trustees' Week partner, has improved and relaunched Trustee Finder, a key free service for charities recruiting new trustees. Improvements made will significantly increase the number of potential trustees viewing the vacancies and, as a result, help fill more trustee positions in charities of all sizes.

Trustee Finder is a free trustee searching and posting service that syndicates with the national volunteering service, run by ivo, which connects over 200,000 volunteers with charities every month*. Linking Trustee Finder to Do-it will significantly increase the number of potential trustees viewing the vacancies, and as a result, help fill more trustee positions in charities of all sizes.

Alex Swallow, CEO of Small Charities Coalition, said: ‘Our free Trustee Finder service is a very valuable resource for our members and we are delighted with the improvements made. A skilled and effective board of trustees makes a huge difference to the impact and success of small charities and we’re proud to help connect charities and trustees who share common passions.’

Trustee Finder (formerly known as trusteefinder) was launched by Charity Trustee Networks (CTN) in 2008 in response to the lack of a comprehensive, national database for users to search and post trustee vacancies. Since then, 1000’s of trustee positions have been filled as a result of the service. However, vacancies posted through the old trusteefinder service were only viewable through that platform. With the improvements made, vacancies posted through the new Trustee Finder are now also posted on the Do-it volunteering service (, giving trustee vacancies exposure to 100,000’s more volunteers every month. The Trustee Finder service is open to all charities regardless of their annual income or size.

Jamie Ward-Smith, CEO of ivo, the charity behind the Do-it volunteering service,** said: ‘We are so pleased to be working with the Small Charities Coalition to ensure that charities have even better access to trustees they need to steer their organisations. We are confident that this joined up tool will further enable charities to find the trustees they require.’

CTN and Small Charities Coalition merged in 2011 and began a review into their brand in 2012. The conclusion of the review was to completely merge the Small Charities Coalition and Charity Trustee Networks into one unified and evolved Small Charities Coalition brand. All information and support previously available to trustees through have been transferred to and will continue as normal.

Trustee Finder was the last service to be switched and was made possible thanks to the generous support of Net Efficiency, the London based web design and development agency. As of Monday 17th February the site was closed for good.

The new Trustee Finder service can be viewed here. As well as its Trustee Finder service, Small Charities Coalition is also involved in other charity governance initiatives through its partnership support of Trustees’ Week, the Code of Good Governance group, its Trustee Networks service, and more.

* Source: Do-it, 2013

** Formerly run by YouthNet, Do-it was transferred to the social action charity ivo who took over ownership and management of the service in 2013 and will be redeveloping it for a relaunch in 2014 in partnership with Believe.InBlue DotProspectus and Vivo

About Small Charities Coalition: Small Charities Coalition is a national support and networking organisation that helps over 6000 small charities, their staff, volunteers and trustees access the skills, knowledge and resources they need to best serve their causes. For more information visit

About Net Efficiency: Net Efficiency design and build creative, accessible and user-friendly websites, using robust, powerful and innovative technology. For more information visit

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WCVA reveals 2014 Trustee Event programme - Wales

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), a Trustees' Week partner, has revealed its 2014 programme of trustee events. WCVA delivered numerous events for trustees on a variety of topics in 2013, and 2014 looks set to be even better. 

Consisting of a range of need-to-know topics, the programme will include a half day conference on employment law essentials, seminars on pension developments and VAT for charities, an interactive webinar on tendering, and the annual Wales Charity Law and Governance conference. All of the events will be delivered by specialists in each of these areas, and will take place in a variety of locations across Wales throughout the year.

A full list the events that WCVA will be delivering for trustees is below, or click here to go the website.
  • 20 March:  Hugh James employment law update; half day conference at Cardiff City Stadium, 9am -12pm
  • 3 April:  Seminar by Centurion VAT Specialists, ' "I'm a charity and I don't pay VAT" - myth or reality?' 10am -1pm at Plas Pentwyn in Wrexham
  • 21 May:  Wales Charity Law and Governance conference; 9.30am - 4pm at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea
  • 4 June: Seminar by Keegan & Pennykid Insurance Brokers, 'Auto-enrolment: what trustees need to know'; 10am-12.30pm at Tapstri in Swansea
  • 25 June: Seminar by Hugh James Solicitors, 'Responsibilities when employing people';  9.30am - 1pm at WCVA's office in Rhyl
  • 18 September: Seminar by Centurion VAT Specialists, ' "I'm a charity and I don't pay VAT" - myth or reality?' 5pm - 8pm at WCVA's office in Cardiff
  • 25 September:  Webinar by Gareth Coles WCVA, 'Tendering for trustees'; 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • 11 November:  Seminar by Keegan & Pennykid Insurance Brokers, 'Auto-enrolment: what trustees need to know'; 10am-12.30pm, at Plas Pentwyn in Wrexham
  • 19 November: Seminar by Hugh James Solicitors, 'Responsibilities when employing people';  4.30pm - 8pm at WCVA's office in Cardiff.
Details of how to book places at the events taking part in the early part of 2014 can be found on the Events section of the WCVA website, so what are you waiting for?! Alternatively, if you have any queries about any of the events on this programme you can contact

Trustees' Week 2014 to be launched at NCVO conference

The dates have been set for Trustees' Week 2014 - this year's campaign runs 10-16 November! For the first time, Trustees' Week will be officially launched at the NCVO's Trustee Conference on 10 November - a key event in the sector calendar with hundreds of delegates in attendance. Watch this space for more details, and make sure to follow @trusteesweek!

Monday, 18 November 2013

A Day in the Life of a Home-Start Trustee - by Hazel Thompson

Hazel Thompson is a trustee of Home-Start Wirral

What does being a trustee involve?
Every Trustee role (such as the chair person, vice chair, secretary and treasurer) comes with different duties.  My role is Vice Chair. I feel that at Home-Start Wirral we have a very active trustee board and all the trustees are involved in different sub-groups in the organisation, through which we share our knowledge, skills and experience. I’m involved in a number of the sub groups and also provide support and supervision for the CEO.

How did you become a trustee at Home-Start?
I helped to set up Home-Start when I was a Community Resource Officer and was approached by Charing Cross Methodist Minister, Reverend Pat Billsborrow, to help set up a Home-Start in Birkenhead. She had been involved with Home-Start in the North East and had seen how effective it had been in supporting families in other area of the UK.  I was involved in identifying possible funding and then became an advisor on the panel that appointed the first co-ordinator 13 years ago.

What is your area of expertise?
I’m a “Jill of all Trades”! I have experience in managing organisations, administration, networking, policy writing and a  knowledge of human resources gained from working  in the private, public and voluntary sectors. As a consultant I have also helped organisations to access funding, develop their trustee boards, set up social enterprises  and undertaken a variety of roles supporting organisational development.   

Can you tell us about the board of Trustees?
 The board of trustees consists of the Chair Person, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and a number of other skilled Trustees. We meet bi-monthly to discuss the strategic direction of the organisation,  progress/status reports from the CEO, look at the finances and discuss any other business.  Immediately prior to these meetings we have Management Committee Meetings attended by the trustees and advisors  from the statutory sector who are able to provide expertise on a range of issues, for example Safeguarding, and also support partnership working between Home-Start Wirral and statutory services providing support to children and families.

What’s the most difficult aspect of being a trustee?
Ensuring we have finances to continue to deliver our services in the community. As statutory funding usually needs to be applied for annually and other funding does not always follow the same time scale, we have to have contingency plans to ensure continuity of service in case our applications are not successful.  The charitable sector is an uncertain one financially and organisations can very quickly find themselves in a position where a funding stream ends and cannot be replaced so services have to close or be drastically reduced.  This can have a huge impact on both service users and the organisation itself.

What motivates you?
I’m motivated knowing that my actions as a trustee help Home-Start to support families to move on, they help people who are struggling and give them a hand when they need it the most. I know how difficult it is, having been a lone parent myself with 3 children.  You do the best for your family no matter what the odds are to give  your children the opportunity to grow up to be well rounded, secure and settled.  I would have loved to have had a Home-Start around then to give me some help and support.

What advice would you give to people who are thinking about becoming a trustee?
Just do it and become a Trustee!
You get the satisfaction of seeing your organisation grow and support others. You see the benefits your organisation gives to the community and how it changes lives.
If you're retired it’s a way of keeping your skills active, meeting new people, and it gives you a purpose and a continuation of work. The reasons are endless!