Friday, 11 November 2011

Event round-up - Being a trustee in financially challenging times

To mark Trustees’ Week 2011 and the fantastic, and often unrecognised, work of volunteer trustees in the Jewish and wider charity sector, Jewish Volunteering Network put on an event at the offices of its corporate sponsors HW Fisher & CompanyBeing a Not-for-Profit Trustee in financially challenging times: threat or opportunity?

Focused on trustees from small and medium-sized charities, who often do not have the opportunity to network and benefit from specifically tailored events, the event saw an audience of over 20 trustees listen to presentations from Mike Redhouse, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at St Luke’s Hospice (pictured), Elissa Bayer, Director of Private Clients at Williams de BroĆ« and Neal Gilmore, Not-for-Profit Expert and Principal from hosts HW Fisher – all of whom used their particular area of expertise to inform their response to the question.

Neal Gilmore brought a detailed overview of the governance responsibilities of trustees. Elissa Bayer, as a leading City light and frequent commentator in the media, lifted the lid on the complex world of finance and its implications for charities. Lastly, Mike Redhouse spoke about how the new financial realities mean trustees must look at how charities might trim their outgoings, even though some of the options are difficult to consider.

The issues raised were very serious indeed and provided a great deal of food for thought and some lively Q&As. What also emerged was the appetite of the trustees present to continue the conversation, to share challenges and work together to share ideas about how they could deliver even better value to their charities and the Jewish charity sector in particular. As a result of the meeting, there is another in the pipeline – demonstrating the power of connecting people and enabling them to share concerns in a common setting.

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