Monday, 3 November 2014

Responsibilities of a Charity Trustee - by Martyn Turner, Charity Underwriting Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance

Our first blog post covered ‘What is Trustee Indemnity Insurance?’, now we take a look at the responsibilities of a charity trustee.

As a trustee it is your responsibility to be the guardian of the charity, to lead the charity, decide how it is run and have its wellbeing at the core of every decision you make. The key responsibilities of a trustee would include;
* attending and participating in board and committee meetings
* remaining true to its constitution and relating activities to this purpose
* developing strategic plans in line with objectives
* ensuring the charity has the funds it needs and spends these wisely and appropriately

* complying with both Charity and Company law where appropriate

* representing the charity in the press

* submitting annual reports and accounts to the Charity Commission where required

* seeing external professional support if needed, eg. solicitors or accountants.

Responsibilities can be quite daunting. Although rare, things can go wrong but where possible it’s best to pre-empt this.

It is important to have strong risk management procedures, to help minimise any risk to yourself and the charity. Good governance will help reduce the likelihood of anything happening in the first place. Risk management should always be at the forefront of your mind!

This means spending time identifying, assessing and recording the risks associated with your activities and taking measures to minimise those risks. Being a charity that takes a responsible approach means you are also more likely to attract a high calibre of trustee. So it’s worthwhile always bearing this in mind.

For further information on responsibilities of being a trustee or for details on how to do a charity risk assessment, please visit the Ecclesiastical Trustee Support webpages for more detail.

Also, Ecclesiastical will be taking over our @knowhownonprof Twitter account on Tuesday 11 November between 1.30-3.30pm.  A charity insurance professional will be on hand to answer any of your questions – so pop the date in your diary and get tweeting!

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