Charity governance and trustees
Charity governance and trustees

The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Charity governance and trustees
  • Board of trustees
  • Meetings

According to the Charities Act 2011 (CA 2011) the expression 'charity trustees'

means the persons having the general control and management of the administration of a charity

In furtherance of management best practice the Charity Commission have set out six principles that should guide trustees in their administration of a charity. These principles suggest that an effective board will provide good governance and leadership by:

  1. understanding their role

  2. ensuring delivery of organisational purpose.

  3. working effectively both as individuals and as a team

  4. exercising effective control

  5. behaving with integrity

  6. being open and accountable

The reference to a 'board' gives an indication that something more than 'amateur' and ad hoc trustees is generally expected in the management of a charity. There are a number of other roles that can be usefully be employed in the wider management of a charity such as:

  1. a patron—with no particular rights such a person may well be able to enhance the public appreciation of the charity

  2. a president—again with no rights such a person may well be, in effect, the patron but probably someone who has intimate knowledge of the workings of charities

  3. a stakeholder representative—probably such a person will represent a corporate supporter and will be there as a middleman to advise on the stakeholder's views and to report back to the stakeholder

  4. a secretary—possibly the most important non-trustee