• Date

    01 Dec 2021
  • Category

    Advisory

Top ten behaviours to create a truly informed and engaged trustee

Trustees are a crucial cog in the success of a charity, however, sometimes it is all too easy for trustees to take a back seat and allow others to drive meetings and decisions. In our journey back to better, it will be essential that all trustees are active in the process and engage with strategy and planning.

There are clear legal responsibilities that trustees are required to understand and adhere to, but the difference between satisfying these responsibilities and being an informed and engaged trustee can be the key to an organisation’s success.

Here are our top ten qualities and behaviours that we feel help to create a truly informed and engaged trustee:

  1. Be selfless and free from conflict – always make decisions in the best interests of the charity, ensure you do not put yourself in a position where an outside relationship might influence a decision.
  2. Create an open and transparent environment – be open to scrutiny, share information, demonstrate the thought process, allow everyone a voice.
  3. Be present and informed – attend meetings, pay attention, pre-read, research and ask questions.
  4. Engage with the financial information – understand the reports you are presented with and work with finance to shape reporting, KPI’s and management information.
  5. Integrate within the organisation – understand the dynamics, engage with the senior team, understand the culture (but be aware of the boundaries).
  6. Work with your auditors – keep them informed, understand their role, ask questions and use them to help keep abreast of changes.
  7. Be part of the desired culture of the charity – lead that culture from the front, clearly demonstrating desirable behaviours within meetings and interactions with the SMT.
  8. Understand the expectation – it is important to know what level of commitment is expected of you, how involved is the right level for your charity, how much depth is needed in your subcommittee, should you be present at events or fundraising?
  9. Be curious – delve deeper, ask questions, participate in debates, seek further information, benchmark, or compare data.
  10. Finally, be passionate – the best trustees are passionate about their role and how their contribution can make a difference – if you get that right, the rest hopefully follows.

Download issue two of our 'Revive, Refocus, Rebuild – The journey back to better' guide here to read our top ten qualities and behaviours that we feel help to create a truly informed and engaged trustee.

Would you like to know more?

If you have any queries regarding what we cover in our guide, please get in touch with your usual contact or email charities@azets.co.uk

About the author

Sarah Case Photo

Sarah Case

Office Managing Partner Monmouth Cardiff - Lime Tree Court Swansea
View all news & insights

You might also be interested in