Half of the public do not know what a charity trustee is, but more than a tenth would be interested in becoming one, according to the latest research conducted for Getting on Board, which promotes board-level volunteering.
Conducting online interviews with more than 2,000 people across the country, the charity discovered that 21 per cent would like to sit on the board of a charity, but only 12 per cent stated interest in becoming a trustee. Further questioning found that 51 per cent did not know what a charity trustee is.
Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, said: "Clearly the charity sector needs to do more to explain what a charity trustee is so that people realise what a fantastic opportunity it can be to make a real difference. Trustees are the driving force behind every great charity and are responsible for making decisions about a charity's direction and activity."
The research, conducted as part of national Trustees' Week which runs until 6 November, also identified a high level of interest in joining the board of a charity from a younger demographic.
Almost twice as many 18 to 34-year-olds (28 per cent) as over-55-year-olds (15 per cent) expressed an interest in joining a board. "This fact directly contradicts any outdated views of trustees as older retired professionals, and this high level of interest will encourage charities to actively recruit younger trustees to their boards," said a spokesperson for Getting on Board.