Report warns of ‘looming crisis’ in trustee recruitment 

16 May 2017 News

"Outdated and unprofessional" trustee recruitment practices have led to a lack of diversity which is seriously threatening the sector, a report published today warns.

The looming crisis in charity trustee recruitment: How poor trustee practices threaten to damage the effectiveness of UK charities was published today by the charity Getting on Board, which encourages more people to become a trustee. 

It says that “outdated and unprofessional trustee recruitment practices are seriously threatening the effectiveness of UK charities”. 

Getting on Board interviewed 100 trustees, chairs or charity senior managers in autumn 2016 and held a roundtable of 15 industry professionals and governance experts in January 2017. 

Over half of those surveyed said that 50 per cent of their board were people already connected to their chair. The report  said potential trustees had been discouraged by charities which were too slow to respond to their applications.

It says charities, umbrella bodies and government must do more to widen the pool of talent. 

It recommends charities adopt clearer trustee recruitment processes and suggests that there should be more “pathways to trusteeship” such as involvement in advisory committees. It calls for leadership from umbrella bodies.

The report also calls on the government to make it easier for people to volunteer and echoes NCVO’s suggestion that the government allow people time off work for trusteeships. 

It also suggests that regulators should do more to raise awareness of trusteeships and that funders should consider considering board diversity when awarding grants. 

Getting on Board has said it will produce guidance on trustee recruitment. 


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