First things first, what is a trustee?
A trustee serves on the governing body of a charity, responsible for the general running of the organisation. It is a voluntary role, some charities will pay out of pocket expenses, such as travel, but a trustee is not a paid position. It’s also not a full-time job, most trustee boards meet monthly or even quarterly. That means you can do the role alongside your regular full-time position.
Don’t let the fact that it’s an unpaid role deter you. Being a trustee can be an amazing experience; being able to shape the direction of a charity—just think about how rewarding it is when you actually see all your work yielding positive results!
Choosing to be a trustee is both a rewarding way to help your community and a way to learn fantastic new skills. It can be an invigorating and dynamic role, which puts you at the very heart of a charity and its work, liaising with a team of like-minded people.
So why should I do it?
Volunteering it good for your health. There is a growing body of evidence to show that volunteering is good for both your mental and physical health. People who volunteer report feeling more connected to their communities and higher levels of general wellbeing.
You can make a difference. Trustees use their skills and experience to contribute to good a cause. Trustees ensure that the charity runs well, that it remains viable and sustainable, that it’s resources are used well. There are literally thousands of charities out there, making a difference to their local community, you could be a part of shaping the work that they do. A good board of trustees will ensure that a charity is sustainable, that it keeps focussed on it’s core purposes and that it makes a real difference to it’s beneficiaries.
It can be good for your career. It can be difficult to gain experience of making strategic decisions, developing critical thinking or problem solving skills is many roles. Trusteeship can help you develop all these skills as well as developing some of the ‘softer’ skills such as team working etc. More and more companies consider volunteering as a good way to enhance your employability. It can also be a good way to expand your network of contacts.
So why not give being a trustee a try, it’s a role that I’ve been doing for more than 25 years now for a number of different charities. It’s not always been easy but it really is rewarding.
Voluntary Sector Support One Community.