Charity Commission launches trustee guidance

The Charity Commission has launched a new set of simple, easy to understand guides, designed to help trustees run their charities in line with the law

The new guides cover five key aspects of charity management to make up a ‘core syllabus’ covering the basics all trustees should know about. They are designed to serve the needs of experienced trustees as well as those new to the role.

They cover financial oversight, achieving a charity’s purposes, good decision making, addressing conflicts of interest, and what to file with the Commission and what support is available.

The regulator said this ‘gateway’ level guidance will make it easier and quicker for all trustees to check what is expected and to find more detailed information if needed, which is all the more important as charities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The publications come as part of the Commission’s programme, outlined in its 2020/21 business plan, to deliver updated core guidance and an improved website, so that it is easier for trustees, who are overwhelmingly unpaid volunteers, to access the information they need.

The new tools have been launched to coincide with Trustees’ Week, which runs 2-9 November, marking an annual celebration of charity trustees and the contribution they make to society.

Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: ‘Volunteer trustees are the bedrock of the charity sector. Without their commitment and dedication charity would simply not be possible. ‘When I started at the Commission, I said our guidance and advice needed to become more available and accessible to trustees, to help them deliver on the causes they support and champion.

‘These new five minute guides are an important milestone in our delivery on that promise.’

Useful links:

Managing charity finances

Charity purposes and rules

Making decisions at a charity

Managing conflicts of interest

Filing with the Charity Commission

Trustees’ Week details

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