Charity Trustee Duties and Liabilities

Working as a trustee for a charity can be a very rewarding experience and provides opportunities for skill development, networking and helping the community. As a member of the board of trustees, you are ultimately responsible for the affairs of the charity and for delivering the outcomes it was intended to create. Although the majority of trustees are volunteers, there is a still a certain amount of risk involved in holding one of these positions. Even when acting in good faith, you could be held personally liable for your business decisions.

Before becoming a trustee, you should learn all you can about the charity and what is to be expected of you. This includes reading the governing document, annual reports, policies and accounts and knowing what type of legal structure the charity is. The governing document is the main constitutional document that governs the key aspects of the charity’s work. Meeting existing trustees and staff or sitting in on a board meeting can also help you determine what will be expected of you. Make sure you understand all of your responsibilities before and during your time as a trustee.

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