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Factsheet:

Charity trustees

Resource summary

This guide was written by Coffin Mew LLP and is for general information only.  It was last updated in October 2014.

What is a charity?

In order to understand what charity trustees do it is important to understand the sector in which they function. Charities are essentially organisations set up for the benefit of the communities they serve. High profile national charities such as the Salvation Army, YMCA, Barnardos, The Scout Association and Shelter are well known but make up less than one per cent of registered charities. The majority of charities are based in local communities throughout the country, meeting local needs with limited resources. However, what they all have in common is the fact that they have ‘charitable objects’.

Most charities, whether incorporated or unincorporated, have a governing document of some sort (for example a constitution, a trust deed, rules or articles of association). It is in this document that the charitable objects can be found. The governing document also deals with the way in which the charity is governed, how it functions and what the trustees can and cannot do.

Login or register for a free account to continue reading this factsheet and to learn about:

  • What is a charity?
  • What is a trustee?
  • What liabilities are trustees likely to face?
  • What about the rewarding aspects of trusteeship?
  • How should a board of trustees be structured?
  • Induction and training of trustees
  • Hodgson review 

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