Charity trustees given essential guidance

Charity trustees have been given updated guidance on their role and the responsibilities in involves by the Charity Commission.

The Essential Trustee, published on 9 July, breaks down the trustee’s role into six key duties, explaining the legal requirements for each and good practice they should follow, as well as offering more detailed guidance. The six duties are:

  • ensuring your charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
  • comply with your charity’s governing document and the law
  • acting in your charity’s best interests
  • managing your charity’s resources responsibly
  • acting with reasonable care and skill
  • ensuring your charity is accountable.

The commission said the updated document was easier to understand and apply, adding: “The new guidance highlights and gives practical examples of how to avoid some common pitfalls, for example by ensuring you understand your governing document, asking questions and ensuring you understand your charity’s finances.

“This isn’t just about keeping in the commission’s good books. It’s essential if you want to be more effective at meeting your beneficiaries’ needs, and enhance your credibility with potential funders, supporters and the wider public.

“Being a trustee is a serious responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be daunting, if you are armed with the right knowledge and understand your duties.”

Moore Thompson’s charities team understands the challenges trustees face and has set up a trustee forum, which regularly brings together local charity trustees to network and benefit from each other’s experience.

Meetings take place at Hills Department Store, Spalding, from 7.30am on the second Tuesday of alternate months and last around an hour, including a continental breakfast.

All trustees are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Moore Thompson charity specialist Ken Maggs at