By Hazel Finney, Lead – Volunteering, October 2017
Back in April, I wrote a blog highlighting the key points from the House of Lords’ report, ‘Stronger charities for a stronger community‘. One of these points was the importance of having a diverse range of skill sets on Trustee Boards.
With Trustees’ Week (13-17 November) fast approaching, now is an excellent time to take stock of your Board and work out if there are any skills’ gaps. We might be in a digital age, but I find that the best way of doing this is sitting down with the Board and systematically completing a skills’ audit. This is one time when the old-fashioned flipchart stands head and shoulders above any digital device!
Reach out for great resources!
Reach Volunteering, one of Community Impact Bucks’ (CIB) partners, has a Knowledge Centre packed with information for organisations looking to enhance their Boards; this includes a downloadable skills’ audit, model role descriptions, and 4 top tips for recruiting great Trustees. Reach also runs a highly successful Trustee recruitment service called TrusteeWorks, which is free to charities with a turnover of less than £1m. Having placed over 2,000 trustees since the service started in 2009, they must be doing something right!
As Janet Thorne, Reach Volunteering’s CEO, says: “Reach is a great way to find trustees. We attract a broad range of people who want to share their expertise and many are actively looking for trustee positions. You can promote your role to this community of volunteers, and beyond through our partnerships with LinkedIn, businesses and others. You can also search for people who look like a great fit and approach them directly. Flattery can work wonders! Charities tell us that the trustees that they recruit through our service make a really positive difference to their Boards, so I’d encourage you to give it a try.”
If you advertise your Trustee roles with Reach, you will also benefit from the added bonus of having them streamed live on Volunteering Bucks, CIB’s online portal for volunteers in Buckinghamshire.
Building Boards for a Digital Age
The House of Lords’ report also stresses the importance of bringing on-board Trustees with digital skills. And, in the words of Sarah Atkinson from the Charity Commission, “Digital trustees can contribute significantly to making sure Boards have the skills they need.”
Visit the Digital Boards’ section of Reach’s website for everything you need to build a Board for the digital age.
How CIB can help
If you’d prefer to sit down with someone face-to-face, then help is at hand! On 7 November I am running a CPD-accredited afternoon workshop at our office in Monks Risborough on How to Find New Trustees, and on 14 November, an advice surgery in Beaconsfield. Places at the advice surgery are FREE and confidential – they go fast, so book your slot whilst you can!
Finally, winter might be creeping upon us, but if you set some time aside now to plan for the future of your Board, you will hopefully be able to benefit from new growth and renewal before too long!