Charity Trustees

It is also important to be aware of the responsibilities involved in setting up and becoming a trustee of a charity, whether it be of your own charity or becoming a trustee of an existing one. Although rewarding, being a trustee is hard, usually unpaid work, and will often require you to have or develop skills in people management, strategic planning, administration and public speaking amongst others.

Trustees are responsible for ensuring that their charity is solvent, complaint with Charity Law, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for which it has been set up. Anyone over 18 can be a trustee although those who have been disqualified as company directors or convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or deception cannot usually become Trustees. In some cases, if you a beneficiary of the charity in question, you may also be prevented form being a trustee of that charity.

If your new charity is expected to have an income of more than £5,000 if the current Charities Bill becomes law in its present form), you are required by law to register with the Charity Commission. To do so, a new charity needs to identify and describe its “objects” and draw up governing documents that describe how it will operate. Models of both are available from the Charity Commission's website. On an ongoing basis, there are also legal requirements for charities to maintain records and accounts and produce annual reports for the charity commission and the public.

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