Becoming a charity trustee isn’t just for people who’ve been there, done that. It could help younger people get a leg up the career ladder.
One in four of the UK’s smaller charities and one in five larger charities are struggling to recruit enough trustees.
They need the experience and support of capable, well-connected people who can help guide the work they do and to guide and manage the organisation.
The benefits to the charities are clear, but what’s in it for the individual trustee? With young trustees in high demand, how can a busy professional justify the time and energy to volunteer for a charity when their focus is on their own careers?
Being a trustee is an excellent way to develop your management and leadership skills and gain experience that can help you progress your professional career.
It allows you to get great experience of a board-type position, and to meet some fascinating people who you wouldn’t necessarily come across in other circumstances. Attend events and develop working relationships with other professionals.
Trustees have great opportunities to cut their teeth in leadership, championing a project, being responsible for a hard-working team, working directly with organisational leaders.
Through trusteeship, professionals can develop transferable skills that make interesting differentiators on their CV’s.
There are advantages for the employers too. Encouraging staff to take up a Trustee role supports their own desire to give back and helps them develop their skills and expand their networks which can often reap rewards within their full-time role.
As public funding continues to suffer with cuts, the UK’s charities are under increasing pressure to support our most vulnerable communities. Anyone over 18 years old can become a Charity Trustee and there are even some opportunities possible for those over 16.
A study by the Charity Commission has shown that less than three percent of charities have a Trustee under the age of thirty.
Yet it’s many of the qualities that younger professionals can bring that are most urgently needed in the not-for-profit sector today: technological savvy, flexibility and entrepreneurial flair.
Find out more about being a Young Trustee at www.youngtrusteesmovement.org/