reflecting on #trusteehour 12 ‘Should charity trustees be paid, or should the role remain voluntary?’

 12 took place in November, with a theme selected by students – ‘Should charity trustees be paid, or should the role remain voluntary?’

 kicked off the hour with a poll on the question posed. 86% of participants agreed that the role should remain voluntary which dominated the conversation with some thoughts on the influence of rumuneration and whether this would attract different voices into the sector. @BCharitable also provided a useful context to the discussion by recognising the professionalism of the sector and that the contribution of trustees should be recognised, encouraged and supported. 

There were a number of threads/points raised:

  • whether rumuneration would attract more younger trustees  ( or even attract trustees with a genuine interest in the cause and desire to drive the organisation forward (
  • (unpaid) board with all the legal duties & risk and (paid) executives without directly the same duties & risk @BCharitable
  • different dynamics between the CEO and the relationships with the rest of the board 

There were many comments that training should be mandatory to improve standards of governance (@Menai_OJ) and removing of barriers such as travel and other expenses being made available without stigma (). @Sus_Hunter20 also noted that timing for meetings is important so that trustees that are in work (comment made in the context of #youngtrustees) don’t lose income or have to take leave to attend. suggested that it is important to promote the positive impact that  involvement can have on an individual as well as an organisation.

Maybe making training mandatory when taking up the role of #trustee would help standards of governance, instead of paying trustees. I suppose the question is, what are we trying to achieve by paying trustees? #trusteehour

— Menai Owen-Jones (@Menai_OJ) October 17, 2018

@maltdub posed a very interesting thought that aroused some debate:

@weavermiles saw the merit in the principle but commented that you need to be paying tax for this model to work. Yet we want more young people, to attract all earning levels and of course, the majority of the trustees are retired.

A key theme that re-occurs each month is the need for training and a good induction:

One way of supporting this is to encourage more organisations to have a policy on volunteering and talking up #SkilledVolunteering. Trusteeship being the ultimate of skilled volunteering?  supported this by suggesting that corporates can do more to allow time to support volunteering. Effectively, the worker is paid but can gain new skills and experiences too in the form of a trusteeship. 

Another suggestion focused around a unitary board model, like the ones seen in the corporate world. This would mean the trustees would act in the same way as the non-executive directors.

Let’s finish on a positive note: #reachout. @YLSSarahRobbo did and she was pleasantly surprised with the responses that she received:

Next on Tue 13th Nov 7-8pm is a special collaboration with looking at what trustees need to know and do about Safeguarding.

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