Guest blog by @Juliekhutchison – Reflecting on #trusteehour #1
When @Weavermiles and I had the idea to facilitate a twitter platform for charity trustees and try this during Trustees’ Week, we didn’t know what to expect. Would we spend the hour replying to each other’s tweets, with no-one else joining the @trusteehour conversation?
Soon after 8pm on 15th November, it was clear we needn’t have worried. It was great to watch the themes develop, with the main limitation being how quickly my laptop would refresh after multiple notifications.
It’s worth going back to look again at the #trusteehour thread, as the volume of posts in that hour meant it was impossible to get a full appreciation of the range of comments and weblinks being shared in real time.
This blog will shed light on neglected gems you may have missed and shares weblinks from the thread as further resources.
It’s also another way to share the contributions with a wider audience.
There was a spike of almost 5,000 impressions/views of tweets around the first #trusteehour, with contributors from Saudi Arabia (hi @JohnLoughton!), Northern Ireland, Cumbria, Wales, a cluster of contributors in Edinburgh and Glasgow and points south too.
The theme, nominated by @GISALEGEND, was the ‘importance of board diversity & young trustees’. Here are 10 things which stood out on my re-reading of the thread:
- Student union trustees – a reminder this is an example of young trusteeship in action.
- Is the message right? Is the concept of altruism a strong enough ‘pull’ factor?
- Language could be a barrier. Is the word “volunteer” more meaningful than “trustee”?
- There was some good advocacy from charity CEOs and vice-chairs with boards that already include younger trustees; positive to see. A shout out to @lauradavies24 @IMcLaughlan and @Louisemac for contributing.
- The need for listening and being aware that, to some degree, we’re talking among ourselves: as @sallyld put it “What are we doing to engage young people in THIS conversation”
- Recruitment methods act as a barrier, if word-of-mouth perpetuates ‘more of the same’ around the boardtable.
- Timing of meetings acts as a barrier: holding board meetings outside working hours may make participation easier.
- Employers could be enablers: volunteering leave was mentioned as a helpful factor.
- Experience shared by Northern Ireland contributors of their board apprentice scheme, in its first year – this could be an interesting pilot to try in other locations
- Giving a voice to young trustees: I’ll end with two tweets which stood out for me, after a plug for the next #trusteehour on Tuesday 12th December 8-9pm, when the nominated topic is ‘Let’s talk digital leadership & digital inclusion for trustees, employees, volunteers & our service users.’
- Civil Society news story on boards not reflecting the communities charities serve, 13th November 2017
- Get on Board Competency Pathway, Weaver, Brodie & Hutchison (2017)
- Young trustee case study (age 28), Girlguiding
- Millennials can be charity trustees too, Chiene & Tait blog, 15th November 2017
- Blog from NCVO on storytelling and language, in particular about ‘the board of volunteers who run the charity’
- Podcast ‘Take a Chance on me’, When X Doesn’t Mark the Spot, Bite Size Lessons in Young Leadership, 7 November 2017
Blog by Julie Hutchison
Founding Editor of @InformedTrustee
20 November 2017