How does your Board stack up?

Gavin Davey, Director of BTA Consultancy

How does your Board stack up?

The stereotypical charity board member is male, professional and retired. How would you measure up against gender balancing or reflecting societal demographics?

Having a board with the right mix of Trustees who have the necessary skills and experience is critical to a charity’s success, especially in these challenging times. You should consider carefully if your Charity Board is correctly constituted and trained? When did you last do some collective training?

Carrying out a regular Board Skills Audit would be a useful first step. Once you are aware of the skills you require, it would help you to assess what type of Trustee you need, and when. Look ahead so you anticipate your charity’s succession planning requirements too.

What is the average age of your Board members? There are young professionals who are eminently suited to Board positions – they could bring a different perspective and dynamic, especially if your charity provides for young people.

Are you a company with a proactive people strategy or committed to a CSR policy which aims to benefit the community? Why not let your aspiring senior and middle managers spend their ‘company volunteer time’ contributing to a charity Board? It’s a win-win: better staff for you – stronger boards for charities – more resilient communities.

There are high-grade candidates out there who can add strength and depth to your Board. You may be surprised but there are experienced professionals looking for their next challenge and wanting to give something back.

This is more than food for thought – it is what the Regulator expects of all charities.