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Trustees week 2023

Guest blog from Claire, Relationship Manager, Protect.

Trustees are the unsung heroes who play a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of charitable organisations – but they’re not always in the spotlight for their contributions. We would like to highlight how their collective experiences, insights and decision-making breathe life into our most vital and cherished causes. 

People will choose to become a trustee for many different reasons, but surprisingly not everyone is aware of the wide-ranging responsibilities trustees have. Alongside financial oversight, risk management and ensuring a charity fulfils its purpose trustees also have responsibility for addressing misconduct concerns raised by employees and acting as a steward of the organisation’s ethical and legal standards. You can read more on this on the Charity Commission website. 

Ensuring Ethical Conduct: Trustees are the moral compass of a charity. They are responsible for setting, upholding, and exemplifying the highest ethical standards within the organisation.  

Legal Oversight: Charities and nonprofits are bound by law and regulations. Trustees are charged with ensuring the organisation’s compliance with these legal standards.  

Fostering a Culture of Accountability: Trustees play a pivotal role in promoting a culture of accountability within the organisation. They set the tone for transparency and responsibility. Employees must know that if they raise concerns about misconduct, their voices will be heard, and action will be taken. This culture of accountability is vital for both organisational culture and public trust. 

Handling Employee Concerns: Trustees are often making decisions about the response to whistleblowing concerns, and they should understand how to safeguard a whistleblowers’ confidentiality and protect them from victimisation. 

Upholding the Organisation’s Reputation: The reputation of a charity is one of its most valuable assets. Trustees are there to safeguard this reputation by addressing misconduct swiftly and effectively. By doing so, they ensure an organisation retains the trust and support of donors, volunteers, and the community it serves. 

Protect works with charities and their trustees in a variety of ways including training, consultancy, organisational membership and the benchmarking of whistleblowing arrangements. We are proud to offer trustees whistleblowing training that is specific to their role. Ensuring that they understand their responsibilities and obligations in overseeing their organisation’s whistleblowing arrangements, as well as how to escalate concerns and promote a culture where staff feel empowered to raise concerns. 

Protect runs a specific training courses for trustees led by highly skilled Legal Advisers and members of our expert Advice Team who possess in-depth knowledge of the legal rights and challenges trustees and whistleblowers encounter. We are here to help guide you through the intricacies of this vital subject matter. 

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