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Charity Trustees And Inspiring The Next Generation

It’s no great mystery that young people have had it tough for the past few years. Whether that is through the disruption of their education, employment and support systems, or the increase of the cost of living which has both a direct and indirect effect on young people getting involved in extra-curricular activities, such as charity work. 

How do we break down barriers for young people to become charity trustees? 

Breaking down the barriers for young people to become charity trustees is vital for the longevity of a charity. Passing knowledge and skills on to the next generations can ensure the charity is around for a long time to come. There are several barriers individually which might deter young people from getting more involved with a charity, just some of them are listed here along with ways of breaking those barriers down. 

Time commitments and expectations

Time is an issue for all ages which can equally apply for young people, whether that is due to their education or employment, or perhaps a perceived barrier that the commitment required to act as a charity trustee would be greater than the time they have available. Being clear from the outset on time expectations and offering alternative roles or responsibilities which require more, or less, commitment working around a young person’s availability. Being as proactive as possible with dates and times for board meetings and other trustee commitments will likely result in the best attendance for a particular meeting or event and will allow the young trustee to feel more in control of their commitment to the charity.

Understanding of the role and the skills the young people can bring

Understanding what it takes to be a trustee can often be difficult to gauge. Setting out clearly the expectations of a charity for a young person in the role can help provide a well-defined message on what is in store for them, and the benefits they can expect from being a charity trustee. 

They might perceive the role to be outside their current skills and experience without appreciating the asset they would be to the board. Young people are digitally native and ensuring your website or marketing materials are updated with details of the role of a trustee, the requirements and the responsibilities which come with the role will mean you reach a wider audience of potential young trustees and improve the accessibility of such a role - involving young volunteers in that work will help! 

 A pathway to becoming a trustee

Whilst it may not be appropriate for a young person to step straight into the role of charity trustee, it may be possible for them to follow pathways leading to the role one day.  Early engagement with all young contributors to a charity is an investment in potential future trustees.   Experienced gained through education, extra-curricular activities can all lead to a young person gaining relevant and positive experience which they can use in their role as charity trustee. It’s also an opportunity for established charities to learn from and recognise the many benefits which can come from engaging with young people who express any interest in their work.   A joined-up approach with local schools, after-school clubs and extra-curricular clubs can allow young people the ability and the chance to gain the long-term skills and experience required to act as a charity trustee. 

If you would like advice on how to ensure your charity can support and encourage young people into the role of trustee, please get in touch with our specialist team. 

How we can help

For more support on becoming a trustee and our Charity and Philanthropy expertise please contact Matthew Briggs.

Article produced by Matthew Briggs and Emily Wentworth.