Charity trustees are the people who have the general control and management of a charity’s administration: in short, they are ultimately responsible for the charity. Charity trustees can have a number of names including governors, board members, directors and members of the management committee. Some charities may make a false distinction between trustees and other committee members but any individual engaged in the governance of the charity is de-facto a trustee, whether or not the Charity Commission has been notified of their appointment. Becoming a charity trustee for the first time can be both an exciting opportunity and a daunting prospect when it comes to understanding your duties and responsibilities.
It’s important that it is intended to be an illustrative summary of the potential personal liabilities associated with becoming the trustee of a charity, and the extent to which such liabilities might be covered by company incorporation and insurance. This is only a summary, and it deals with complex issues. If you have queries, we have signposted you to further reading or you could seek professional advice. There will be other organisational liabilities to consider when you are a trustee, but this guide does not consider these.