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Report: The looming crisis in charity trustee recruitment

By Getting-On-Board, May 15 2017 02:10PM

Getting on Board’s research has found how poor practices are damaging UK charity effectiveness, and identified simple steps to improve things.

Our report, out on 16 May 2017, has found that outdated and unprofessional trustee recruitment practices are seriously threatening the efficacy of charities in the UK. There is a disparity between the number of British adults who say that they would be interested in being on a charity’s board and the large proportion of charities who report finding trustee recruitment difficult.

Key issues identified include the low levels of charities advertising their vacancies in the media and high levels recruiting simply through word-of-mouth. Few charities surveyed believed that their charity was well equipped to meet strategic needs in the coming years, and a disturbingly high number thought that their boards were not representative of the communities that they serve.

With increasing demand on charities to fill gaps in public service provision, board composition is increasingly under focus by funders. Also, crucially, we believe that more professional trustee recruitment leads to more effective boards. This enables charities to deliver a better quality of service to their clients.

The urgent need to identify new ways to professionalise trustee recruitment is not an intractable problem. Getting on Board has identified four areas in which ‘quick wins’ can be made, along with a list of key recommendations for further actions for charities, umbrella bodies in the sector, government, employers and funders.

For a full copy of the report please download it by clicking on the report cover to the right, or email /

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