Charity Trustee Responsibilities

24 April 2015

Those who are Trustees of large national charities tend these days to be well supported by formal training programmes and are probably well up to speed with the responsibilities which they face in carrying out their roles. However, if like so many others you are a volunteer trustee of a local charity without significant resources or access to professional staff, how do you keep abreast of the increasingly complex demands imposed on you by statute and regulation?

The Charity Commission has been working hard in recent months to improve the range and quality of the advice which is available online. It is in the closing stages of a consultation on updates to its “core guidance” to trustees, covering those obligations which (to quote) “apply to all trustees, at all times, in all situations”. “The essential trustee: what you need to know” is available for download from the GOV.UK website. You can find this by searching “essential trustee” in the search function on their homepage.

For those who need deeper interpretation or advice on more complex situations (for example, the sale of land or property by a charity or a charity merger),

Barlow Robbins has a specialist team of charities lawyers who understand how charities operate and who are familiar with the current trends and pressures within the sector. We have recently:

  • acted for a well-known local educational charity in a highly-sensitive merger with another educational charity;
  • advised an international wildlife charity in relation to its financial regulation;
  • delivered trustee training for an umbrella body supporting local charities and on a bespoke basis for individual charities.

We hold a range of events for trustees and charity professionals throughout the year. The most recent of these was our Annual Charity Forum, where we were joined by Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, founder of ChildLine and, most recently The Silverline. The next will be a “Governance Workshop” on 22 June; if that is of interest, please do let us know.

For further advice on the above topics, please call us on 01483 543210 or alternatively email