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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V W Y

The duties and responsibilities of charity trustees

The duties and responsibilities of charity trustees

Charity trustees are the people who have the general control and management of a charity’s administration. Regardless of a charity’s size, it is the trustees who are ultimately responsible for the charity. The board of trustees of a charity may be referred to in some cases by different titles, such as a management committee, a governing body or directors.

The Charity Commission estimates that there are approximately 850,000 charity trustees in England and Wales. Whilst charity trusteeship can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, it does come with various legal duties and responsibilities that all trustees should be aware of.

The trustees of a charity have an irreducible primary duty to advance the charitable purposes of the charity. A number of further core duties flow from this (such as the duties of compliance, prudence and care) and there are then more specific duties that apply in particular circumstances, such as in the disposal of charity land.

The failure to comply with these duties can have consequences, including regulatory interventions by the Charity Commission and in the most serious cases, trustees can be held personally liable for the repayment of losses arising from non-compliance.

Ensuring compliance with these duties is always a factor in the advice given by our Charity Law solicitors. However, we can provide specific advice as to trustees’ duties in particular circumstances and in relation to the exercise of trustees’ powers.

In addition to this, Stephen Claus has developed a generic trustee training course that is held at our offices at regular intervals. Please see our events pages for details of our next course. We can also work with your charity to deliver bespoke trustee training sessions that focus more specifically on the activities and structure of your particular organisation.

Charities Newsletter

Our team of Charity solicitors publish a quarterly newsletter covering the latest legal news and developments in the world of Charities and Social Enterprises. To find out more please visit the CSE News page in the Publications section.

Charity Blog

Our Charity Law Solicitors regularly write blogs on issues affecting the sector, click here to read our Charity Law blog.

Useful downloads

Charities and Social Enterprises leaflet

Charities - Services for the Non-Domiciled Philanthropist

 

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