Charity Insurance Tips - 6 Key Legal Duties for Charity Trustees
In an effort to provide heightened clarity of the duties and responsibilities for Charity Trustees, in July 2015 the Charity Commission updated its guidance on the administrative and legal duties which should reasonably be expected of those undertaking this role.
Whilst adhering to the six key guidelines below cannot guarantee that trustees will not be subject to Trustees Indemnity Insurance claims under a Charity Insurance policy, they will certainly help in reducing exposure as well as assisting in defence of any action which may be raised.
6 Key Trustees Duties
#1 Make Sure That Your Charity Activities & Actions Have a Clear Public Benefit
Trustees and officers should clearly and concisely outline the charity’s programmes and how they will further the charity’s goals and, in turn, benefit the public.
#2 Compliance With The Law and Your Charity’s Governing Document
Trustees have a duty to ensure that details on the charity’s register are kept up to date, and that a charity is compliant with the governing documentation and any relevant laws.
#3 Acting in The Charity’s Best Interests
Trustees should make clear and informed decisions that allow a charity to achieve its primary goals. All trustees also carry a duty of care to ensure that conflict does not arise with his or her personal interests, nor should a trustee receive any sort of benefit from his or her position.
#4 Responsibly Managing Charity Resources
All Trustees should ensure that any decisions are prudent and do not overcommit the charity and that inappropriate risks are not undertaken. Clear safeguards should be put in place to ensure that all decisions are financially responsible. A trustee may be found liable if his or her actions should lead to a financial loss and claims under your Trustees Indemnity Insurance.
#5 Act with Skill and Reasonable Care
Acting as a Trustee brings a wealth of responsibility and is not a position to be taken on lightly. Before accepting the role, a trustee should ensure that they have enough time and energy to commit to their role. This should ensure that the charity can benefit from your experience and knowledge. As a trustee you may be found liable if a third party has a legal claim against the charity which the charity cannot meet.
#6 Charity Accountability
Another key duty of trustees is to demonstrate that the charity is compliant, effective, and that its members are accountable.
Where Can I Find More Information
Full details on the duties and responsibilities of Trustees can be found on the Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/charity-trustee-whats-involved. Becoming a trustee can be a hugely rewarding experience, but before accepting a position it is important to fully understand and commit to the role itself.
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