Preparing New Trustees for Fundraising Governance.

Fundraising has had an ‘interesting’ few years – and it has been particularly so for trustees. The aftermath of the Etherington report and Parliamentary reports on fundraising and Kids Company did not make easy reading for trustees used to thinking about fundraising mostly in terms of allocated budgets and income monitoring.  In 2016 the Charity Commission revised their fundraising governance recommendations in CC20, with the Fundraising Regulator referencing awareness and adherence to CC20 a regulatory matter.  The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) will soon be a year old.  And, of course, the Information Commissioner has been busy too, not only concluding a series of long-running investigations into a number of charities – with many fines well documented.

As we moved into 2018 the pace of change for trustees has not abated.  Organisations will have been asking trustees to make decisions about data protection policies. The Fundraising Regulator has brought GDPR inspired changes to 13 out of the 20 Codes of Fundraising Practice.

This weight of scrutiny could easily reduce the numbers of people willing to take on trustee roles.  Trustee Boards should therefore be considering how they can nurture and build confidence and competence in their new Board recruits.  In the light of the developments for fundraising governance, some first steps should include:

  1. Dedicated fundraising inductions. Ensure the Chair or another experienced trustee walks them through the CC20 principles and how they are practiced in your charity.  An induction with the fundraising director is essential too, building understanding of the fundraising function and where governance and executive control touch.
  2. Encourage trustees to be donors (at affordable levels). Don’t ring fence them in the database. Experiencing the supporter journeys planned for donors will give Board members great insight into how you fundraise.
  3. Ensure new trustees meet donors – and not just major donors – during their first few months. This exposure will inspire and humble them.  The experience will show them the passion and commitment that drives support for your cause.  Of course, they should meet programme people and beneficiaries too.  It will be through the meeting of both supporters and beneficiaries that they will be able to balance the needs of both in Board deliberations – and bring the fruits of those deliberations to discussions about planning and budget allocations.

Assuring potential new trustees that you have a sound process for their induction and development will do much to reassure candidates – and ensure that your Board has the skill sets it needs.

Whether you need an initial ‘get up to speed’ briefing for your Board, a half day ‘fundraising 101’ for Trustees, or a full day workshop with a delegated fundraising oversight group, talk to us.  And of course, we can tailor a session for your needs.  Find out more here.

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