In recent years there has been a lot of research on the benefits of volunteering, both on a personal and professional level and there is even compelling research suggesting that it is literally good for our health. Trusteeship is a unique form of volunteering and brings its own distinct brand of challenge and reward.
1. Contributing to a great cause
There’s no doubt that being a trustee is one of the most powerful ways in which you can contribute to your local community or to a cause you really care about. As a trustee, you play an integral part in the good governance of a charity, not only ensuring that the organisation remains viable and sustainable but ensuring that it adheres closely to its mission and works in the interests of its beneficiaries.
2. Strategic experience
Strategic experience can be hard to come by in the work place and it can often take decades to find yourself in a role which requires strategic oversight. Trusteeship is a fantastic way of getting a head start on this, at once giving you the opportunity to develop and hone your critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills as well as developing vital strategic sensibilities and team working skills.
3. Professional networks
Surrounding yourself with a wide variety of professional contacts is one of the best things you can do for your career. Ensuring that you have access to good people from diverse professional backgrounds can be useful on so many levels. Being a trustee can open up your professional network in all kinds of unforeseen and advantageous ways that will only become clear once you have taken the leap!
4. Developing skills and experience
Being a trustee can be a very interesting experience, not least because it allows you to adapt and apply everything you have learned in your day job to an entirely new context. Through trusteeship you can gain a clearer idea of your own professional strengths and weaknesses whilst simultaneously learning altogether new skills.
5. Team working
It is often the case that so called ‘soft skills’ are eclipsed by a charity’s requirement to have a well rounded set of skills in the board room. However, communication and people skills are just as important and, in some cases, more so. The ability to collaborate effectively with others, to constructively challenge the ideas of fellow trustees as well as those of the CEO and senior management is essential to ensuring that the board’s strategic decisions are scrutinised and tested before being implemented. Negotiating, empathising, listening and clearly communicating ideas and concerns are huge factors in this process and often help to set the tone and culture of board meetings.
Becoming a trustee is a fantastic and fascinating way to engage in the charity sector. It’s a role which will give back just as much as you put in and often much, much more. Though often challenging, trusteeship will reward the adventurous and ambitious with a wealth of personal and professional skills and connections which will stand you in good stead throughout your career whilst empowering you with a new sense of purpose and prospect.
For full details on the recruitment of new trustees at Kiplin Hall & Gardens visit our webpage or call James Etherington, Director, for an informal discussion (01748 818178). The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 24 February 2020.