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blog • Resource

How can aspiring young trustees get involved?

Megan Raybould

14 August 2020

Find out how aspiring young trustees can be supported, build their network and find opportunities.

Young people have the power to shake up boards, enable better decision making and help them become more future proof.

We are working with boards to create inclusive opportunities for young people. We’d love aspiring young trustees to be part of this change and find a trustee opportunity they love!

This post outlines how aspiring young trustees can be part of the movement.

Why should I get involved?

Young trusteeship is an incredible experience that will boost your career and give the opportunity to develop a range of skills.

We’ve chatted with lots of young trustees about what they have gained from their experience. Here’s just just a few of their answers:

Leon ward – “I think the greatest reward is that I know that I’m making a difference and the number of young trustees is going up.”

Carys Thomas: “For me, it’s the sense of pride that I get from being a part of something that I care about so much. And being able to look at an organization I have admired for years and think I’m part of and think: “yeah, I’ve got something to do with that”.

Svetlana Leu: “The greatest reward from my role as a trustee has been, to be part of a team that champions this much needed work of increasing diversity in the sector.”

Ellie Harding: “Ten out of ten: friendships.There is such a sense of: we are all in this together.”

Ellie Harding: “Ten out of ten: friendships.There is such a sense of: we are all in this together.”

You can read their blog in full here.

How can I get involved?

There are 3 main ways to get involved:

  1. Develop ‘muscles’ to be a trustee
  2. Find a role
  3. Share your story

Develop muscles to be a trustee

To be a good trustee, you need to be curious. Being curious is a muscle and one you can develop before you become a trustee.

There are also lots of different skills that are useful to have in a boardroom. Certain boards will be looking for people with different skills, experiences and abilities. Are there skills you could develop in advance of taking on a trustee role, perhaps a volunteer role could be a good stepping stone to becoming a trustee.

While trustee roles can be really exciting and great places to grow your career and develop your skills – it’s worth remembering that they are also big commitments.

For some people, a trustee role might be the natural next step, for others it might be something you are working towards and want to take on in the next couple of years. Wherever you are in your journey – you’re welcome in this movement – we’re here to support you.

Find a role

When you feel ready, start looking for a trustee role. You’ll want to think about what sort of trustee role is right for you. We’ve got resources to help you find a trustee role, and how to know if it’s right for you. Take a look below at all the resources available.

Share your story

When members of our movement share their stories, they inspire others.

We’d love to share your story. You don’t need to wait until you’re appointed to share your experience, if you’d like to share your trustee journey with us you can do that – it doesn’t matter where in the journey you are if you’ve got something you’d like to share.

You can fill in this form and we’ll get back to you when we’re able to publish it.

We know that sometimes things are difficult and you may want to share your story with us anonymously. If you have an experience that you think would be beneficial to share with other movement members, but that you don’t want attributed to you, you can email it to meg@thesocialchangeagency.org and she’ll publish it anonymously.

Get inspired by other movement members here.

You’re not in this alone – we are a movement

How can you help support me to achieve my #trusteegoals?

There are lots of ways we can support you on your journey from resources we’ve designed, to the digital hub as a platform to share questions and ideas with other young people. Register on the digital hub to get access to all the resources below.

Resources

Events

In September we’ll launch a monthly drop in for aspiring young trustees. Subscribe to our eventbrite page to be notified about events.

Groups

Join your regional group on the hub and get to know your ambassador. If you’d like to get more involved in campaigning you can reach out to your ambassador and find out about becoming a champion.

Course

In September we’ll be launching a course for aspiring young trustees – register your interest here to be the first to find out when we launch applications.

Post in the digital hub

There are more than 600 members on the digital hub, and we are forming a community that’s here to support you. We’ve created the Give and Ask section for this very purpose!

Who is responsible for making boardrooms more inclusive spaces?

The burden of change is not on you. As a young person, joining a board may in itself make waves and change the culture of the boardroom for the better. However, the responsibility to create inclusive and supportive practices is on the board itself.

We exist because charity boards desperately need young people’s perspectives.

Greater boardroom diversity is a crucial method for improving the long term prospects of charitable organisations and the sector as a whole. Diverse perspectives increase a charity’s ability to navigate uncertainty, future proof decisions and reflect the interests of their communities. Diversity of perspectives come from diversity of lived experiences; as an aspiring young trustee, you are part of the change that is much needed in the charity sector.

However it is important to note that responsibility to create inclusive boardroom cultures, and the practices to enable this, falls on boards collectively – not on the individuals who are most likely to experience exclusion.

When faced with a situation that is not fair, or discriminates against you, what you choose to do is up to you. You might decide that you want to:

  • Campaign to change it e.g. speaking to the Chair of the board
  • Ask allies to support you e.g. ask other members of the board to support you
  • Not take up the role or leave that board – you are not a failure for deciding to walk away.

Any choice you make is valid and up to what feels most comfortable and right for you. Those with power, hold the responsibility to create change.

When is it my responsibility to create change?

All aspiring young trustees do not have the same experiences, barriers and identities. Therefore we can in one circumstance experience exclusion and inequality, and in another circumstance be the one contributing to it. If we are contributing to it, it is our responsibility to change it.

To change this, is to commit to understanding our own privilege and creating inclusive spaces for others, where we have the power to do so. This is a journey that requires continuous learning and commitment.

(If you are wondering what this means – a great place to start is by understanding intersectionality – see this link for more info).

This movement is made up of its members! Aspiring young trustees play such an important role in the movement.

If you have any questions or need support about any of the topics or ideas in this post – get in touch!

Become an ambassador

Young people are at the heart of our movement. Ambassadors act as spokes people for the movement, they take a leading role in creating the strategy and help to facilitate other young people to be involved.

Book a Training Session

Join a 1 hour training session to understand the power of young trustees, have a framework to understand how to approach board diversity and take practical next steps.