Legal duties

The main legal duties for trustees of registered charities are laid down by the various Charities Acts in the UK and by the charity regulators. The key duties are to:

  • ensure the charity is carrying out its purposes for the public benefit
  • comply with the charity’s constitution and the law
  • manage the charity’s resources responsibly
  • act with reasonable care and skill
  • act collectively
  • ensure the charity is accountable.

There is a lot of guidance available on these issues (for example via National Council for Voluntary Organisations in England (see NCVO, 2015)) and the different charity regulators for the UK. The Wales Council for Voluntary Action also offers specific information and guidance. So if you are keen to become a trustee you might want to do some further reading (see the References at the end of this section). The charity you want to get involved with would also hopefully have information available.

Who are trustees and what are their main responsibilities?

Why be a trustee?