Monday, April 18, 2011

Trustee session at the Annual Meeting

Thanks to all 70 of you who turned up to Derek McAuley's and my session on trustees yesterday morning. It was encouraging to hear the amount of expertise that we do have in our community. Clearly the big issue that vexes many people is about holding trustees and (managing) trustees - if you look back to three of my posts in February of this year - see the archives at the right-hand side of this blog - you will see a debate that Derek and I had about this matter following an article that he’d written in the Unitarian.

So let's get practical .... if you need to change things then first people within your congregation have to be committed to understanding the issue; and second you have to find a way to make real what your governing document** and charity law say. If you have holding trustees who have been making all the decisions when they have no powers conferred on them by the governing document** then it may take a bit of time to sort things out.

(** Governing document is the generic term for the document which provides the rules for the running of a charity – it may be a constitution for an unincorporated association, it may be articles and memorandum of association for a company or it may be a trust deed for a trust.)

The first step? Have a look at your constitution and get a real sense of what it says and then read it through several more times :)

As I said yesterday I would encourage people to seek out their local Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) and join that. Then make full use of their services. However just one caution - my experience is that they are generally good at the basic stuff but less good on property matters and less less good on listed building matters - which may or may not matter.

Then create an action plan ... my next post will be about how to do this.

I am happy to point people in the right direction for advice and to help where I can but it is difficult to offer specific support at a distance - so do make the links locally. Many CVSs also offer training sessions for a small fee or free.

If people would like a longer session on such things do let me know and perhaps we can organise something.

P.S. Volleyball went very well and I managed to see ¾ of the match.

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