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Two thirds (66%) of charities say they are actively looking to recruit trustees from more diverse backgrounds, a new survey from Ecclesiastical has found.
The specialist charity insurer carried out the research ahead of Trustee Week (1-5 November) and found that while trustee referrals are still the most popular method of recruitment (48%), charities are increasingly using social media to reach a wider audience.
Over two fifths (44%) of charities are using social media to advertise vacancies on their boards, almost as popular as using their own website (46%).
LinkedIn (67%), Twitter (58%) and Facebook (55%) are the most commonly used recruitment platforms, but 18% are making use of TikTok to appeal to a younger audience with their advertisements.
Three out of five (60%) charities using social media said that they use paid for or sponsored advertisements to target specific audiences.
Understanding of the needs of the charity’s beneficiaries (45%) and bringing new skills to the board (44%) ranked as the most important attributes when recruiting trustees, followed by professional qualifications (35%) network of contacts (34%) and status in the community (31%).
Charities have faced a challenging 18 months with increased demand and reduced budgets, and half of respondents said they found it more difficult to recruit trustees in that time.
Over two fifths (44%) said that one way of encouraging trustees from a wider range of ages, backgrounds and communities was to promote the benefits of being a trustee more widely, while 44% suggested encouraging more flexibility around board meetings. Two in five (40%) said that training for charity boards promoting the benefits of diversity could also benefit.
Faith Kitchen, customer segment director at Ecclesiastical, said: “Trustee Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the amazing work charity trustees across the country do.
“It’s also an opportunity to encourage new people to get involved and its clear from this survey that charities are already working hard to reach new audiences and to improve the diversity on their boards.
“By encouraging trustees from a wider range of ages, backgrounds and communities charities can bring in new ideas, identify different opportunities and safeguard against potential risks they’re not currently sighted on.”
Penny Wilson, CEO at Getting on Board, said: “That two thirds of charities say they are actively looking to recruit trustees from more diverse backgrounds feels like a real step forward towards diverse boards becoming the sector standard.
“However it’s not just about getting people onto boards; we need to make sure that our board policies and procedures, and ultimately board culture is supportive of people who have been previously under-represented so that they are able to fully utilize their skills, experience and knowledge once in the role.
“The training events and discussions taking place during Trustees Week, including Getting on Board’s own Festival of Trusteeship which Ecclesiastical is sponsoring, is a brilliant opportunity for all charities to engage in these important issues.”
More information about Getting On Board’s Festival of Trusteeship can be found at www.gettingonboard.org