Training and resources for trustees



You can find detailed information on what trustees need to know on the Charity Commission, the Charity Commission Northern Ireland and OSCR, the Scottish Charity regulator’s websites.

For charities in England and Wales: you should add your trustees emails to the charity register. They will then get a quarterly newsletter called CC News. Trustees can also sign up for weekly updates from the Charity Commission here.

Umbrella bodies, professional bodies, specialist charity organisations

Association of Chairs offers Chairs: a free guide, and to the relationship with the Chief Executive.

Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness offers tools for trustees here.

Chartered Accountants: ICAEW offers tools for trustees in its Charity and Voluntary group, including professional liability insurance for volunteering.

The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) provides free and heavily subsidised training for Trustees all year round and has a range of governance resources available for all as well as the new Essential Trustee video series launched for Trustees Week. These free online videos will help to help promote good governance and ensure Trustees of all charities understand their responsibilities.

ICAS promotes volunteering opportunities to its members and offers charities seeking CAs to act as trustees or in other voluntary roles the opportunity to promote these for free on its website.

ICSA: The Governance Institute is the professional body helping charity leaders to achieve the highest standards of governance. It offers a range of free guidance notes and tools to its subscribers, keeping them informed about the latest developments in charity law and regulation. ICSA provides a wealth of professional development resources including qualifications, events, books and on-going training. To find out more visit the ICSA charity hub.

NCVO offers a range of ongoing training, and consultancy to help ensure trustees understand their roles and are able to govern effectively. In addition NCVO offers a range of tools and resources which are free to its members.

The National Governors’ Association (NGA) has developed several resources to help school trustee boards fulfil their functions effectively. This includes:

Reach Volunteering has a range of resources including: Guide to being a trustee, guide to recruiting a trusteeguide to the legal responsibilities and liabilities of trustees, doing a skills audit and top tips for recruiting a digital trustee

Small Charities Coalition (free to join) offers a range of free governance resources, resources on insurance and risk, and accounts and finance.

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) offers a range of resources, including a handbook and animation, to help trustees to understand their responsibilities when it comes to fundraising.

The Honorary Treasurers Forum helps the important work Honorary Treasurers carry out by providing a place where they can come together as a community, share expertise and promote best practice.

NPC are a charity think tank and consultancy which occupies a unique position at the nexus between charities and funders, helping them achieve the greatest impact they can.

LawWorks’ Not-For-Profits Programme brokers free legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations that provide invaluable support to individuals and communities across England and Wales. LawWorks is pleased to be developing the Programme by introducing the new Honorary Counsel scheme which matches not-for-profit organisations with legal volunteers for longer-term pro bono assistance.

Suffolk Academy for Voluntary Organisations’s low cost online learning.

Volunteer Now has a DIY Committee Code.

Young Charity Trustees supports young people and charities to find each other and campaigns for Board diversity. You can find more on our dedicated page here – and our LinkedIn group is especially active.

In person training

Organisations that train trustees include DSC, NCVO and SCVO, Civil Society MediaCharity Leaders Trustee Academy  and IoD.

There is a special free training programme, Building Resilience, for small London charities run by Small Charities Coalition with City of London Corporation.