A Guide to Becoming a Charity Trustee

If you have led a successful life in business, you may believe that you would make a suitable trustee of a charity. At gpfm, we offer a number of services to help charity trustees such as explaining trustee obligation, risk management and potential investment advice, but before we offer our services, let’s explain the fundamentals of being a charity trustee so that you can decide whether it is suitable for you before you invest more time.

What is a charity trustee?

In a sentence, a trustee is somebody – or a group – who have overall control of a charity. Their main role is to ensure that the charity is doing what it was established to do, and so in a sense, the role is a decision-making role that informs the charity in its day-to-day operations.  Trustees might also be known by a range of other names:

  • Committee members
  • Directors
  • Board members
  • Governors 

A trustee is a very senior position in an organisation, with the decisions you make impacting the charity’s members – and the wider community.


To become the trustee of a charity, you need to meet a set of eligibility criteria:

  1. You need to be at least 16 years old to become a trustee of a charity that is a company or a charitable incorporated organisation, or at least 18 to be a trustee of any other sort of charity.
  1. To be appointed, you need to follow the procedures and restrictions in the charity’s governing document.
  1. You cannot be trustee if you are disqualified under the Charities Act, which includes the following if you:
  • have an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception (such as fraud)
  • are bankrupt or have entered into a formal arrangement (e.g. an individual voluntary arrangement) with a creditor
  • have been removed as a company director or charity trustee because of wrongdoing

To learn more about the specific responsibilities of a charity trustee, we recommend that you take a look at the Government’s official page, which goes into detail on the 6 main duties of trustees.

Once you are ready to take your first step, get in touch with one of our financial planners. We are fully qualified to ensure you meet your obligations in relation to the Trustee Act 2000, and guarantee you fulfill your legal duties and responsibilities.

Contact us today on 01992 500 261, or get in touch with us online through our quick and simple form here.

This article is for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions. Investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.