Guest blog by The Social Change Agency
Taken on Trust research published by the Charity Commission shows that 92% of trustees in England and Wales have an average age of 55-64 rising to 65-74 in smaller charities.
While older trustees are over-represented in the current landscape of trusteeship the opposite holds true for younger trustees.
This is highlighted by the Charities Aid Foundation, despite making up 12% of Britain’s population, 18-24 year-olds account for less than 0.5% of all charity trustees.
Younger people are a vital part of our society, they offer skills, perspectives and outlook that could give great value to charities and their boards.
This has been recognised by reports published by Roundhouse in 2017 and most recently, in the government’s Civil Society Strategy (2018).
We want to transform the landscape of trusteeship
The Young Trustees Movement was created to challenge and transform the current landscape of trusteeship in England and Wales and to bring new and younger voices to the boardroom.
It aims to catalyse change and to start breaking down the barriers faced by younger people who want to be trustees.
Funded by the Blagrave Trust, this movement takes a systemic approach working with young people, existing trustees, and sector leaders to encourage change so we can grow the numbers of young trustees in England and Wales.
Underlying this is the movement towards fundamentally challenging and changing the perception of what it means to be a leader. What this means is to widen the definition and perception of who a trustee is beyond the traditional view of someone that is at the pinnacle of their career or someone with senior management experience.
This may mean valuing different factors such as age, lived experience, socio-economic background and so on.
Why then is nothing shifting?
To make a change we need your help!
We are interested in your opinions and experience of the journey you took to become a trustee.
It doesn't matter if you are under 26 or over, your opinion is vital for us to understand the experience of trusteeship from an individual perspective - it will inform our work on this project.
If you are a current or former trustee of a registered charity in England or Wales complete our short survey to tell us about your experiences.
We invite all experiences and opinions about having more young people on charity boards, so you can comment below too!
About me and the movement
I am a junior consultant at The Social Change Agency (SCA). We are the leading movement building agency in the UK, specialising in creating and harnessing powerful human centred networks and movements for social impact.
For more information about the movement so far you can read my other blogs:
If you are interested in keeping up to date you can sign up for the latest news on the Young Trustees project. The news is managed and issued by The Social Change Agency.