With over 250,000 trustees across the country who help manage, shape and guide third sector organisations, we think it’s important to provide practical help and information which caters specifically to board members. With that in mind we’ve created this space to celebrate terrific trustees, provide information and news on relevant topics and link to available support and articles of interest.
Five issues affecting trustees
1. Data Protection
If you hold and process information about your clients, beneficiaries, employees or suppliers, then you’re legally obliged to protect that information. New Data Protection laws (GDPR) will come into force on 25 May 2018 which recognise the significant risk associated with storing personal data. Don’t delay, start getting ready for GDPR now – visit the Information Commissioner’s website for more info.
2018 will also see new rules around lobbying. If your organisation has paid members of staff who seek to influence or lobby MSPs, Scottish Ministers, Special Advisors or the Permanent Secretary you may need to comply and register under the new Lobbying (Scotland) Act. You can find out more here, if you think this may apply to you.
As a trustee you have overall responsibility and accountability for your organisation, and you have a role to play in ensuring your fundraising is legal, responsible and effective. Your fundraising activities should match up with the purposes, values and culture of your organisation. The Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel deals with fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities. But it’s better to get it right from the start. The Institute of Fundraising has guidance on fundraising and legislation, make sure you’re up to speed.
There’s a lot of confusion about what Brexit will mean for the third sector. But one thing is certain, there will be change. Political, economic, social and legal change. As a trustee you need to ensure your organisation can steer its way through uncertainty and continue to help its beneficiaries. With this in mind, you should be thinking about your strategic plan, the skills mix of your board, funding, budgeting and reserves, and your risk register. See our Europe and the Third Sector page for more info, or take a look at our #EUareValued campaign to find out how you can show your support for EU colleagues.
5. Scottish Governance Code
Good governance is vital to the success and sustainability of any third sector organisation. Lack of good governance can not only lead to internal turmoil, it can also have far reaching effects on your organisation’s reputation and long term future. This is why we think Scotland needs its own Governance Code. We’ll be spending the next few months developing a practical, accessible set of principles that you can use to benchmark your own governance practices. It will have a clear Scottish focus and be supported by practical resources. Watch this space for more details!
TFN Guide – Running a Charity
In September 2017 Third Force News published the ‘TFN Guide to Running a Charity or Social Enterprise’ – a 56 page supplement with everything you need to know about managing a third sector organisation. Topics include ten tops tips for trustees, why trustees must be on top of risk, best bank account for your charity, looking after cash and investments, 12 steps to get ready for new data protection laws (GDPR), best practice in fundraising and advice on the best digital tools available.
Share your trustee experience
Good HQ enables third sector staff, volunteers and members of the public to review charities, social enterprises and third sector organisations in Scotland. Trustees often share their experiences too, like Ruth Triggs from the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre. Find your organisation and share your story.