A recent survey of Kent charities, and their trustees, conducted by chartered accountants and financial advisers, Kreston Reeves, found that whilst 34% of the county’s charities struggle to recruit new trustees, 89% believe that trustees should be unpaid volunteers.
From the charities surveyed, several individuals cited difficulties finding trustees with the specific skill set that they need to satisfy the role of the trustee, and in particular young people, with the necessary time to invest.
Other issues highlighted include:
- 74% of charities believe that trust and confidence in the wider charities sector has decreased in recent years.
- 54% told Kreston Reeves that the current economic uncertainty is having a detrimental effect on donor activity.
- 51% say that they have considered collaborating with other charities.
- 86% said that their charity has not been a victim of cyber crime or online fraud, which is very encouraging.
Susan Robinson, Partner and Head of Charities and Not for Profit at Kreston Reeves said: “There is no doubt that charities, like many businesses in the private sector, have had a difficult time in recent years, but it is a resilient and creative sector and they respond well to the challenges that they face.
Despite some charities having difficulties recruiting trustees with specific skills, a resounding 89% believe that it should continue to be a voluntary role, with only out of pocket expenses reimbursed. There is certainly an opportunity for the wider business community to work more closely with charities to help them to fill these gaps, and successful schemes used elsewhere could also be adapted to support all charities, for example the Academy Ambassadors, the not for profit service founded to bring educationalists and business leaders together with the goal to establish and strengthen multi-academy trusts boards.”
The survey was conducted in July at two seminars held in Kent and Sussex for charity clients and contacts.