Finding trustees

Charities are run by 'trustees' - the people who form the governing body or 'board' of a charity. They may be called trustees, directors, board members, governors or committee members, but they are the people with ultimate responsibility for directing the business of the charity. Most trustees are volunteers, and receive no payment (except out-of-pocket expenses).   

You will need to recruit trustees for your charity before you apply to register with us. If your charity will be working with either children or vulnerable adults, you will need to confirm that appropriate Access NI checks have been carried out when you apply to register.

CRB checks are currently the best way for trustees to check whether a fellow trustee is disqualified from working with vulnerable beneficiaries. For this reason the Commission's policy is that trustees: 

  • must obtain a Access NI disclosure when there is a legal requirement to do so; and 
  • should obtain a Access NI disclosure when there is a legal entitlement to.

You will need to provide full names, addresses and dates of birth for all your trustees when you apply to register, but all this data won't be made publicly available. Only your designated contact details and trustee names will be shown in the Register of Charities.

Related resources

  • I want to find new trustees - our guidance on the things you need to think about before recruiting new trustees, plus links to useful resources.
  • Finding new trustees - a 'start to finish' guide to help charities to recruit new trustees effectively and increase the range of skills and experience on their board.
  • Involving young people in running a charity - how to bring the experience, perspective and enthusiasm young people offer to the board of your charity.

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