4 May 2020

Traditional perceptions of trustees are under pressure because of the rapid decision-making around Covid-19. These could be changes for the better.

Since the Covid-19 crisis began we’ve seen a huge shift in societal behaviours and how charities operate. Could this trigger a seismic shift in the boardroom?

A shake up of charity governance could be one of the biggest changes in our sector post-coronavirus. With charities focusing on digital fundraising, service delivery and remote working, we might see different skills, behaviours and processes on charity boards.

Chris Willis Pickup, charities and social ventures partner at the law firm Taylor Vinters, agrees that change is already happening. “The traditional idea of a trustee being a slightly staid but reliable person of integrity is under pressure as trustees are pushed to respond to fast-moving operational pressures and to think strategically,” he says, pointing out that a quarterly board meeting won’t facilitate the rapid decision-making required in a pandemic.

If trustees are to contribute meaningfully, he says, they will have to work in an agile way, supported by the right technology, with an increased need for adaptability, problem-solving and communication skills. Perhaps board meetings themselves will need to be more creative, as in this example from the Children’s Trust.

Read the full article in Third Sector here.