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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Too old, too male: charity boards need diversity

This news post is over 4 years old

Study shows most trustees are white, older and above average income and education

Charities must do more to promote diversity on their boards.

That’s the finding of new research which says greater effort must be made to and encourage applications from women, young people and people from ethnic minority and socially diverse backgrounds.

The survey, involving around 3,500 trustees, and published during Trustees Week, shows that men outnumber women by two to one on charity boards.

It also found that the majority (92%) of trustees are white, older and above average income and education.

On the plus side, the research also finds that charity trustees, who are overwhelmingly volunteers, feel positively about their role and about the personal reward and satisfaction it gives them.

It also highlights that trustees’ contribution to charities amounts to a monetary equivalent of around £3.5 billion a year.

The report was commissioned by the Office for Civil Society and the Charity Commission.

No similar research has been carried out in Scotland.

However, writing for TFN, Euan Morrison, head of charities at Chiene + Tait, has suggested the problem is similar north of the border.

He said: “Charities must look at ways to overcome this situation or they will risk losing relevance to the people they are in post to support.

“Diversity across a board of trustees is an important part of good governance where people from a variety of backgrounds and ages are usually better placed to make well-rounded decisions.”



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Robert McCall
over 4 years ago
Interesting but younger, lesser paid, among us are too busy making a living and bringing up families to spare the time. The job descriptions stop people like me applying, I am a mechanic so have skills. It looks as if the fancy accountants are afraid of trustees who are as smart as they are.