A new report looking at what support charity boards need has been released to mark the start of Trustees' Week
Charity trustees are keen to see more e-learning resources made available to help their organisations, a new report has revealed.
Governance Matters has been released to mark the start of Trustees’ Week 2020.
The study was undertaken over a 10-week period from August to October this year. Information was gathered through two primary research methods: a desk-based survey of voluntary sector governance training and support providers and an online survey distributed to voluntary sector trustees.
The report by Scotland’s Third Sector Governance Forum maps out governance training and support provision for organisations in Scotland, identifying gaps and making recommendations for improvement.
It shows more than half of trustees questioned (53%) would like to see an increase in e-learning materials for trustees. Other developments suggested that could help charity boards include better signposting to existing training resources, an increase in peer networking opportunities and more mentoring opportunities.
The report said: “The most popular response to how trustees would like to see governance support and training developed was an increase in e-learning materials, with 53% of responses requesting this. This was primarily suggested due to its ability to accommodate diverse and busy trustee schedules. This survey was conducted during the coronavirus pandemic and may be reflective of the social distancing rules.”
Board development proved to be the most popular area of governance that trustees would like to receive more training and support in, with 68.5% of respondents selecting that option.
Over a third of respondents selected financial management (38.4%), roles and responsibilities (35.6%), trustee recruitment (34.2%) and trustee induction (34.2%).
The areas trustees felt they needed the least additional support in were constitution and mediation.
The majority (56%) of trustees had utilised free governance support and training resources and the provider which proved most popular for governance training and support was SCVO with 46.8%. Others mentioned included TSIs and OSCR.
The report continued: “Three quarters of trustees said they had undertaken some form of governance support. Whilst this is a promising figure, it is also important to consider that 25% of respondents, many of whom work in staffed voluntary sector organisations, have never received any governance training or support.”
The report shows trustee recruitment is still an issue for boards. “Providers voiced that trustee recruitment was still primarily an ‘informal’ practice, limiting diversity on boards. When describing the support and training offered, few providers mentioned any focus on good recruitment practice during their sessions. Over a third of trustees also identified this as an area in which they would like more support.”
Several recommendations are made, with themes including better trustee induction, increasing e-learning resources, the possible introduction of accredited training resources and integrated training for staff and boards.