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Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity
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Old 23-07-2021, 10:22   #1
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Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

I have been going to a charity called Men's Shed in my town now for a few months, last night was the first AGM.

Quote:
Men’s Shed exists to provide a safe space for those who may be socially isolated or suffer mental health challenges, to come together to find support, share skills and ideas, learn from each other and above all enjoy a chat over a mug of tea (or coffee!)
While there they were taking about trustees, is there any advice on becoming one, or should I avoid it.

I know one of the guys there from a previous job.

It's a good place to go for me in these difficult times, and they are in the process of moving to a bigger building which will require modification before we can use it, and if it goes well we could be in by the new year.
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Old 23-07-2021, 11:34   #2
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

What form of charitable status does it have? Is it a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) or not?

In a simple charity structure the trustees are personally liable for the liabilities of the charity. In theory this leaves you on the hook if the organisation does something it then gets sued for, or runs up debts. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it, but they are some of the obligations you’re taking on. CIO status allows a charity to operate with limited liability, like a business. It makes the charity into a corporate entity which is liable for itself. Trustees are not personally liable for its debts or actions in this case.

I should add, as churches have charitable status, I have been a trustee of both CIO and non CIO organisations and apart from a few end-of-year paperwork differences there’s no day to day difference, just the reassurance that as a trustee you’re more protected in a CIO charity than a non-CIO one. Unless you think the way the Men’s Shed is particularly recklessly operated then becoming a trustee of it shouldn’t concern you. As a trustee you do of course then get some input into how it’s run.

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Old 23-07-2021, 14:16   #3
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

Not disputing any thing Chris has written ,however l would get legal advice before signing up to anything.. you could be leaving yourself open to costs and even legal charges.be careful
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Old 23-07-2021, 14:21   #4
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

That was the essence of the point I was making - most people don’t realise that trustees have personal legal liability for what the charity does, except for charities that have Charitable Incorporated Organisation status. It’s essential to understand where the charity stands financially and with its other various creditors, as well as its legal constitution, before signing up.
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Old 23-07-2021, 16:03   #5
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

It's is a CIO one.

From my understanding, I'd have no liability .

I would be on the team that helps decide the future
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Old 23-07-2021, 17:04   #6
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

If it’s a CIO then you have no personal liability for the charity’s financial position, though you do still have to obey the law. CIOs were created to protect charity trustees from a culture that has become more litigious. I’d say if the charity is well run, you care about it and you have the time, go for it.
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Old 23-07-2021, 17:08   #7
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Re: Looking at becoming a trustee for a charity

It's a great little place, currently running out of a converted container, in a walled garden in the towns Pets corner
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