trustee Profile

Role Description

As the supreme decision-making body of Help Musicians (The Charity) Trustees have specific responsibilities. The Board of Trustees must accept responsibility for directing the affairs of the Charity, ensuring it is solvent and well-run, and that it acts within its objectives. Trustees are accountable for their decisions and actions to The Charity’s governance structures, the public, courts, funders and service users. Trustees should focus on the strategic direction of Help Musicians and avoid becoming involved in day to day operational deliberations.

Applications are encouraged from all sections of the community to ensure that the Chair and Board are representative of the diverse profession they seek to serve in the UK.

Role Purpose

  • To agree and regularly monitor the Charity’s strategic directions and ensure that it pursues its objectives in keeping with these strategic directions.
  • With the other Trustees, ensure that the organisation functions within the legal, charitable and financial requirements of a charitable organisation and strives to achieve best practice.
  • To actively contribute in giving clear strategic direction to the organisation and the Charity, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets.
  • To act in the interests of Help Musicians as a whole and musicians.
  • To ensure effective and efficient administration of the Charity.
  • To ensure the financial stability of the organisation and the proper investment of funds in accordance with the charity’s stated aims and objectives and relevant legislation.
  • To appoint the Charity’s Chief Executive and monitor his/her performance.
  • To use any specific skills, knowledge and experience to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions (this will include the scrutiny of proposals, leading and initiating discussions, providing advice or guidance on new initiatives and utilising any specialist expertise and experience.)
  • To chair and /or attend bodies given delegated authority by the board.

Duties of Trustees

Trustees have, and must accept, ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of their charity, ensuring that it is solvent and well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it was set up. You need to keep in mind the following areas of responsibility:

Ensuring compliance

Trustees must ensure that their charity complies with:

  • Charity law, and the requirements of the Charity Commission as regulator; in particular you must ensure that the charity prepares reports on its work and submits annual returns and accounts as required by law.
  • The requirements or rules, and the charitable purpose and objects, set out in the charity’s own governing document. All trustees will be provided with a copy of this document and be familiar with it.
  • The requirements of other legislation and other regulators (if any) which govern the activities of the charity; these will vary according to the type of work the charity carries out, and whether it employs staff or volunteers, for example Employment law.
  • The requirement for Trustees to act with integrity and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets.

Duty of Prudence

Trustees must:

  • Ensure that the charity is and will remain solvent; this means that you need to keep yourself informed of the charity’s activities and financial position.
  • Use charitable funds and assets wisely, and only to further the purposes and interests of the charity.
  • Avoid undertaking activities that might place the charity’s property, funds, assets or reputation at undue risk.
  • Take special care when investing the funds of the charity or borrowing funds for the charity to use.

Duty of care

Trustees must:

  • Exercise reasonable care and skill as trustees, using personal knowledge and experience to ensure that the charity is well-run and efficient.
  • Consider getting external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.

Person Specification

Who cannot stand as a trustee?

The Charity Commission’s full explanation of the automatic disqualification rules for charity trustees can be found here and include:

  • Anyone who has an unspent conviction for an offence involving deception of dishonesty.
  • Anyone who is an undischarged bankrupt.
  • Anyone who has been removed from a trusteeship of a charity by the Courts of Charity Commission for misconduct or mismanagement.
  • Anyone who is disqualified from being a company director under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Essential skills and abilities

  • A commitment to the aims and objectives or Help Musicians and to promoting the interests of musicians.
  • A willingness to devote time and effort.
  • Strategic vision.
  • Good, independent judgement.
  • An ability to think creatively.
  • An understanding and acceptance of legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team while contributing an independent perspective.
  • A commitment to Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
  • The specific skills required by the organisation.

Terms of Appointment

The term of appointment will be 3 years. Retiring members of the board are eligible for re-appointment for a further term of 3 years. A Trustee who has served two consecutive terms of office shall, if invited to do so by the Chairman and the Chief Executive, be eligible for re- election for three consecutive periods of one year each.

You will be required to attend the AGM, at least 4 meetings of the board a year (including a two-day event) and further meetings and events, some of which will be held outside London. You must therefore be able to commit up to approximately 14 days each year.

You will be expected to attend training events relevant to the role, as necessary.

This role is not compensated, however, expenses travelling to and from meetings will be covered.

Location is 7 – 11 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JS. Attendance via Zoom is currently offered for all Board meetings.