Do I need a digital trustee?

Do I need a digital trustee infographic
Janet Thorne
Janet Thorne leads Reach Volunteering as Chief Executive

Trustees need to lead the way on digital, and recruiting a digital trustee can be a good way to bring expertise on to your board. But what kind of person do you need and what role would they play?

A while ago four people with a passion for increasing the digital skills on charity boards got together to work out what they could to help. Some cups of tea and thoughtful discussions later here’s our starter for ten.We’re keen to hear what you think, so please read, share and feedback!

What is the problem?

Charities need digitally savvy leaders if they are to thrive, and that includes their trustees. However, 69% of charities think that their trustees are lacking digital expertise and a third of charities cite lack of understanding or buy in from trustees as one of the biggest barriers to their organisation getting the most from digital . The new Charity Digital Code stresses the importance of trustees taking the lead on digital.

Why will recruiting a digital trustee help?

A digital trustee can bring their expertise to all board discussions and decisions, and champion digital. They are not there to ‘own’ digital — the responsibility is shared, just like it is for other areas like finance. The end game is a digitally literate board which thinks about how digital can strengthen all aspects of their charity’s strategy and operations. A digital trustee can help your board develop this expertise.

Useful resources

Charity Digital Code

Digital trustees hub from Reach Volunteering  —  an online community of prospective digital trustees, plus relevant resources

Trustee digital checklist from CAST

CAST digital service design principles

Who we are:

  • Zoe Amar - Chair of Charity Digital Code
  • Ellie Hale - CAST
  • Sally Dyson - SCVO
  • Janet Thorne - Reach Volunteering

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