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					                                                Support and resource needs of Trustees and Chairs in
                                                      voluntary and community organisations
                                                                                       Survey findings
                                                                                       September 2006




                                           This survey was commissioned by the Governance Hub and carried out by the Office for
                                           Public Management (OPM). The Governance Hub is part of the ChangeUp programme. It
                                           is a partnership of 8 organisations: ACEVO, bassac, BTEG, CTN, East Cornwall CVS,
                                           NAVCA, NCVO and Volunteering England. The Governance Hub is currently working with
                                           organisations across England to help strengthen the knowledge and skills of trustees and
                                           chairs and those who support and advise them.




                                           The Hub offers the following services:
ce97dc69-2ad2-42fc-9694-e72834437814.doc




                                              Helpline: 0800 652 4886
                                               9am-9pm Mon-Fri and 9am-1-pm Saturday.

                                              Free downloadable resources from its website www.governancehub.org.uk

                                              Access to small grants for organisations in specific categories who are interested in
                                               strengthening governance: see „working with us‟ on our website.

                                              Regular e-newsletter; to sign up, please visit our website and register your details with
                                               us.



                                           To request a large-text version of this document, phone 020 7239 0877
                                           OPM is a registered trademark of the Office for Public Management Ltd.          ILM accredited


                                                                                                                                            OPM
Contents

Executive Summary ........................................................................................................... 1
1. Introduction and key findings ......................................................................................... 7
    1.1 Structure of the report ............................................................................................. 9
2. Background and methodology ..................................................................................... 10
    2.1 Questionnaire development, piloting and content .................................................. 10
    2.2 Sampling and dissemination ................................................................................. 11
    2.3 Statistical notes ..................................................................................................... 12
    2.4 Recommendations for future research .................................................................. 12
3. Profile of respondents .................................................................................................. 14
4. Overall experience of recruitment and governance: all respondents ............................ 26
5. Chairs .......................................................................................................................... 29
6. Trustees ...................................................................................................................... 43
7. Organisations .............................................................................................................. 58
    6.1 Board composition, recruitment and retention ....................................................... 58
    6.2 Training, development and skills ........................................................................... 64
    6.3 Governance costs and assessment ...................................................................... 70
    6.4 Advice about governance and the Code................................................................ 73
Executive Summary

  Overall, the survey findings suggest a great deal of „raw material‟ exists for those seeking
  to improve governance in the sector: in the form of passionate, committed and enthusiastic
  Chairs and Trustees (and their colleagues) who recognise the importance of some form of
  learning and development around governance. However key challenges remain, including
  eliminating complacency; broadening the horizons of those involved in governance as to
  the task before them; and ameliorating barriers to improvement, such as those imposed by
  low income or the lack of easy routes into governance roles.

  Profile of respondents

         Of the 607 individuals who responded to the survey, the largest proportions were
          trustees (29%) and chief executives (28%); whilst a fifth (21%) were paid officers;
          just over one in ten (14%) were chairs; and 5% were volunteer officers.

         The breakdown of respondents in terms of gender, ethnicity and age was broadly
          similar to that of the sector as a whole. A slightly lower proportion of respondents
          identified themselves as disabled than in the sector as a whole (5% compared to
          18%), although this comparison is based on figures derived using different
          definitions of „disability‟.1

         Two-fifths of respondents (38%) said that their organisation provided services,
          whilst smaller proportions were involved in education, training and development
          (18%); local infrastructure services (15%); and other activities including community
          development; advocacy and campaigning; and grant-giving.

         The issues focused on by the largest proportions of organisations who contributed
          to this survey were children and young people (44% of respondents); health,
          disability or mental health (42%); older people (28%); housing (18%); and Black
          and Minority Ethnic communities (17%).

         The organisations surveyed represent a good spread across the income bands
          with, for example, almost a fifth (18%) having an income of less than £10,000, and
          a similar proportion (22%) having an income of more than £1,000,000. Whilst
          remarkably evenly spread, this does not reflect the sector as a whole, in which an




  1
   In this survey, disability is classified as those respondents who meet the definition as set out in the
  Disability Discrimination Act (as amended in 2005), while the criteria for the 2006 UK Voluntary
  Sector Almanac „disability‟ is broader, and includes those people that meet the criteria set out in the
  DDA, and those that have a work-limiting disability.




                                                                                                     OPM page 1
         estimated two fifths (57%) of organisations have an income of less than £10,000 a
         year, and 2% have an income of over £1 million.

        A good level of responses were received from all regions; the smallest number of
         responses being from the North East (5% of the total sample), and the largest
         being from London (23%).


Overall experience of recruitment and governance: all respondents

        Respondents tended to have found out about their role through informal
         mechanisms. Almost a quarter (23%) had previously worked for the organisation in
         another capacity, a similar proportion (22%) stated that they had been approached
         by someone from the organisation, and 11% found out through word of mouth.
         Smaller proportions of respondents found out about their role through more formal
         channels such as national, regional or local advertisements, or recruitment
         agencies.

        Half (52%) of all respondents felt that their organisation currently practices good
         governance to a great extent, with a further 45% indicating that, in their opinion,
         good governance was practiced to some extent. Younger respondents were
         significantly less likely than older respondents to say that their organisation
         practices good governance to a great extent.

        Similarly, the vast majority of respondents (92%) felt that they had access to the
         resources or services needed to carry out good governance (either to a great
         extent or to some extent). Again, younger respondents were significantly less likely
         to agree with this statement.


Chairs


        The largest proportion of the Chairs surveyed (43%) had held their post for
         between 1 and 3 years. The survey findings suggest good levels of experience
         amongst Chairs in similar roles, with over two fifths (42%) of respondents having
         had between four and ten years‟ experience; and a third 11 or more.

        Just over three-fifths (63%) of Chairs had more than 10 years managerial
         experience in the public, private or voluntary sectors. A smaller proportion had this
         length of governance experience in a different public, private or voluntary sector
         organisation (39%), and a similar proportion (40%) had professional experience in
         law, accountancy, or teaching.

        The vast majority of Chairs (91%) had made use of printed materials from the
         Charity Commission or similar organisations; as well as information found on
         websites (90%); and handbooks, briefings or other guidance supplied locally (81%).




                                                                                          OPM page 2
       Much smaller proportions had made use of telephone helplines (41%) or networks
       with other Chairs (36%).

      Whilst over three-quarters (82%) of Chairs thought that „ensuring the board has
       and uses the skills needed‟ was very important, half as many (40%) thought that
       „board development and appraisal‟ was very important.

      The priority area for learning and development for Chairs appears to be „ensuring
       the organisation complies with charity law and good practice‟, which was felt to be a
       very important area by just over a third (35%) of Chairs. „Relationships and
       collaboration with the CEO and other staff‟ and „Appraisal of the CEO‟ were
       identified as definite learning priorities by lower proportions of Chairs (17% in both
       cases).

      When asked what they liked most about their role, the largest proportions of Chairs
       said furthering the organisation’s objectives/cause (21%); providing leadership to
       the organisation (18%); and getting things done/making a difference/bringing about
       change (17%). The areas that Chairs responding to this survey said they liked least
       about their role were its time consuming nature (15%), and a high level of
       responsibility and legal liability (14%). Dealing with uncommitted and incompetent
       colleagues was also mentioned by several (12%).

      A very small proportion (just 6%) of Chairs surveyed agreed that „Chairs usually
       have the skills needed for board membership and further learning is not a priority‟,
       but only a quarter (24%) also agreed that „Chairs are not offered enough
       opportunities to learn about their role‟.

      Three-fifths of the Chairs who took part in this survey (61%) said they would
       definitely or probably want to participate in a structured programme of training or
       learning in relation to any of the aspects of their role. A similar proportion (56%)
       said they would want to participate if this training led to a recognised qualification in
       governance. Chairs from organisations that receive very low levels or very high
       levels of income were the least likely groups to say that they would be willing to
       participate on a structured programme of training or learning.


Trustees

      As with Chairs, the majority of Trustees (69%) surveyed have been in their current
       post for five years or less, one in five have been in post for less than a year (19%),
       a third for one to three years (34%) and 16% stated that they have been in post for
       four or five years. Trustees that work for organisations with a focus on housing are
       more likely to have been in post for less than a year. Similar levels of managerial
       and governance experience were reported as in the case of Chairs.

      Whilst the most popular motivating factor chosen by trustees was „the desire to help
       an organisation dedicated to a good cause‟ (which four-fifths, or 81% of trustees



                                                                                          OPM page 3
       agreed applied to them); over half (56%) said that the fact that they had „a
       particular skill that they felt would be of use to the organisation‟ was also a
       motivation.

      When asked what they liked most about their role, the largest proportions of
       trustees said making decisions and developing the organisation and service (22%);
       and contributing to the local community (19%). The areas trustees liked least were
       similar to those reported by chairs: heavy workload and time commitment (19%)
       and high level of responsibility due to financial and legal liability (15%).

      Whilst the same small proportion of trustees (just 6%) as chairs agreed that that
       trustees usually have the skills needed for board membership and that further
       learning was not a priority, a larger proportion (42%) indicated that trustees were
       not offered enough opportunities to learn about their role, when compared to the
       proportion of Chairs who agreed with this statement.

      The proportion of trustees indicating interest in participating in structured training or
       learning in relation to their role was very similar to the proportion of Chairs. This
       was also the case when the addition of a recognised qualification in governance
       was included. Trustees from organisations with less than £10,000 income a year
       were the least likely group to express a strong interest in a structured programme
       of training or learning; only 9% stated that they would definitely like to participate,
       compared to 26% overall. Trustees from London were the most likely group to state
       that they would definitely like to participate.

      Also in line with the answers given by Chairs, trustees were most likely to have
       taken advantage of printed materials (84%); and websites and online materials
       (78%). However, a higher proportion (64%) had taken advantage of networking with
       other trustees.


Organisations

      The vast majority (96%) of organisations surveyed had at least one female board
       member, compared to less than two-fifths (36%) that have at least one disabled
       board member or a board member from a BME group (36%), and one in ten (11%)
       that have at least one board member under 25 years of age.

      The largest proportion of respondents - almost half (48%) – have between six and
       ten board members in total, and two fifths (40%) have over ten board members.
       There are a fairly sizeable proportion of organisations that have vacancies on their
       board: 48% of respondents have at least one vacancy on their board; 45% have
       between one and five vacancies.

      Organisations based in London were more likely than organisations based in other
       regions to have at least one BME trustee, and at least one trustee under the age of




                                                                                          OPM page 4
    25 (in the case of the latter, 16% of organisations in London, compared to 6% of
    organisations in the East Midlands).

   The most popular methods used by organisations that participated in this survey to
    recruit trustees were word of mouth (used always or often by 66% of respondents);
    election from membership (44%); invitations to AGM or similar public meetings
    (44%); newsletters to service users and members (40%).

   The survey findings suggest that whilst methods/processes such as formal role
    descriptions and informal induction programmes are used by the majority of
    organisations for the recruitment/induction of both chairs and trustees (58% and
    51% respectively); other methods such as formal induction programmes, formal or
    panel interviews, and recruiting committees are used much less frequently. For
    example, seven out of every ten organisations responding to the survey (70%) said
    that they do not use a formal or panel interview for either Chairs or trustees.

   A fifth of organisations surveyed (21%) said that it was, in their opinion, far more
    difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and knowledge than 5 years ago,
    with a further 22% suggesting that it was a bit more difficult. 30% felt that it was
    about the same as 5 years ago, with only a small proportion (8%) stating that it was
    any easier. Organisations with an income of less than £10,000 a year were the
    least likely to say that recruiting trustees had become more difficult compared to
    five years ago.

   The results of the survey suggest that most Trustees stay in post for a fairly long
    amount of time; three fifths (60%) stay in post for an average of four to seven
    years, 8% for eight to ten years, and 8% for over ten years. Only 1% of
    respondents stated that their trustees stay for an average of less than a year.

   Organisations with lower levels of income tend to be much less likely to offer an
    induction programme as part of one of their training and development activities for
    trustees, compared to larger organisations; only 21% of organisations receiving
    income of less than £10,000 a year offer an induction programme, compared to
    82% of organisations receiving more than £1,000,000 a year.

   Survey participants responding on behalf of their organisation felt that the main
    areas in which their trustees needed additional knowledge or skills were charity law
    and compliance (46%); governance (42%); fundraising (42%); and marketing and
    communications (42%).

   The main barriers to trustee and board learning and development identified by
    survey respondents were lack of time (cited by 37% of respondents as the main
    barrier) and too many other priorities (28%). Trustees from low income
    organisations were most likely to say that the main barrier to trustee learning and
    board development was that there was little internal knowledge of available
    resources and services.




                                                                                    OPM page 5
   When asked which materials and services their organisation would find most
    useful, the most frequently given answers were: online materials to download and
    print (two-thirds of respondents, or 67% said this would be useful); sharing
    experience with other boards/trustees (43%); and presentations and discussion
    material (43%).

   Low income organisations were far more likely to state that they would find a
    helpline most useful, whilst sharing of experiences with other boards and trustees
    was favoured by high income organisations (45%), much more than by lower
    income (less than £10,000) income organisations (21%).

   Over two-fifths of respondents‟ organisations (45%) do not have any budget for
    governance costs, and one fifth (20%) do not assess or report on the governance
    of their organisation. Where governance was assessed, the most frequently cited
    changes occurring as a result were changes to structures, systems and processes;
    and the introduction of a learning and development programme for trustees.

   The majority of respondents (62%) had sought advice about their organisation‟s
    governance. The most popular sources of advice were national umbrella bodies
    (63% of those who had sought advice had used these); books/pamphlets/other
    publications (50%); and professional experts (e.g. lawyers) (41%).

   Three-fifths (61%) of respondents said they were aware of the recently published
    „Code of Good Governance‟. The action arising most frequently as a result of
    reading the Code would seem to be modifying an organisation‟s approach to
    development and support for Board members, which over a quarter (27%) of
    respondents said they were planning to change, and an additional 40% saying they
    were planning to review this.




                                                                                  OPM page 6
1. Introduction and key findings

This report contains the findings of a national survey into the support and resource needs
of Trustees and Chairs in voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) in England. The
survey was conducted by OPM on behalf of the Governance Hub, and was completed by
607 respondents in total. The Governance Hub is a partnership of organisations working to
improve the levels of good governance throughout the voluntary and community sector in
England.

Perhaps the most notable finding from the survey is that Trustees and Chairs are clearly
involved in the governance of VCOs because of a desire to give something back and
achieve positive outcomes. For example, when asked what they liked about their role,
Chairs were most likely to give answers such as “Ensuring that the organisation succeeds
with its mission” or “Being able to make a real difference” (as did Trustees when asked the
same question); whilst a striking two-thirds of Chairs (66%) agreed that „Chairs are there to
give to the organisation, not for their own benefit‟. In a similar vein, four-fifths of Trustees
(81%) said that one of their motivations for taking up their post was „The desire to help an
organisation dedicated to a good cause‟.

Another overriding theme emerging from the survey findings concerns the reliance on
informal mechanisms for the recruitment of Chairs and Trustees. Respondents tended to
have found out about the opportunity to take on their current role through having previously
worked for the organisation in another capacity (23% of all respondents); by being
approached by someone from the organisation (22%); or through word of mouth (11%).
The latter was the recruitment mechanism cited most frequently by respondents replying
about their organisation as a whole, and was used always or often for the recruitment of
Chairs and Trustees by 66% of organisations surveyed. The fact that more formal
processes, such as advertisements in the press or online were used far less frequently
may explain why respondents felt that recruitment of Chairs and Trustees was, generally
speaking, more difficult than it was 5 years ago (or at least no easier).

Linked to this emphasis on informal recruitment methods is a reliance on traditional
methods of learning and advice amongst survey respondents. Both Chairs and Trustees
were most likely to have made use of printed materials from the Charity Commission or
similar national organisations (reflecting a general reliance on national umbrella bodies for
advice); information found on websites; and handbooks, briefings or other guidance
supplied locally. The high levels of use of (and demand for) online materials is probably
slightly unrepresentative given the use of web-based surveying as the principal research
method.

Also particularly striking was respondents‟ extremely positive appraisal of the
governance practices of their organisation, with half (52%) stating that their
organisation practice good governance to a great extent. This would seem to be at odds
with other findings of the survey, for example the fact that very small proportions of both
Chairs and Trustees (only 6% in both cases) agreed that their colleagues in general



                                                                                          OPM page 7
„usually have the skills needed for board membership‟ and that „further learning was not a
priority‟2. There are a number of possible explanations for this discrepancy, and two in
particular stand out. First, this may simply be a reflection of the self-selecting nature of the
sample for the survey (see Section 2), and the fact that many of the respondents may have
already been in contact with one of the Governance Hub partner organisations, and
therefore more likely to be aware of the importance of good governance. The second,
more worrying explanation, is that this finding reflects a general complacency amongst
VCOs about the amount of work needed to truly achieve good governance.

Evidence for the latter analysis includes the fact that both the Trustees and Chairs who
responded to the survey seemed to have a narrow perception of what counted as
‘relevant experience’ for their current role. For example, almost half of Trustees stated
that experience as a community leaders was „not applicable‟ compared to only 14% giving
this verdict on managerial experience. Issues such as compliance with charity law were
more of a learning priority for Chairs surveyed than appraisal of the CEO or board
development. Similarly, awareness of equality and diversity issues would seem to be low
amongst survey respondents, with half (52%) saying that they felt they did not need to
change their approach to equality and diversity following reading the Code of Good
Governance.

On a more positive note, the survey findings suggest something of a change in mindset
around structured training, and a growing acceptance of this type of training as
preparation for taking on an effective governance role in the sector. Three-fifths (61%) of
Chairs surveyed said they would definitely or probably want to participate in a structured
programme of training or learning in relation to any of the aspects of their role; with a
slightly lower (but still sizeable) proportion of Trustees saying they definitely or probably
would want to do so (almost half, 48%). Whilst there is no previous baseline finding with
which these figures can be compared, they do at least suggest a receptive audience.

Finally, the survey findings provide further evidence of the difficulties faced by smaller
voluntary and community organisations, corroborating the arguments made by Colin
Rochester and colleagues (inter alia) as part of the Building the Capacity of Small
                             3
Voluntary Agencies project concerning the „liability of smallness‟. Individuals responding
on behalf of organisations with an income of less than £10,000 were far more likely to say
that the main barrier to trustee learning and board development was a low level of internal
knowledge of available resources and service, for example. Similarly, whilst four-fifths
(82%) of organisations with an income of £1,000,000 or more offered an induction




2
  This finding contrasts with that of the recent nfpSynergy National Trustee Survey, where 58% of
trustees agreed to some extent that their board had „all the skills it needs‟ (18% agreed strongly; 40%
agreed slightly).
3
 LSE Centre for Voluntary Organisation, Building the Capacity of Small Voluntary Agencies,
available on the web at:
www.lse.edu/collections/CCS/pdf/small_agencies_final_report_june99.pdf#search=%22rochester%2
0liability%20smallness%22




                                                                                                OPM page 8
programme for trustees, only one-fifth (21%) of organisations in the lowest income band
did so. Trustees from organisations with less than £10,000 income a year were also the
least likely group to express a strong interest in a structured programme of training and
development; with only 9% stating that they would definitely like to participate, compared to
26% overall. The survey findings do provide pointers as to the differentiated support
package that might best accommodate the needs of lower income organisations, however:
with the results suggesting that a governance helpline would be particularly valued by
these organisations.

Overall, the survey findings suggest a great deal of „raw material‟ for those seeking to
improve governance in the sector: in the form of passionate, committed and enthusiastic
Chairs and Trustees (and their colleagues) who recognise the importance of some form of
learning and development around governance. However key challenges remain, in the
form of eliminating complacency; broadening the horizons of those involved in governance
as to the task before them; and ameliorating barriers to improvement, such as those
imposed by low income or the lack of easy routes into governance roles.


1.1 Structure of the report
The remainder of this report is structured as follows:

      Background and methodology – the specific objectives of the research; how the
       survey was conducted (including sampling); topics covered in the final
       questionnaire; and recommendations for future surveys of this nature (Section 2).
      Profile of respondents – demographics; organisational type/focus; income band;
       structure; and region – including comparisons to the sector as a whole (Section 3).
      Experience of recruitment and governance: all respondents – before
       respondents were „routed‟ by the online survey software, all were asked questions
       about how they found out about their current role; their overall opinion of the quality
       of governance practiced by their organisation, and the accessibility of resources
       and services needed to carry out good governance (Section 4).
      Chairs – the results of the questions asked only of respondents who identified
       themselves as Chairs (Section 5).
      Trustees – the results of the questions asked only of respondents who identified
       themselves as Trustees (Section 6).
      Organisations – the results of the questions asked only of respondents who said
       that they were happy to answer with regard to their organisation as a whole (over
       90% of respondents) (Section 7).




                                                                                        OPM page 9
2. Background and methodology

The purpose of this survey was twofold: to help the Governance Hub introduce a more
reliable, coordinated and accessible range of support mechanisms to help Trustees and
Chairs in their important roles; and to establish a national picture against which to measure
progress towards improving governance in the voluntary and community sector.


2.1 Questionnaire development, piloting and content
A draft survey questionnaire was developed jointly by OPM and staff from the Governance
Hub to reflect both the Hub‟s work programme and wider issues of governance in the
sector. This was translated into html format using the survey software SNAP, and piloted
with a small group of respondents drawn from the Hub‟s Core Group and other partners.
Feedback from this exercise was used to amend the questionnaire, in terms of the topics
focused on, wording of specific questions, and general accessibility.

The final survey questionnaire was published using SNAP and hosted on a „semi-public‟
                         4
section of OPM‟s website , and covered the following topics:

       Recruitment – including individuals‟ experience; processes adopted by
        organisations; and challenges experienced.
       Chairs and Trustees – skills and experience; awareness and use of different types
        of support; learning preferences; and motivating factors.
       Boards – board composition; length that members remain in post; skills, qualities
        and attributes sought.
       Training and development – materials and services used by organisations;
        barriers to successful learning and development
       Monitoring – governance costs; assessment of governance performance.

Additional questions were also included relating to the recently published „Code of Good
Governance‟. Online „routing‟ was used so that different types of respondent were
presented with different sections of the questionnaire depending on their role. This was
achieved by means of the first question in the survey, which asked for the capacity in which
respondents were answering (whether as a trustee, chief executive, paid officer, chair or
volunteer officer or other), and another which asked whether the respondent was willing to
answer questions about the governance practices of their organisation as a whole.




4
 This was accessible to anyone who had been given the correct web link, but not available through
online searching, or via other (freely accessible) parts of OPM‟s website.




                                                                                           OPM page 10
All respondents were then asked an initial set of questions relating to them as individuals
(age, ethnicity etc.); their organisations (income, core work etc.); how they found out about
their current role; and the overall extent to which they felt their organisation practiced good
governance. A linked question asked for views on the extent to which respondents/their
trustees had access to the resources and services needed to carry out good governance.

Following these opening questions, there were additional sections for respondents who
had identified themselves as trustees; or chairs; or as willing to answer questions about
governance in their organisation as a whole. Respondents were automatically routed to
these sections based on the answers they had given earlier in the questionnaire.
Respondents to whom one or more of these additional sections did not apply (judging by
their answers to the early questions) were not aware that these sections were available.
Once a respondent had completed all of the questions deemed relevant to them, they
clicked a „submit‟ button which sent their responses by coded email to OPM. For many of
the questions asked, participants were „forced‟ to give a response before they could
continue to the next question.

For the purposes of this survey, „trustees‟ were defined as any member of the governing
body of a VCO, whether elected or appointed. This was taken to include board members,
committee members and trustees, but not chairs of boards or committees. Survey
respondents were made aware of this definition at the beginning of the questionnaire.


2.2 Sampling and dissemination
There were twin imperatives for compiling the sample for this survey: on the one hand to
achieve a broadly representative profile of respondents when compared to the sector as a
whole (in particular achieving sufficient response from low income VCOs); and on the other
to achieve a sufficient level of response to allow for robust statistical analysis. OPM worked
to meet both these criteria in its approach to the survey.

To this end, a split sample was used, with emails containing the web link to the online
survey (and a brief introduction to the aims of the survey) sent to a large database of
VCOs and also to every member of the Governance Hub‟s Core, Advisory and Reference
Groups (as well as various affiliates). Each member of the latter groups was encouraged to
send the invitation email onto as many colleagues and constituent organisations (in the
case of umbrella bodies) as possible, with the same accompanying invitation to forward.
An invitation to complete the survey was also included on the Governance Hub‟s website.
The final sampling methodology was therefore a combination of random, snowballing and
open access (self-selecting) approaches.

The voluntary sector database came from marketingfile.com, which is one of the largest
sources of online data in Europe. The lists that they hold are supplied by different
telemarketing companies, who are permitted to place their lists on the marketingfile.com
website in exchange for a share of their sales profit. This particular voluntary sector
database came from a firm called LBM, who compile their data using desktop research,
e.g. telephone calls and emails and complies with data protection legislation. All the people
in this list gave their permission for their details to be publicised.




                                                                                        OPM page 11
As well as the initial email invitation, sent during the last week in March 2006, reminder
emails were sent to potential respondents in the first week of May. The survey was then
closed on 7th July 2006, meaning it was „in the field‟ for a total of 14 weeks.

In addition to the web-based survey, the email invitations also included the offer of a
Microsoft Word or hard copy version of the questionnaire should participants wish to
complete the survey by one of these means. The survey was publicised at a number of
Governance Hub events, and a booster sample was achieved through a BTEG event
where copies of the questionnaire were included in attendees‟ packs. In total, 25 hard copy
or Microsoft Word versions were returned.

In many cases, the profile of respondents to the survey was a good fit with the profile of
the sector as a whole, but there were notable discrepancies, probably mainly due to the
online survey approach chosen. A full commentary on the profile of respondents and how
this compares to the sector is provided in Section 3 of this report. Because a snowballing
approach was one of the central mechanisms used for inviting potential participants to
complete the survey, a definitive response rate cannot be ascertained with any real
accuracy.


2.3 Statistical notes
Because not all respondents were invited to complete all of the questions, the total sample
size (or „base‟) for each of the tables herein varies. Also, because results have been
rounded to the nearest whole number, not all of the percentage columns will total 100%.

The results for all of the questions in this survey have been subject to statistical analysis to
test for differences in the responses given by the various categories of respondents (age,
gender, income band of organisation etc.). However, the results of this analysis are only
reported where there was such variation, and where such variation was statistically
significant (using standard chi-square and T-Test measures).


2.4 Recommendations for future research
The good level of response to this survey means that the findings reported herein provide
a valuable, rich evidence base concerning governance in the voluntary and community
sector. Other surveys have focused on particular aspects of governance, or on particular
groups of people involved, but the breadth of this survey makes it unique. For example the
Charity Commission has undertaken research into how charities select, recruit and induct
              5
new trustees ; and nfpSynergy recently conducted a National Trustee Survey, the results
from which will be published shortly. Both certainly also provide valuable evidence (the
nfpSynergy survey around how staff and trustee views differ, for example), but neither



5
 Charity Commission (July 2005), Start as you mean to go on: Trustee recruitment and induction,
available on the Commission‟s website at www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publications/rs10.asp.




                                                                                           OPM page 12
included questions targeted at Chairs specifically, or covered learning and development
needs/priorities of board members.

Because of the range of topics covered, the survey is also a good first step towards
establishing a baseline of governance practices in the sector, but a higher level of
response and a better fit between the profile of respondents and profile of the sector would
have been necessary for this to constitute a „proper‟ baselining exercise. There is also the
distinct possibility of bias caused by the use of online surveying as the principal research
method, as noted above.

Perhaps the major flaw in the methodology chosen was its failure to pick up the views of
the smaller community organisations that make up such a large part of the sector‟s activity
(if not its income); the very organisations that are likely to face the most significant barriers
to improving governance. Repeating the survey in two or three years‟ time would allow
progress against a number of indicators to be tracked, but changes to the methodology
should be considered, such as those outlined below:

      Additional fieldwork – in the past, OPM has successfully conducted either
       telephone interviews or focus groups alongside an online survey, targeted at the
       groups least likely to respond. As well as boosting the response rate from these
       sub-groups, such fieldwork has the added advantage of providing more detailed
       evidence than can be collected by means of a questionnaire.

      Shorter questionnaire – if the priority was to increase the level of response, one
       option would be to reduce the number of questions asked. Clearly this would
       sacrifice some of the survey‟s breadth, but is a remarkably effective way of raising
       response rate: for example, OPM received well over 1,000 submissions to an online
       survey of senior opinion formers conducted recently on behalf of the Disability
       Rights Commission.

      Collaborative approach – whilst this research was conducted in partnership with a
       number of organisations (by the very nature of the Governance Hub), another
       option would be to collaborate with one of the organisations that have previously
       attempted similar large-scale national surveys, pooling contact databases and other
       resources.




                                                                                          OPM page 13
3. Profile of respondents

This section of the report describes the profile of respondents to the survey, both in terms
of the characteristics of individuals and organisations. Where possible, comparison has
been made to the profile of the sector as a whole, using the latest figures available.

Respondents were asked to specify the capacity in which they were responding to the
survey. Almost a third of responses (29%) were from trustees and similar proportions were
from Chief Executives of a voluntary or community organisation (28%). Approximately one
fifth (21%) of responses received were from paid officers, and one in seven responses
(14%) were from Chairs. In terms of those respondents that categorised themselves as
„other‟ (3%), these included company secretaries, deputy chief executives and directors.


Table 2.1 – The capacity in which respondents answered the survey
                                                                             N     %
I am a trustee of a voluntary or community organisation                     172    29
I am a chief executive of a voluntary or community organisation             170    28
I am a paid officer of a voluntary or community organisation                127    21
I am the chair of a voluntary or community organisation                     85     14
I am a volunteer officer of a voluntary or community organisation           34      6
Other                                                                       17      3


                                         Other
                     Volunteer officer
                                          3%
                         of VCO
                           6%
                                                       Trustee of VCO
                                                            28%
            Chair of VCO
                14%




            Paid officer of
                VCO
                21%                                Chief Exec of
                                                       VCO
                                                       28%

Base = 605; No reply = 2




                                                                                        OPM page 14
Gender
Slightly more responses were received from women (57%) than men (43%). This broadly
reflects the sector as a whole, as captured in the UK Voluntary Sector Almanac (2006),
which found that for the paid workforce6 in the voluntary and community sector as a whole,
                                                     7
over two-thirds (68%) of the workforce were women .


Table 2.2 – Gender of respondents
                     N      %
Male               261      43
Female             343      57




              Male
              43%

                                                     Female
                                                      57%




Base = 604; No reply = 3




Ethnicity
Respondents were asked to classify their ethnicity; the vast majority of respondents (93%)
classified themselves as White British or White Other. Smaller proportions of responses
were received from those who classified themselves as Black or Black British (4%), Asian
or Asian British (2%), mixed race (1%) and Chinese (less than 1%).




6
  Please note that throughout this section we have compared the profile of paid employees in the
voluntary and community sector, as recorded in the 2006 Almanac, to the profile of respondents to
this survey, which covers both the paid and non-paid workforce. Although this makes it difficult to
make direct comparisons, comparing the profile of respondents to the Almanac does give a good
insight into the profile of the sector as a whole.
7
 Susan Wainwright, Jenny Clark, Megan Griffith, Véronique Jochum, Karl Wilding (2006). The UK
Voluntary Sector Almanac 2006, 6th Edition, NCVO (London), p.110.




                                                                                              OPM page 15
In terms of representation from „non-white‟ respondents, this is roughly the same as the
paid workforce of the sector, when compared with the findings of the 2006 Almanac, which
found that 7% of employees working in the voluntary sector described themselves as non-
white8.


Table 2.3 – Ethnicity of respondents
                                                                 N      %
White or White British                                          560     93
Black or Black British                                           23      4
Asian or Asian British                                           11      2
Mixed                                                             4      1
Chinese                                                           2      *
Other                                                             4      1
* indicates a percentage value less than 1 but greater than 0



                            Asian or             Mixed
                                                                      Chinese
                           Asian British          1%
    Black or Black                                                     >1%
        British                2%                                               Other
         4%                                                                      1%




                                                White or
                                               White British
                                                  92%




Base = 604; No reply = 3




8
    Ibid., p.111.




                                                                                        OPM page 16
Disability
Respondents were also asked whether they classified themselves as disabled under the
terms of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005; 5% of respondents stated that they
have a disability, compared to 95% who stated that they do not. This proportion is lower
than the sector as a whole: the 2006 Almanac puts the proportion of long-term disabled
employees in the sector as a whole at 18%. However, the criteria for being classified as
disabled in the 2006 Almanac is broader than for this survey, as the figure includes both
those respondents that meet the criteria for the current DDA, but also those who have a
work-limiting disability 9.


Table 2.4 – Proportion of disabled respondents
                                             N    %
Disabled under the DDA                       30    5
Not disabled under the DDA                  574   95



                           Disabled under
                              the DDA
                                 5%




                                       Not disabled
                                      under the DDA
                                           95%



Base = 604; No reply = 3




9
    Ibid., p.111-2.




                                                                                    OPM page 17
Age
The survey received a good level of representation from all age groups. The majority of
responses were from those over the age of 50: 38% were aged between 50 and 59, 14%
between 60 and 69, and 5% over the age of 70. However, good levels of responses were
received from younger respondents, 14% aged between 30 and 39, and 5% under the age
of 30.

While no research had been undertaken in the Almanac regarding age and the workforce,
a piece of work undertaken on behalf of the NCVO, looking into trends in charity
                                                                           10
governance and trusteeship found that 71% of trustees are aged 45 or over, which
suggests that, compared to the sector as a whole, we have a good level of representation
from younger respondents.


Table 2.5 – Age of respondents
How old are you?            N     %
Under 30                   30      5
30-39                      82     14
40-49                      153    25
50-59                      228    38
60-69                      84     14
70 or over                 28      5



          50-59                                                         38%
          40-49                                         25%
          60-69                         14%
          30-39                        14%
     70 or over              5%
      Under 30               5%

                    0%           10%        20%           30%          40%
                                   % of respondents

Base = 605; No reply = 2




10
  Cornforth, C. (2001) Recent trends in charity governance and trusteeship. London:
NCVO. Available on the web at www.ncvo-vol.org.uk.




                                                                                      OPM page 18
Income
In terms of income, we received a fair level of representation across all income bands,
although this does not reflect the distribution of organisations in terms of income in the
sector as a whole. We received 108 responses (almost a fifth, 18%) from people working
for organisations with an income of less than £10,000 a year, but according to the 2006
Almanac, the actual proportion of these organisations in the sector as a whole is nearer to
three-fifths: 57%11.

Similarly, we received a disproportionately high number of responses from the charities
receiving over £1m a year; 22% of responses received have been from this category,
compared to only 2% of the sector overall.12 However, this is not necessarily that
surprising, given that larger organisations tend to have more time and resources to
participate in surveys, as well as perhaps being better engaged with the sector as a whole
(for example with bodies such as the Governance Hub).


Table 2.6 – Income bands of respondents’ organisations
                                                                              N     %
Less than £10,000                                                            108    18
£10,001 - £100,000                                                           110    18
£100,001 - £250,000                                                           95    16
£250,001 - £500,000                                                           82    14
£500,001 - £1,000,000                                                         75    12
More than £1,000,000                                                         134    22




11
  Susan Wainwright, Jenny Clark, Megan Griffith, Véronique Jochum, Karl Wilding (2006). The UK
Voluntary Sector Almanac 2006, 6th Edition, NCVO (London), p.54.
12
     Loc. cit.




                                                                                         OPM page 19
                           £500,001 -                  More than
                           £1,000,000                  £1,000,000
                              12%                         22%


            £250,001 -
             £500,000
               14%



                                                                 Less than
                                                                  £10,000
                                                                   18%
                  £100,001 -
                   £250,000
                     16%

                                          £10,001 -
                                          £100,000
                                            18%
Base = 604; No reply = 3




The focus of each organisation
Respondents were also asked whether their organisation focused on a range of different
groups, communities and issues. Survey participants were able to select more than one
option, in recognition of the multiple „identities‟ of individual organisations. The results for
this question are shown in Table 2.7 below, and the accompanying graph.




                                                                                           OPM page 20
Table 2.7 – The focus of respondents’ organisations
Is your organisation focused on any of the following specific                           N       %
groups/communities/issues?
Children and young people                                                               266     44
Health, disability or mental health                                                     256     42
Older People                                                                            169     28
Housing                                                                                 107     18
Black and Minority Ethnic                                                               102     17
Rural                                                                                    92     15
Regeneration                                                                             92     15
The Arts                                                                                 66     11
Conservation and environment                                                             63     10
Crime and disorder (including Neighbourhood Watch)                                       63     10
Faith-based                                                                              56      9
International development, humanitarian relief and refugees                              48      8
Heritage                                                                                 36      6
Community banking or credit union                                                        24      4
None of the Above                                                                        91     15
Survey respondents were free to tick as many options as applied




        Children and young people                                                              44%

 Health, disability or mental health                                                          42%

                     Older People                                           28%

                           Housing                             18%

         Black and Minority Ethnic                             17%

                     Regeneration                            15%

                              Rural                          15%

                           The Arts                    11%

                                       0%   5%   10%     15%    20%   25%   30%   35%   40%    45%    50%

                                                               % of respondents

Base = 605; No reply = 2



As the table and graph above show, respondents represented organisations working on or
with the full range of the issues, communities and groups offered, with over 20 responses
for all categories; the lowest number of respondents being for community banking or credit




                                                                                                     OPM page 21
unions (24 responses). The average number of responses for each sub-group however is
103 (17% of the total) – illustrating a good spread across all categories.

The largest proportion of respondents (44%) stated that their organisation was focused
upon children and young people, and a similar amount (42%) of responses were received
from people whose organisation focused upon health, disability or mental health. Over a
quarter of responses received (28%) were from people whose organisation focused upon
older people, 18% from organisations that focused upon housing, and 17% from those
looking at Black and Minority Ethnic communities. As noted above, smaller numbers of
responses were received from Heritage organisations (6%), and community banking or
credit unions (4%). 15% of respondents stated that their organisation did not focus upon
any of the issues or groups specified.


Core work of the organisation
Respondents were asked to indicate the core of work of their organisation. As Table 2.8
below shows, the largest proportion of respondents – almost two fifths (38%) – stated that
their organisation‟s core work was providing services. Just under one fifth of respondents
(18%) stated that their organisation‟s core work was in education, training and
development, and a similar proportion (15%) categorised their organisation as providing
local infrastructure services for voluntary or community organisations.

Smaller proportions of responses were received from organisations working mainly in
community development (8%), advocacy and campaigning (8%) and grant giving (6%);
only 1% of responses received were from individuals working in an organisation developing
social enterprise. One in fourteen respondents (7%) stated that the core work of their
organisation did not match any of those specified.


Table 2.8 – Core work of respondents’ organisations
                                                                                N      %
Providing services                                                             226     38
Education, training and development                                            104     18
Local infrastructure services for voluntary or community organisations         88      15
Community development                                                          48       8
Advocacy and campaigning                                                       46       8
Grant-giving                                                                   38       6
Developing social enterprise                                                    6       1
None of the above                                                              39       7




                                                                                     OPM page 22
                         Developing None of the
                             social   above
                          enterprise   7%
                              1%
                  Grant-giving
                      6%
           Advocacy and                                          Providing
            campaigning                                          services
                8%                                                 37%

            Community
           development
               8%


                      Local
                 infrastructure
               services for VCO
                      15%                          Education,
                                                  training and
                                                  development
                                                       18%


Base = 600; No reply = 7




                                                                             OPM page 23
Type of organisation
The large majority of respondents were from registered charities; over half of all
respondents (55%) stated that the structure of their organisation was a registered charity
company limited by guarantee, and a third (33%) from charities (unincorporated
associations or trusts).

Smaller proportions of responses were received from community organisations (5%),
charitable incorporated companies (3%) and social enterprises (1%).

3% of respondents classified their organisation as „other‟, and these included not for profit
companies, a lottery distributor, a subsidiary of foreign charity, and a student union.


Table 2.9 – Structure of organisations
                                                                            N      %
Registered charity company limited by guarantee                            329     55
Registered charity (unincorporated association / trust)                    196     33
Community organisation                                                      31      5
Charitable incorporated company                                             18      3
Social enterprise                                                           7       1
Other                                                                       19      3
                       Charitable Social
                     incorporated enterprise   Other
                       company       1%         3%
             Community    3%
             organisation
                 5%




                                                                  Registered
                                                                    charity
                                                                company limited
                                                                 by guarantee
           Registered
                                                                     55%
             charity
        (unincorporated
          association /
              trust)
               33%




Base = 600; No reply = 7




                                                                                        OPM page 24
Region
Respondents were asked to provide the first half of their postcode, each of which was then
recoded and used to analyse the responses by region. A good level of responses were
received from all regions; the smallest number of responses being from the North East (5%
of the total sample), and the largest being from London (23%).

Responses classified as „other‟ (2%) consist of those respondents that were from Scotland,
Wales or Northern Ireland.


Table 2.10 – Proportion of respondents from each region
                                        N       %
London                                 138      23
South East                             115      19
East of England                        63       10
South West                             61       10
West Midlands                          55        9
North West                             55        9
Yorkshire and the Humber               42        7
East Midlands                          35        6
North East                             31        5
Other                                   9        2
Base: 604, no reply = 3




                                             Other
                                  North East
                           East Midlands                      London
                 Yorkshire and the
                     Humber

                          North West



                      West Midlands                              South East


                                South West           East of England




                                                                                   OPM page 25
4. Overall experience of recruitment and
   governance: all respondents

Respondents were asked to say how they heard about their current role, and were given a
series of options. As Table 3.1 shows, respondents tended to have found out about their
role through informal mechanisms. Almost a quarter (23%) had previously worked for the
organisation in another capacity, a similar proportion (22%) stated that they had been
approached by someone from the organisation, and 11% found out through word of mouth.
Smaller proportions of respondents found out about their role through more formal
channels; of those that saw their position advertised, the majority saw an advertisement in
the press – either nationally (14%) or locally/regionally (12%). Much smaller proportions of
respondents saw the advertisement online (3%), were approached by a recruitment
agency (2%) or made use of a volunteer centre or bureau (2%).

The vast majority of responses classified as „other‟ (14%) were from respondents that had
founded, or helped to set up their charity or organisation.


Table 3.1 – How respondents found out about their current role
                                                                      N        %
Previously worked for the organisation in another capacity           136       23
I was approached by someone from the organisation                    133       22
Saw an advertisement in the national press                           83        14
Saw an advertisement in the local or regional press                  71        12
Word of mouth                                                        67        11
Saw an advertisement online                                          16         3
Approached via a recruitment agency                                  12         2
Made use of a volunteer centre/bureau                                 9         2
Other                                                                78        13
Base = 605; No reply = 2


When analysed by capacity, trustees were significantly more likely than any other
respondent to have been approached by someone from the organisation; 44% of trustees
found out about their role this way, compared to 9% of Chief Executives and 14% of
volunteers. Chief Executives tended to see their post advertised in the national press
(30%), while Chairs tended to have either worked for the organisation in another capacity
(29%) or have been approached by someone from the organisation (24%).

Interestingly, respondents who have a disability were significantly less likely than those
without a disability to have been approached by someone from the organisation; only 7%
of disabled people found out about their role in this way, compared to 23% of respondents
without a disability.




                                                                                     OPM page 26
Older respondents were the least likely to have seen their position advertised in either the
national or local/regional press; only 7% of those aged 60 to 69, and no respondents over
the age of 70 saw their role advertised in this way, compared to 14% for national and 12%
for regional/local press overall.

Respondents were asked about the governance practice in their organisation. Almost all
(96%) of respondents stated that their organisation currently practices good governance
either to some, or to a great extent; with over half of all respondents (52%) stating that
their organisation practices good governance to a great extent. Only 3 respondents (1%)
stated that their organisation did not practice good governance at all.


Table 3.2 – The extent to which respondents feel that their organisation currently
practice good governance
                                  N     %
To a great extent               312     52
To some extent                  271     45
Not very much                   20       3
Not at all                      3        1

Base = 606; No reply = 1


Younger respondents were significantly less likely than older respondents to say that their
organisation practices good governance to a great extent; 27% of respondents under the
age of 30 said that their organisation practices good governance to a great extent,
compared to 71% of respondents over the age of 70.13

Respondents were then asked to rate the extent to which they felt that either they, or their
trustees have access to the resources or services need to carry out good governance.
Again, the vast majority (92%) felt that they had access to these resources and services to
either some extent, or to a great extent.


Table 3.3 – Extent to which respondents feel that they/their trustees have access to
the resources and services needed to carry out good governance
                                  N     %
To a great extent               258     43
To some extent                  296     49
Not very much                   45       7
Not at all                      7        1
Base = 606; No reply = 1




13
  Some caution must be applied when looking at these statistics, given the fairly small size of the
subgroups.




                                                                                               OPM page 27
Again, older respondents were significantly more likely than their younger counterparts to
say that their trustees practice good governance to a great extent; 27% of respondents
under the age of 30 said that their trustees practice good governance to a great extent,
compared to two thirds of respondents over the age of 70 (64%).14




14
  Some caution must be applied when looking at these statistics, given the fairly small size of the
subgroups.




                                                                                               OPM page 28
5. Chairs

In total 85 respondents classified themselves as Chairs. The questions for which results
are reported in this section were only asked of those respondents who identified
themselves as Chairs.

Table 4.1 below outlines the sample profile of the Chairs that responded to the survey. As
shown, responses were received from a good spread of both male and female Chairs, and
across a number of different age groups, included 2 responses from Chairs under the age
of 30. In terms of ethnicity, the vast majority of Chairs that responded to the survey were
white (94%), although this is consistent with the findings for the sector as a whole. One in
eight Chairs (13%) that responded to the survey is classified as disabled under the DDA.


Table 4.1 – Sample profile of Chairs
                                      N            %
Gender
Male                                 48           57
Female                               36           43
Age
Under 30                              2            2
30-39                                10           12
40-49                                17           20
50-59                                30           35
60-69                                20           24
70 or over                            6            7
Ethnicity
White British or White Other         79           94
Mixed                                 0            0
Asian or Asian British                1            1
Black or Black British                3            4
Chinese                               1            1
Other                                 0            0
Disability
Yes                                  11           13
No                                   84           87

Chairs were asked to provide some information concerning how long they had been in post
and about their past experience. Over three quarters of Chairs (78%) have been in their
post for five years or less; the largest proportion stated that they have been in post for
between one and three years (43%); 17% for less than a year, and18% for four to five
years.




                                                                                     OPM page 29
Table 4.2 – Length of time that Chairs have been in their current post
                                              N      %
Under 1 year                                  14     17
1-3 years                                     36     43
4-5                                           15     18
6-7                                            5      6
8-10                                           7      8
11-20                                          7      8
Over 20 years                                  0      0
Base = 84; No reply = 1




    Over 20 years         0%
    11 to 20 years             8%
      8 to 10 years             8%
       6 to 7 years            6%
       4 to 5 years                       18%

       1 to 3 years                                                        43%
      Under 1 year                        17%

                      0%       10%        20%          30%         40%         50%
                                          % of respondents


Chairs were also asked to specify the amount of experience that they have had in their
current, or a similar role. This revealed that the majority of chairs have good levels of
experience overall. Over two fifths (42%) of respondents have had between four and ten
years experience; and a third of respondents (33%) have had 11 of more years
experience. Only one in ten respondents (11%) have had less than a year‟s experience.


Table 4.3 – Amount of experience that Chairs have had in their current, or a similar
role
                                              N      %
Under 1 year                                   9     11
1-3 years                                     13     16
4-5                                           17     20
6-7                                            5      6
8-10                                          13     16
11-20                                         14     17
Over 20 years                                 13     16




                                                                                     OPM page 30
Base = 84; No reply = 1


All Chairs were asked to provide more information about their skills; respondents were
given a series of different types of experience and asked whether they had less then one
year‟s experience, 1-3 years experience, 4-10 years, or more than 10 years. Respondents
could also indicate if they felt that the skill was not applicable to their role. Results for this
section were mixed; a high proportion of respondents indicated that they had over 10 years
experience in many of the skills categories, although a similarly high proportion of
respondents indicated that many of these types of experience were not relevant to their
role as Chair.

Managerial experience emerged as the area that respondents had the most experience in;
80% stated that they had four or more years experience, with almost two thirds (63%)
having more than 10 years managerial experience in the public, private or voluntary
sectors. Only 10% of respondents stated that they felt that this was not applicable to their
role. A large proportion of respondents also indicated that they have a good amount of
professional experience, in law, teaching or other relevant disciplines; 40% of Chairs
surveyed have over 10 years experience in this area. However, the same proportion of
respondents (40%) also indicated that professional experience in relevant disciplines was
not applicable to their role.

Three fifths of respondents (59%) reported that they have four or more years‟ governance
experience in a different public, private or voluntary organisations – the majority of which
had over 10 years experience in this field. Almost four out of five respondents (79%) felt
that this was applicable to their role. The area that Chairs were most likely to view as not
applicable to their role was experience as a community leader in local, church or faith
based groups; almost half (48%) felt that this was not relevant to their role.


Table 4.4 – Skills and experience of Chairs
                                                                    Less                             More
                                                          Not      than 1     1–3       4 – 10       than
                                                       applicabl    year      years     years          10
                                                         e (%)       (%)       (%)       (%)         years
                                                                                                      (%)
Managerial experience in the public, private or
                                                           10         2         8         17          63
voluntary sectors
Professional experience in law, accountancy,
                                                           40         5         4         12          40
teaching or other relevant disciplines
Governance experience in a different public,
                                                           21         4         17        20          39
private or voluntary sector organisation
1.      Experience as a service user in the field
                                                           41         5         17        13          25
covered by the organisation for which I am Chair
Experience as a community leader in local groups,
                                                           48         4         7         18          24
church or faith based groups etc
Base = 85




                                                                                           OPM page 31
Chairs were asked to provide information about the types of materials that they have used.
Findings show that the majority of Chairs have used written materials of some description.
The vast majority (91%) have used printed materials from the Charity Commission, NCVO
or other sources, and similar proportions have used information found on websites (90%)
and handbooks, briefings or other guidance supplied locally (81%). Three quarters of
Chairs (73%) have also used training courses or conferences.

Smaller proportions of Chairs have used mentors, although more have used informal
mentors; 45% of respondents have used informal mentors, compared to 19% who have
had a mentor paid to support them.

Table 4.5 – Materials that Chairs have used
                                                                          N           %
Printed materials from the Charity Commission, NCVO or other              77         91
sources
Information found on websites                                             73         90
Handbooks, briefings or other guidance supplied locally                   67         81
Training courses or conferences                                           61         73
An informal mentor                                                        35         45
Telephone helplines                                                       34         41
Participation in a network with other Chairs                              29         36
A mentor paid to support me                                               16         19
Base = 85


Chairs were then asked to rate a number of statements, in terms of how important each
one was to their role. As shown in Table 4.6 below, the vast majority of respondents rated
all aspects as important to some extent, and with the exception of two statements, only
very small proportions of Chairs rated any statements as “not at all important”.

Ensuring that the board works effectively as a group was seen as the most important
aspects by Chairs – 100% felt that it was important to some extent, and almost all (98%)
felt it was very important.

Ensuring that the organisation complies with charity law and good practice was another are
that most Chairs rated as particularly important. Almost all respondents (98%) rated it as
somewhat important, and the vast majority (91%) rated it as very important.

Several other areas emerged as particularly important to the Chairs surveyed; ensuring
that the organisation remains focused on its core mission and values – 87% rated this as
very important, ensuring the board has and uses the skills needed (82%), and providing
leadership for the board and organisation (82%).

Areas that were not rated so highly were relationships and collaboration with the CEO and
other staff – 15% rated this as not at all important, and appraisal of the CEO (19%) rated
this as not at all important.




                                                                                    OPM page 32
Chairs were also able to specify „other‟ areas that they felt were important to their role.
These included:
    Financial issues: “Ensuring that the organisation remains financially viable”
    Accountability: “Ensuring proper accountability to the stakeholders (particularly
        members)”
    Ensuring fair representation: “Represent the views of a range of stakeholders on
        the board”


Table 4.6 – Extent to which Chairs rated the following statements as important
                                                                                                 Not
                                                         Very         Quite      Not that     important
                                                       important    important   important       at all
                                                          (%)          (%)         (%)           (%)
Ensuring the board works effectively as a group            98           2           0             0
Ensuring the organisation complies with charity
                                                           91           7           1             1
law and good practice
Ensuring the organisation remains focused on its
                                                           87          12           1             0
core mission and values
Ensuring the board has and uses the skills needed          82          14           2             1
Providing leadership for the board and
                                                           82          17           1             0
organisation
Relationships and collaboration with the Chief
                                                           64          20           1             15
Executive Officer and other staff
Appraisal of the Chief Executive Officer                   60          18            4            19
Representing the organisation externally                   59          31            7            4
Board development and appraisal                            40          42           14            4
Other                                                      67          8             0            25


Chairs were then asked to rate the extent to which they would like to learn more about or
extend their skills in various areas. On the whole, there was fairly consistent ratings for all
areas, the majority of Chairs stated that they would probably or definitely like to learn more
for all areas.

Ensuring that their organisation complies with charity law and good practice emerged as
the area that Chairs would most like to learn more about – 86% expressed at least a
probable interest in learning more about this.

Other areas scored around the same amount – with between 25 and 29% stating that they
would definitely like to learn more, and between 7 and 10% stating that they would
definitely not be interested in extending their skills or learning more.

Consistent with the previous question, relationships and collaboration with the CEO and
staff, and appraisal of the CEO scored the lowest – only 17% said that they would definitely
like to learn more, and 20 and 27% (respectively) stated that they would definitely not be
interested in extending their skills in these areas.




                                                                                         OPM page 33
Chairs were also invited to specify „other‟ areas that they would like to learn more about
and extend their skills in. Responses included:
    Recruiting specific groups: “How to recruit young people onto the board“
    Impact assessment

Table 4.7 – The extent to which Chairs would like to learn more or extend their skills
in the following areas
                                                       Would      Would      Would         Would
                                                      definitely probably probably        definitely
                                                       like to    like to    not be        not be
                                                     learn more learn more interested    interested
                                                         (%)         (%)       (%)           (%)
Ensuring the organisation complies with charity
                                                         35          51          10          5
law and good practice
Ensuring the board works effectively as a group          30          39          23          8
Ensuring the board has and uses the skills
                                                         29          44          20          7
needed
Providing leadership for the board and
                                                         29          43          23          6
organisation
Representing the organisation externally                 29          37          26          8
Board development and appraisal                          25          43          23          10
Ensuring the organisation remains focused on its
                                                         25          43          25          7
core mission and values
Relationships and collaboration with the Chief
                                                         17          44          19          20
Executive Officer and other staff
Appraisal of the Chief Executive Officer                 17          36          20          27
Other (17)                                               24          29          12          35
Base = 84




                                                                                       OPM page 34
Respondents were then asked what, in general, they liked about being Chair. The
responses to this question were open-ended, and have been analysed into the following
categories (explored in more detail, including direct quotations, on the following page):


Table 4.8 – Areas that Chairs like most about their role15
                                                                                       N              %
Furthering the organisation's objectives/cause                                         18             21
Providing leadership to the organisation                                               15             18
2.     Getting things done/making a difference/bringing about                          14             17
change
Making decisions and developing the organisation                                       11             13
Working with a diverse range of people and organisations                                9             11
Ensuring the board, meetings and committees operate effectively                         8             10
Providing support to staff/CEO/trustees                                                 7              8
Contributing to the community                                                           6              7
Shaping the future of the organisation                                                  6              7
Being involved in all aspects of the organisation                                       5              6
Sharing knowledge and skills                                                            4              5
Personal development                                                                    3              4
Sense of achievement/pride                                                              3              4
Other                                                                                   7              8
Base = 84, no reply = 1




         Furthering the organisation's objectives/cause                                        21%


              Providing leadership to the organisation                                  18%

      Getting things done/making a difference/bringing
                                                                                       17%
                        about change

     Making decisions and developing the organisation                        13%

           Working with a diverse range of people and
                                                                          11%
                         organisations

         Ensuring the board, meetings and committees
                                                                       10%
                       operate effectively

                                                          0%   5%   10%         15%      20%         25%
                                                                    % of respondents




15
 Note that the percentages in this table do not match up to 100% as some respondents provided
more than one point in their answer




                                                                                                      OPM page 35
One in five Chairs (21%) stated that furthering the organisation's objectives/cause was
one of the more positive aspects of being a Chair.
    “Being able to champion and represent the cause”
    “Ensuring that the organisation succeeds with its mission”
    “The opportunity to focus the Association of its core objectives and move forward to
        achieve them”

A similar proportion of Chairs (18%) stated that they enjoyed providing leadership to the
organisation:
     “Leadership, sharing my skills and influencing decisions”
     “The opportunity to provide leadership for the organisation”,
     “Being able to lead the organisation and interact with members of the organisation
        as well as external bodies”

One in six respondents (17%) stated that one of the most positive aspects for them in their
position as Chair was the ability to get things done, bring about change and make a
difference. Typical comments included:
     “The feeling that I can bring about effective change and help the organisation
        towards achieving its objectives”
     “Being able to make a real difference”
     “Getting things done”

3.    Making decisions and developing the organisation emerged as a common
theme amongst Chairs; 13% of respondents stated that this was a positive aspect of their
role:
     “I enjoy the general involvement in the development of the organisation”
     “The opportunity to help the charity to be develop and be more effective”
     “Helping to shape important decisions”

Similarly, 7% of respondents stated that they found shaping the future of the
organisation to be a positive element of their role as Chair:
    “Helping to shape important decisions”
    “Ability to shape future of charity I care passionately about”.
    “Helping to guide the organisation in the right direction”
4.
Over one in ten respondents (11%) stated that working with a diverse range of people
and organisations was one of the most positive aspects of their job. Comments included:
    “Working with a wide range of orgs including media, voluntary and statutory groups”
    “Being able interact with members of the organisation as well as external bodies”
    “Working with a great group of diverse people and using their individual skills to
        great effect”

Ensuring the board, meetings and committees operate effectively was a positive point
of the role of Chair raised by 10% of respondents:
     “I use my skills and abilities to support the Board to do its job”
     “Opportunity to work to shape the committee and the dynamics of such”



                                                                                    OPM page 36
      “Ensuring that the Board takes a broad view and keeps its objects in mind and also
       being able to structure the agenda”

In a similar vein, 8% of respondents mentioned that they enjoyed providing support to
staff, CEOs and trustees:
     “As a very experienced leader who has at some time done most things wrong and
        learnt from mistakes, I am motivated when I help our leader to avoid errors”
     “Being able to provide direction and support to other Trustees”
     “Direct involvement in support the Co-ordinator of the organisation“

Contributing to the community was an area that was mentioned by 7% of Chairs as a
positive element of their work – specifically, respondents mentioned working with, helping
and giving something back to the community:
    “Give something back to Community”
    “Being able to make a positive difference to the Community”
    “Helping the Community”

Smaller proportions of Chairs mentioned the following issues as positive elements of their
role:
     Being involved in all aspects of the organisation (6%):
       “Being closely in touch with all aspects of organisation”
     Sharing knowledge and skills (5%):
       “Being able to share and distribute knowledge”
     Personal development (4%):
       “Great personal development and experience in all sorts of areas from policy and
       practice to managing staff”
     Sense of achievement/pride (4%):
       “I take great pride in the success of the organisation and the awards we have won”

Other positive aspects of the role included:
     Enjoying undertaking specific tasks: “I enjoy keeping records and ensuring that all
       policies and returns are updated and submitted on time”
     The “wide variety of tasks”
     “To be an ambassador of the organisation”




                                                                                     OPM page 37
Respondents were also asked what the less positive aspects of being a Chair were. The
responses to this question were also open-ended, and have been analysed into the
following categories:


Table 4.9 – Areas that Chairs like least about their role16
                                                                                    N             %
 Time consuming nature of the role                                                  13            15
 High level of responsibility and legal liability (e.g. employment                  12            14
 law)
 Dealing with uncommitted and incompetent colleagues                                10            12
 Demanding workload                                                                 9             11
 Lack of support/isolation                                                          9             11
 Dealing with conflict in the organisation                                          7             8
 Lack of funding/dealing with funding crises                                        7             8
 Recruiting new trustees                                                            6             7
 Unrealistic expectations of colleagues                                             4             5
 Being public face/representative for the organisation                              4             5
 Feeling unappreciated                                                              3             4
 None                                                                               7             8
 Other                                                                              12            14
Base = 85




     Time consuming nature of
                                                                                                 15%
             the role

     High level of responsibility
       and legal liability (e.g.                                                           14%
         employment law)
     Dealing with uncommitted
         and incompetent                                                           12%
            colleagues

         Demanding workload                                                  11%



     Lack of support/isolation                                               11%

                                    0%   2%   4%   6%         8%       10%    12%        14%     16%

                                                        % of respondents




16
  Again, percentages in this table do not match up to 100% as some respondents provided more
than one point in their answer




                                                                                                  OPM page 38
Encouragingly, 8% of all Chairs stated that there were no negative aspects of their role.
Specific comments included: “Nothing is negative; in fact all aspects of the role are very
positive”; “There is nothing I don’t like doing”.

The largest proportion of respondents (15%) stated that the aspect that they least liked
about being a Chair was the time consuming nature of the role. On the whole,
comments tended to be fairly general, although specific issues mentioned included the
frustrating of not having enough time to dedicate to the role and having to attending too
many functions:
     “Amount of time and dedication required”
     “The drain on my personal time”
     “Time consuming - I have to attend as many functions as I can to represent the
         charities that I chair for".

Linked to this issue, just over one in ten respondents (11%) stated that it was the
demanding workload that they found to be a less positive aspect of the role of Chair.
     “Sometimes the commitments are very excessive in number”.
     “The unremitting workload”

Another important issue raised by one in seven respondents (14%) was that of the high
level of responsibility and legal liability involved in the role of Chair. Comments
included:
     “As a chair of a charity you have the same legal liability as that of the chair of a
       large organisation but without all the support services – huge responsibility”
     “The fact that the ultimate responsibility rests with you”
     “Feeling responsible for all aspects of organisation”

Internal problems were also raised as a less positive aspect of being a Chair; one in eight
(12%) of Chairs mentioned dealing with uncommitted and incompetent colleagues as
one of the more negative aspects of their role; in particular, a lack of skills, apathy and a
general lack of commitment from other people within the organisation:
     “Ineffective and incompetent trustees”
     “There are no enough board members willing to see jobs through to the end.
        Ideally, I would like a vice chair to take some of the burden as there is a lack of
        commitment from others willing to do this”
     “The uncertainty around the whole hearted commitment of voluntary trustees”

Similarly, 8% of Chairs surveyed mentioned the issue of internal conflict as one of the
more negative aspects of the role. Comments included:
    “Sorting out interpersonal difficulties with trustees and staff”
    “Being sucked into at times difficult relationships with individual beneficiaries”
    “In-fighting amongst the trustees”

A sizeable proportion of Chairs surveyed (11%) mentioned that they found the role could
be isolating and lacking in support.
     “Can be lonely and the responsibility of it all can get a bit much sometimes!”




                                                                                       OPM page 39
      “Can be somewhat isolated”
      “Loneliness and mistrust from fellow volunteers”

Issues around keeping the organisation functioning effectively were raised by a number of
Chairs surveyed; just under one in every ten respondents (8%) mentioned the issue of
funding as a less enjoyable aspect of their role. In particular, the lack of funding, and
trying to avoid funding crises:
      “Having to fund the charity myself”
      “Lack of money in the organisation to enable us to pursue our activities as we
        would like”
      “The stupid form filling, box-ticking processes that are imposed by public sector
        funders are ludicrously wasteful and take funds away from those in need”
      “Financial stability can be a burden at times”

Similarly, the responsibility of recruiting new trustees was a negative aspect of the role
raised by 7% of Chairs surveyed:
     “Continually trying to recruit new Trustees”
     “Worrying about how to get new board members”
     “Finding additional trustees with appropriate skills to join in the governance of an
        organisation with a non-glamorous mission”

Smaller proportions of Chairs mentioned the following issues as less positive aspects of
their role:
     Unrealistic expectations of colleagues (5%): “Sometimes people think that you
         can move mountains when you can't”
     Being the public face/ representative of the organisation (5%): “I don’t like
         being the Public face of my organisation”.
         “Always being the spokesperson”
     Feeling unappreciated (4%): “People often have little or no idea of just what
         sacrifices Trustees have to make in supporting the organisations of which we are a
         Trustee. Trustees are too often taken for granted by staff. And often unintentionally
         - but that does not make it any better!”

‘Other’ comments raised by Chairs (14%) included:
    Remuneration issues: “not being adequately remunerated”
    Managing diverse views: “co-ordination of differing views and commitment”
    Changes to working patterns: “There is now a lack of day to day involvement”

Chairs were then asked to indicate which of the following statements they agreed with
about Chairs – respondents could tick as many options as they liked. As Table 4.10 shows,
almost all (93%) of Chairs agreed with the statement that “Chairs should be willing to learn
and take up opportunities offered”, and two thirds (66%) agreed that “Chairs are there to
give to the organisation, not for their own benefit”. A quarter (25%) of Chairs surveyed felt
that “Chairs have too many demands placed upon them already to make time for further
learning and development”, and a similar proportion (24%) felt that “Chairs are not offered
enough opportunities to learn about their role”. Only 6% of respondents felt that “Chairs




                                                                                       OPM page 40
usually have the skills needed for board membership and further learning is not a priority”,
which is interesting given that the survey findings also suggest that learning opportunities
are available.


Table 4.10 – Proportion of Chairs that agree with the following statements
                                                                                      N    %
 Chairs should be willing to learn and take up opportunities offered                  79   93
Chairs are there to give to the organisation, not for their own benefit               56   66
Chairs have too many demands placed upon them already to make time for                21   25
further learning and development
Chairs are not offered enough opportunities to learn about their role                 20   24
Chairs usually have the skills needed for board membership and further                 5    6
learning is not a priority
Survey respondents were free to tick as many options as applied.
Base = 85


When analysed by ethnicity, black Chairs were more likely than white Chairs to agree with
the statement that Chairs are not offered enough opportunities to learn about their role;
66% of black Chairs agreed with this statement, compared to 23% of white Chairs.17

The findings show that Chairs would be willing to participate in a structured programme of
training or learning in relation to their role; over three fifths (61%) of Chairs said that they
would definitely or probably want to participate, compared to less than a fifth (18%) who
said that they would be unlikely, or would definitely not want to participate. A fifth of Chairs
surveyed (21%) were unsure.


Table 4.11 – Proportion of Chairs that would be likely to participate in a structured
programme of training or learning
                                                                                N     %
 Yes, I would definitely want to participate                                    25    29
Yes, I would probably want to participate                                       27    32
I don't know whether I would want to participate or not                         18    21
No, I would be unlikely to participate                                          12    14
No, I would definitely not want to participate                                  3      4
Base = 85


Slightly fewer respondents stated that they would be willing to participate in a training or
learning programme that would lead to a recognised qualification in governance, although
the majority stated that they would like to participate. Over half (56%) stated that they
would definitely or probably like to participate, while a quarter (24%) stated that they would




17
     Caution must be applied to this finding, given the small size of the subgroups




                                                                                           OPM page 41
be unlikely, or would definitely not want to participate in such a programme. Again, a fifth of
respondents were unsure (21%).


Table 4.12 – Proportion of Chairs that would be likely to participate in a structured
programme of training or learning
                                                                       N         %
 Yes, I would definitely want to participate                           25        29
Yes, I would probably want to participate                              27        32
I don't know whether I would want to participate or not                18        21
No, I would be unlikely to participate                                 12        14
No, I would definitely not want to participate                          3         4
Base = 85


When analysed by income, Chairs from organisations that receive very low levels or very
high levels of income were the least likely groups to say that they would be willing to
participate on a structured programme of training or learning. Only 14% of Chairs working
in organisations receiving less than £10,000 income a year said that they would definitely
like to participate, and 17% of those Chairs working in organisations receiving more than
£1,000,000 a year. This compares to 50% of Chairs working in organisations receiving
between £500,000 and £1,000,000 a year that stated they would definitely like to
participate.

Chairs were also asked whether they would be willing to take part in more detailed
research into the needs of Chairs and the most effective ways to support them. Three
quarters of Chairs (76%) said that they would be willing to participate, and these
respondents were then invited to provide their contact details.


Table 4.13 – Proportion of Chairs that would be willing to participate in more
detailed research into the needs of Chairs and the most effective ways to support
them
                                           N       %
Yes                                        64      76
No                                         20      24

Base = 85




                                                                                        OPM page 42
6. Trustees

The questions for which results are reported in this section were only asked of those 172
respondents who identified themselves as Trustees.

Table 5.1 below outlines the sample profile of Trustees that responded to the survey.
Slightly more female than male trustees responded to the survey (56% compared to 44%).
The majority of Trustees surveyed were over the age of 50 (66%), although a good level of
responses were received across all ages. In terms of ethnicity, 92% of trustees surveyed
were white, slightly lower than for the total sample, with representation across all other
categories except for Chinese. Finally, for disability, 4% of Trustees surveyed stated that
they were classified as disabled under the DDA.


Table 5.1 – Sample profile of Trustees
                                     N            %
Gender
Male                                 75           44
Female                               97           56
Age
Under 30                             12            7
30-39                                15            9
40-49                                32           19
50-59                                62           36
60-69                                41           24
70 or over                           10            6
Ethnicity
White British or White Other         158          92
Mixed                                 2            1
Asian or Asian British                2            1
Black or Black British                8            5
Chinese                               0            0
Other                                 2            1
Disability
Yes                                   7            4
No                                   165          96

Trustees were asked to provide some information about their background; how long they
have been in post and information about their past experience. As with Chairs, the majority
of Trustees (69%) surveyed have been in their current post for five years or less, one in
five heave been in post for less than a year (19%), a third for one to three years (34%) and
16% stated that they have been in post for four or five years.




                                                                                     OPM page 43
Table 5.2 – Length of time that Trustees have been in their current post
                                                         N       %
Under 1 year                                             32      19
1-3 years                                                58      34
4-5                                                      28      16
6-7                                                      18      11
8-10                                                     17      10
11-20                                                    16       9
Over 20 years                                             3       2
Base = 172




      Over 20 years         2%

      11 to 20 years                    9%

       8 to 10 years                         10%

        6 to 7 years                         11%

        4 to 5 years                                  16%

        1 to 3 years                                                                  34%

       Under 1 year                                        19%

                       0%      5%      10%      15%      20%      25%      30%      35%      40%
                                                   % of respondents



Trustees that work for organisations with a focus on housing are more likely to have been
in post for less than a year; 42% of this group stated that they have been in post for this
length of time, compared to 15% of all other trustees.18

In terms of the amount of broader experience that Trustees have, the findings in Table 5.3
below show that Trustees tend to have a good level of experience in their current, or a
similar role. Almost three fifths (58%) have six or more years experience, with a third of all
trustees surveyed stating that they have over ten years experience in this area (32%). This
implies that while few Trustees have been in their role for longer than five years, most have
more than five years experience in this area.




18
     Some caution must be exercised with this finding, given the relatively small subgroup size




                                                                                                  OPM page 44
Table 5.3 – Amount of experience that Trustees have had in their current, or a similar
role
                                                      N     %
Under 1 year                                         13      8
1-3 years                                            39     23
4-5                                                  21     12
6-7                                                  15      9
8-10                                                 29     17
11-20                                                32     19
Over 20 years                                        23     13
Base = 172


Trustees from organisations focused on housing were least likely to have had over ten
years experience in their current, or a similar role; only 13% have had 11 or more year‟s
experience, compared to 35% of all other respondents.19

Trustees were asked to provide more information about their relevant skills and
experiences, and were given a series of statements against which they were asked to rate
the amount of experience they had in this area, or whether they felt this was something
that was not applicable to their role. Results were broadly similar to chairs: managerial and
professional experience emerged as the most applicable and areas of the most skill, with
respondents indicating that they have the lowest levels of experience as a service user and
as a community leader, and that they felt these areas were less relevant to their role as
Trustee.

Managerial experience emerged as the area in which respondents had the most
experience; three quarters (75%) of trustees stated that they had four or more years
experience, and three fifths (60%) as having more than 10 years managerial experience in
the public, private or voluntary sectors. 14% of respondents stated that they felt that this
was not applicable to their role.

Many trustees indicated that they have good levels of professional experience, in law,
teaching or other relevant disciplines; 45% of Trustees surveyed have over 10 years
experience in this area. However, only slightly less – a third of all respondents (34%) -
indicated that this was not applicable to their role.

The areas that Trustees were most likely to view as not applicable to their role were
“experience as a community leader in local, church or faith based groups” and “experience
as a service user in the field covered by the organisation they are trustee for”; almost half
of all trustees (51% and 48% respectively) felt that these were areas that were not relevant
to their role.




19
     Some caution must be exercised with this finding, given the relatively small subgroup size




                                                                                                  OPM page 45
Table 5.4 – Skills and experience of Trustees
                                                                Less                                More
                                                    Not        than 1     1–3           4 – 10     than 10
                                                 applicable     year                    years       years
                                                    (%)          (%)      years          (%)         (%)


                                                                             (%)
Managerial experience in the public, private
                                                     14           2           9          15          60
or voluntary sectors
Professional experience in law,
accountancy, teaching or other relevant              34           2           3          16          45
disciplines
Governance experience in a different public,
                                                     30           5          13          21          31
private or voluntary sector organisation
Experience as a community leader in local
                                                     51           3          11          13          23
groups, church or faith based groups etc
5.       Experience as a service user in the
field covered by the organisation for which I        48           2          11          16          22
am a trustee
Base = 172



Trustees were asked to indicate which of the following options had contributed to their
decision to becoming a trustee. As shown in Table 5.5, the desire to help an organisation
dedicated to a good cause was the most frequently mentioned motivation amongst
trustees – over four fifths indicated that this formed part of their decision (81%). Over half
(56%) stated that using their skills to benefit the organisation was a factor in their choice to
become a trustee, and for around a third of respondents shaping how things happen
(37%), having a more active role in the organisation (35%), and personal development
(32%) were cited as factors.

Trustees were also invited to provide other examples of what motivated them to become a
Trustee; responses included:
    “A useful occupation in retirement”
    “For my own (religious and spiritual) personal development, through doing work for
        the common good”
    “I founded the organisation”
    “to contribute to quality of life in my community”




                                                                                         OPM page 46
Table 5.5 – Extent to which the following motivations applied to the respondents’
decisions to become a Trustee
                                                                                          N      %
 The desire to help an organisation dedicated to a good cause                            132     81
I had a particular skill that I felt would be of use to the                               92     56
organisation
I wanted to shape how things happen                                                       61     37
I wanted to have more of an active role in the organisation/                              57     35
tackle specific issues
For my own personal development (to develop skills, knowledge                             52     32
or experience)
Other                                                                                      8     5
Survey respondents were free to tick as many options as applied
Base = 172




      The desire to help an organisation dedicated to a
                                                                                                      81%
                         good cause

   I had a particular skill that I felt would be of use to the
                                                                                           56%
                         organisation


                    I wanted to shape how things happen                           37%


           I wanted to have more of an active role in the
                                                                                 35%
                organisation/ tackle specific issues

   For my own personal development (to develop skills,
                                                                               32%
               knowledge or experience)

                                                                 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%
                                                                             % of respondents




                                                                                                        OPM page 47
Respondents were then asked what, in general, they liked about being a Trustee. The
responses to this question were open-ended, and have been analysed into the following
categories:


Table 5.6 – Areas that Trustees like most about their role20
                                                                             N           %
Making decisions and developing the organisation and service                 37          22
Contributing to the local community - giving something back                  33          19
Making a difference/having an impact                                         25          15
6.     Using existing skills and experience to support the                   24          14
organisation
Influencing the strategic direction/management of the organisation           18          11
Contributing to a worthwhile cause                                           18          11
Working as part of a team for a common cause                                 17          10
Furthering the objectives of the organisation/the cause                      17          10
Personal development - learning new skills, knowledge                        14           8
Meeting needs of service users/community                                     11           6
Status/sense of importance of role                                            6           4
Meeting new people                                                            6           4
Supporting other members of the organisation - staff/ volunteers/             6           4
service users
Keeping up to date with wider issues/developments                             5          3
Other                                                                        11          6
Base = 170, no-reply = 2




20
 Note that the percentages in this table do not match up to 100% as some respondents provided
more than one point in their answer




                                                                                         OPM page 48
  Making decisions and developing the organisation and
                                                                                                 22%
                        service
  Contributing to the local community - giving something
                                                                                           19%
                             back

                   Making a difference/having an impact                              15%

      Using existing skills and experience to support the
                           organisation                                              14%

   Influencing the strategic direction/management of the
                                                                              11%
                         organisation

                     Contributing to a worthwhile cause                       11%

        Working as part of a team for a common cause                         10%

  Furthering the objectives of the organisation/the cause                10%

                                                            0%   5%    10%          15%    20%     25%

                                                                      % of respondents




The largest proportion of respondents – over one fifth (22%) – stated that one of the things
that they liked about being a trustee was the fact that it gave them the means to make
decisions that would help to develop their organisation. Comments included:
     “Being involved in the decision making of the organisation and the chance to help
        develop the services”
     “The ability to make decisions and to shape how things will happen”
     “The sense of satisfaction in watching the organisation grow”

A similarly high proportion of trustees (19%) noted that one of the main positive aspects of
their role was the ability to benefit, connect and/or being involved with the local
community; many respondents mentioned that they liked being able to “give something
back”:
     “The satisfaction of doing something for the local community”
     “It is interesting and allows me to participate in the life of the community in a
         beneficial way”
     “The feeling of giving something back to the community, and doing a job that needs
         to be done”
     “Involvement in the local community for some of the least advantaged people.
         Putting something back into the area in which I live”

A substantial proportion of trustees (15%) stated that they liked the fact that their role
enabled them to make a difference and to have an impact. The majority of these
responses referred explicitly to seeing the benefits of their work in terms of their
organisation‟s objectives, such as improvements for service users, or having an impact
upon their local environment:




                                                                                                       OPM page 49
      “Seeing the people we raise money benefit”
      “The fact that I can help young people and have a positive influence on young
       people”
      “Being able to help make things happen”

One in seven respondents (14%) stated that they liked being able to use their existing
skills, knowledge and experience to support their organisation, and the beneficiaries
of their organisation.
     “It gives me a chance to use transferable skills for the benefit of my organisation”
     “Seeing the direct impact of my knowledge and skills to transform service users and
         the organisation
     “I hope I am able to offer some of my experience working in the public sector to
         assist in the efficient running of the organisation and use my skills to make a
         difference for our beneficiaries”

Over one in ten respondents (11%) stated they liked being able to influence the strategic
direction and/or management of their organisation. Comments included:
     “Being able to help develop the charity strategically”
     “The chance to take an overview of all aspects of the organisation rather than a
       single element”
     “Ability with other trustees to make decisions about management of our charity”

11% of trustees stated that one of the most positive aspects of their role was contributing
to a worthwhile cause.
     “Knowing that I am working for a fantastic cause”
     “Being part of an organisation committed to helping others to have a better life”
     “I like working for causes I believe in”
     “The ability to make a positive contribution to the lives of others”

One in ten trustees (10%) stated that they enjoyed working as part of a team for a
common cause. Comments related to the benefit of working with like-minded people, and
the sense of achieving something as a team:
     “Sense of brotherhood and unity of purpose”
     “Being a member of a group of people intent on achieving a common purpose”
     “I like the fellowship, the shared values base and collaborative working”

Being able to further the objectives of their organisation was raised as a positive
element of the role by 10% of trustees. Comments included:
    “Seeing an organisation I care about and which I believe does a great deal of good,
       continue to flourish and grow - and being part of that growth”
    “The satisfaction gained by seeing our charity become better known, recognised
       and respected as a source of expertise in our chosen area”
    “Helping the charity fulfil its objects”




                                                                                    OPM page 50
A number of trustees (8%) reported that they liked the personal development associated
with being a trustee. Examples of this include learning new skills and being challenged in
their role:
     “Learning skills and knowledge which help me in other areas of my work”
     “The challenges it creates for my personal development”

Being able to meet the needs of service users and the community was cited as a
positive element of their role by 6% of trustees. Examples of these comments included:
    “The opportunity of finding out the needs of our client group and assessing the best
        ways of covering these needs”
    “Having an overall view of the needs of the community (service users) and the good
        work so many decent volunteers do to provide support to meet those needs”

Smaller proportions of responses from trustees were received relating to the following
themes:
    Liking the sense of importance of their role and being valued (4%): “A sense of
       being important in the organisation”
    The trustee role providing an opportunity to meet new people (4%): “The
       opportunity to get to know people better”
    Being able to support other members of the organisation, including staff,
       volunteers and service users (4%): “It gives me the opportunity to work with and
       support people I respect (i.e. other trustees, staff members, service users)”,
       “Being able to support workers and watch them develop”
    Enjoying being able to keep up with wider issues and developments in the
       sector (3%): “I can keep up to date with new developments”

Responses received in the ‘other’ category (6%) included those people that “neither like
nor dislike being a trustee”, or “do not like anything about the role”.

Respondents were also asked what the less positive aspects of being a Trustee were. The
responses to this question were also open-ended, and have been analysed into the
following categories:




                                                                                    OPM page 51
Table 5.7 – Areas that Trustees like least about their role21
                                                                                    N            %
Heavy workload and time commitment                                                  32           19
High level of responsibility due to financial and legal liability                   25           15
Amount of bureaucracy and paperwork                                                 24           14
Lack of resources / funding problems                                                18           11
Number and length of meetings                                                       17           10
Not enough time to carry out role properly                                          15            9
7.     Other trustees' lack of competency / commitment                              11            7
Tension/conflict within the board                                                    7            4
Lack of clarity of the role / what is expected                                       6            4
Tension with paid staff                                                              5            3
No negatives                                                                        17           10
Other                                                                               34           20
Base = 169, no-reply = 3




       Heavy workload and time
            commitment                                                                           19%


      High level of responsibility
      due to financial and legal                                                    15%
                liability

     Amount of bureaucracy and                                                     14%
            paperwork


     Lack of resources / funding
                                                                       11%
              problems


          Number and length of
              meetings
                                                                 10%


                                     0%   2%   4%   6%   8%    10%     12%   14%     16%   18%   20%

                                                         % of respondents




The most frequently mentioned negative aspect of being a trustee by respondents as the
heavy workload and time commitment required to undertake the role. Almost one in five
trustees (19%) mentioned this as an issue. Many respondents mentioned the problems
associated with having to juggle a full time job with being a trustee, as well as travel
commitments and an ever increasing workload.




21
  Again, percentages in this table do not match up to 100% as some respondents provided more
than one point in their answer




                                                                                                 OPM page 52
      “The time it takes to do the job properly, especially when holding down a full time
       job with a lot of travelling”
      “Immensely time consuming role”
      “The enormous workload”

A similar proportion of trustees (15%) stated that one of the less positive aspects of their
role was the high level of responsibility due to financial and legal liability. In
particular, the issues surrounding
     “Feeling that we are just holding our own on legislation, health & safety & other
        bureaucratic issues”
     “The responsibility of possibly failing to adhere to all aspects of legislation”
     “The increasing pressures of being an employer, having to be competent in
        employment law, health & safety, risk assessment, with little easily accessible and
        free one-to-one support or guidance.”

Another issue that was raised by a large number of respondents was the amount of
bureaucracy and paperwork that trustees have to deal with; 14% of trustees mentioned
this as one of the less favourable aspects of the role. Particular issues raised included
accounts, Companies House forms and funding applications:
     “The administration, returns to companies house and the charity commission,
        annual accounts, reports to grant givers etc”
     “The amount of bureaucratic paperwork which seems to take one's eye off the main
        objectives at certain times”
     “As trustees we are flooded by paper work and organisational matters and policies,
        which although is vital, can become boring!”

Funding problems, a lack of resources and the impact that this has on the organisation
was an issue raised by just over one in ten trustees that responded to the survey (11%):
    “Fighting for funding to not only grow the organisation but also to keep it going…To
      be always scrabbling around for funds, from ever decreasing sources can be
      demoralising”
    “Constant worry about having enough funds to support charitable activities”
    “Decision making when funding is not available”

Linked to the issue of a heavy workload, one in ten respondents (10%) explicitly mentioned
meetings as one of the less enjoyable elements of their role – in terms of both the number
of meetings that they are required to attend, and also the length. Typical comments
include:
     “Meetings which overrun!”
     “Attending committee meetings where items are discussed and not followed up”
     “Having to sit through board meetings”

Not having enough time to carry out the role of trustee in order to be as effective as
possible was also raised by almost a tenth of trustees surveyed (9%). Responses
included:
     “Never enough time to do all I should/would/could do!”




                                                                                      OPM page 53
      “Time!! Need more days in a week”

A sizeable proportion of respondents (7%) cited other trustees’ lack of experience, level
of competency, and/or lack of commitment as an area of their role that they were less
positive about:
     “Uneven level of commitment on the part of other trustees”
     “Lack of experience of other trustees”
     “Lack of 'professionalism' amongst trustees”
     “Apathy on the part of other Trustees/Members”

Smaller proportions of responses in terms of what trustees find are the less positive
aspects of their role related to:
    Tension and/or conflict within the board (4%): “The trustee body is a group of
       volunteers/human beings, who inevitably don't always see eye to eye. This is
       human, but it is still difficult and frustrating when personality clashes or "petty
       politics" get in the way of smooth running of the organisation”
    Lack of clarity of the role / what is expected (4%): “Not knowing the ropes i.e.
       what is expected of trustees e.g. the balance between rubber stamping and actively
       guiding”
       “Feeling a bit lost at times....it is so very different from the background that I have.
       “The lack of understanding from other (non-Trustee) members of the organisation
       about the role and responsibilities of the trustees”
    Tension with paid staff (3%): “The fact that staff, especially the younger ones, do
       not understand the choices, sometimes difficult ones, which have to be made”
       “Problems with employees not realising how hard our job can be”

Those responses that were categorised as ‘other’ included a number of important issues,
albeit raised by much smaller proportions of respondents. These include:
     The length of time that it takes to change anything within the organisation:
        “Frustration at time taken to achieve things”
     Having difficulties understanding how the organisation functions on an everyday
        basis: “Feeling a bit of an outsider because all the other trustees are much more
        involved in the day to day running of the organisation”
     The constantly changing nature of the role: “Managing constantly changing
        bureaucratic demands on trustees”
     Keeping up to date with jargon: “Trying to get to grips with the all the abbreviations!”
     Having less contact with service users, and having a less „hands on‟ role:
        “Sometimes limited hands on work”, “less contact with service users”

Trustees were asked to indicate which of the following statements they agreed with about
Trustees – respondents could tick as many options as they liked. Results, shown in Table
5.8 were broadly consistent with the findings for Chairs. Almost all (91%) Trustees agreed
with the statement that “Trustees should be willing to learn and take up opportunities
offered”, and just over half (54%) agreed that “Trustees are there to give to the
organisation, not for their own benefit”. More Trustees than Chairs felt that “Trustees are
not offered enough opportunities to learn about their role” (42%, compared to 24% for




                                                                                        OPM page 54
 Chairs), although thoroughly the same proportion (20%) felt that “Trustees have too many
 demands placed upon them already to make time for further learning and development”.
 Only 6% of Trustees surveyed (the same proportion as Chairs) felt that “Trustees usually
 have the skills needed for board membership and further learning is not a priority”.


 Table 5.8 – Proportion of respondents that agree with the following statements
                                                                        N         %
Trustees should be willing to learn and take up opportunities          157        91
offered
Trustees are there to give to the organisation, not for their own       92        54
benefit
Trustees are not offered enough opportunities to learn about their      73        42
role
Trustees have too many demands placed upon them already to              35        20
make time for further learning and development
Trustees usually have the skills needed for board membership            10        6
and further learning is not a priority
 Survey respondents were free to tick as many options as applied
 Base = 172


 In terms of whether Trustees would like to participate in a structured programme of training
 or learning in relation to any of the aspects of their role, over two thirds of Trustees (67%)
 said that they would definitely or probably like to participate – a slightly higher proportion
 than Chairs. Only 12% said that they would be unlikely, or would definitely not want to
 participate. A fifth of Trustees surveyed (20%) said that they were unsure.


 Table 5.9 – Proportion of Trustees that would be likely to participate in a structured
 programme of training or learning
                                                                        N         %
  Yes, I would definitely want to participate                           45        26
 Yes, I would probably want to participate                              71        41
 I don't know whether I would want to participate or not                35        20
 No, I would be unlikely to participate                                 17        10
 No, I would definitely not want to participate                          4         2
 Base = 172


 Trustees from organisations with less than £10,000 income a year were the least likely
 group to express a strong interest in a structured programme of training or learning; only
 9% stated that they would definitely like to participate, compared to 26% overall. They were
 also the most likely group to state that they would definitely not like to participate, (6%
 compared to 2% overall). Trustees from London were the most likely group to state that
 they would definitely like to participate in training or learning; 49% of London trustees
 stated that they would, almost double the proportion of all respondents (26%).




                                                                                        OPM page 55
Again, as with Chairs, slightly fewer respondents stated that they would be willing to
participate in a training or learning programme that would lead to a recognised qualification
in governance, although the majority stated that they would like to participate. Over half
(56%) stated that they would definitely or probably like to participate, while a quarter (24%)
stated that they would be unlikely, or would definitely not want to participate in such a
programme. Again, just over a fifth of respondents were unsure (22%).


Table 5.10 – Proportion of Trustees that would like to participate in training or
learning that would lead to a recognised qualification in governance
                                                                          N      %
Yes, I would definitely want to participate                               35     21
Yes, I would probably want to participate                                 46     27
I don't know whether I would want to participate or not                   37     22
No, I would be unlikely to participate                                    40     24
No, I would definitely not want to participate                            10      6
Base: 168; No reply = 4


Again, as with the previous question trustees from organisations with less than £10,000
income a year were the least likely group to express a strong interest in training or learning
that would lead to a recognised qualification in governance; only 13% stated that they
would definitely like to participate, compared to 21% overall, and as high as 41% of those
trustees working for organisations in the £100,001 to £250,000 bracket.

Trustees were asked to specify which of the following sources of information and support
they have used in their role as trustee. As with Chairs, written materials were the most
commonly used, with slightly more trustees using printed materials (84%) than websites
and online materials (78%).

Other widely used materials were briefings from staff; 71% of trustees have used these,
networking with other trustees (64%) and training courses or conferences (52%).
Furthermore, 44% of trustees have taken advantage of an induction programme.

Much smaller proportions of respondents have used mentoring or shadowing in their role –
9%, compared to 45% of Chairs using informal mentors, or 19% of Chairs using a paid
mentor. Only four of the trustees that we surveyed (2%) have been seconded to other
organisations.


Table 5.11 – Materials that Trustees have used
                                                 N                   %
Printed materials                               143                  84
Websites and online materials                   133                  78
Briefing from staff                             122                  71
Networking with other trustees                  108                  64
Training courses or conferences                  88                  52




                                                                                       OPM page 56
8.     Induction programme           75   44
Taking part in a learning group      47   28
Mentoring or shadowing               16    9
Secondments to other organisations    4    2
Base = 172




                                               OPM page 57
7. Organisations

All respondents were asked whether they would be happy to answer questions on behalf of
their organisation. In total 560 (92%) said that they would be, and therefore answered
questions the results for which are included in this section of the report.


6.1 Board composition, recruitment and retention
Respondents were asked to provide information about the composition of their board, in
terms of overall size, and the number of female, BME and disabled members, and the
number of board members under the age of 25. Respondents were also asked to specify
the number of vacancies on their board. The information is shown in Table 6.1 below.
While a small proportion of respondents indicated where they did not have any board
members (by specifying „0‟ in the box on the questionnaire), a much larger proportion left
the box blank. Consequently, the „non-response‟ figure in the far right column gives an
approximate indication of the proportion of respondents who had none of the types of
board members indicated. As respondents were not forced to give an answer, however,
this cannot be assumed to be the definitive number, but rather a reasonable indication.

Overall, the largest proportion of respondents - almost half (48%) – have between six and
ten board members in total, and two fifths (40%) have over ten board members. When
compared with the research undertaken by nfpSynergy, respondents to the Governance
Hub survey tend to have smaller numbers of trustees. This found that 42% of respondents
had ten or fewer trustees (compared to 62% for this survey), and that 8% of respondents
have over 20 trustees, compared to this survey which found that only 2% had over 20
trustees.22

Based on the approximation above, we can say that the vast majority (96%) of
organisations surveyed had at least one female board member, compared to less than
two-fifths (36%) that have at least one disabled board member or a board member from a
BME group (36%), and one in ten (11%) that have at least one board member under 25
years of age. There are a fairly sizeable proportion of organisations that have vacancies on
their board: 48% of respondents have at least one vacancy on their board; 45% have
between one and five vacancies. This closely reflects the findings of the research
undertaken by nfpSynergy, which found that 53% of respondents had at least one trustee
vacancy on their board.23




22
     nfpSynergy (2006) National Trustee Survey.
23
     Ibid.




                                                                                     OPM page 58
Table 6.1 – Composition of boards
                                                 1-5      6-10     11-15     16-20      21+            Non-
                                                 (%)      (%)       (%)       (%)       (%)          response
                                                                                                        (%)
a. Board members                                 14        48        29        9          2             2
b. Female board members                          69        25         2        1          0             4
c. Board members from BME groups                 32        3          1        *          0            64
d. Disabled board members                        34        1          *        *          0            64
e. Board members under 25 years of               10        1          1        0          0            89
age
f. Vacancies on your board                       45         3         *        0          0            52
Base = 560
Please note that because the number of respondents giving an answer to these questions varied, the
percentages cannot be directly compared.


In terms of BME trustees, organisations from London are the most likely to have at least
one trustee from a black or minority ethnic background: 54% of London-based
organisations, compared to 21% of all organisations outside London. The South West is
the region that is least likely to have a trustee with a BME background; only 16% of these
organisations have a BME trustee.

London again is the region that is most likely to have younger trustees; 16% have at least
one trustee under the age of 25, compared to the East Midlands where the figure is only
6%, and the average for all regions which is 12%.

Over two fifths of organisations in Yorkshire (42%), the North West (43%) and the East
(44%) have at least one vacancy on their board, compared to London, where only a third
(33%) have at least one vacancy. .

Perhaps unsurprisingly, larger organisations are more likely to have boards with more
trustees than smaller organisations; only 2% of organisations receiving more than
£1,000,000 a year have between one and five board members, compared to 35% of
organisations receiving less than £10,000 a year.

Larger organisations are also more likely to have at least one BME board member; 41% of
organisations receiving more than £1,000,000 a year, compared to only 27% of
organisations receiving less than £10,000 a year.

Respondents were than asked about the ways in which they recruit potential trustees and
the extent to which each of these methods are used. As shown in Table 6.2 below,
respondents tend to use more informal methods to recruit; through word of mouth, and
from targeting individuals already working for the organisation. These findings are broadly
consistent to those in Section 3.1, which show that most respondents found out about their
current role after having worked for the organisation in another capacity or being
approached by someone from the organisation.




                                                                                                     OPM page 59
The most commonly used method to recruit trustees is through word of mouth; two thirds
of respondents (66%) stated that they always or often use this method, while only 10% say
that they never use this. This is a smaller proportion than for the Charity Commission
research into Trustee recruitment and induction, which found that 81% of respondents had
used word of mouth and personal recommendation in their recruitment process.24 Two
fifths of respondents stated that they always or often elect their trustees from membership
(44%), through invitations to the AGM or similar public meetings (44%), or through
newsletters to service users and members (40%).

Similarly, over a third of respondents (36%) stated that they always or often recruit
potential trustees by approaching suitable people working for a different organisation, and
a similar proportion (35%) stated that they do the same for suitable people working for their
own organisation in a different role.

More formal methods of recruitment appear to be used to a much smaller extent. The most
commonly used method is through local volunteer centres and bureaus; a fifth of
respondents (20%) stated that they always or often use it as a way of recruiting trustees,
while only 3% of respondents often or always use recruitment agencies.

Press and advertising appears to be the medium that is used the least; less than one is six
respondents (15%) often, or always use online advertising, 12% local and regional press,
and just 8% for national press.

Respondents were also invited to specify other ways in which they recruit potential
trustees. Examples of some of the „other‟ responses include:
     “Appeal to the global MS community”
     “By approaching people who have used our services”
     “By consulting widely amongst the few persons with shared interest”
     “door to door recruitment”
     “Election from Council, which is elected by membership”
     “grow our own from our own volunteers”
     “They're appointed by the UK and German governments”
     “Through diversity consultants' contacts”
     “We specifically approach people who will fill gaps in representation e.g. BME”




24
  Charity Commission (2005), “Start as you mean to go on: Trustee Recruitment and Induction”.
Available on the web at http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publications/rs10.asp




                                                                                          OPM page 60
      Table 6.2 – How organisations recruit potential trustees
                                            Always       Often     Sometimes       Rarely       Never
                                              use         use       use this      use this     use this
                                              (%)         (%)         (%)           (%)          (%)
Word of mouth                                 30           36           21           4            9
Election from membership                      29           15           16           7            32
Invitations to AGM or similar public
                                              21           23           24          10            22
meetings
Newsletters to service users and
                                              20           20           20          12            27
members
Local volunteer centres/bureaus               10           10           18          12            49
By approaching suitable people working
                                               8           28           34          13            18
for a different organisation
By approaching people currently working
                                               8           27           34          13            18
for the organisation in another role
Advertising online                             7           8            11          12            61
Advertising in local or regional press         5           7            15          13            59
Advertising in national press                  3           5             4          11            78
Recruitment agencies                           1           2             4          11            82
Other                                          9           4             3          7             76
      Base = 560


      Respondents were also asked to provide further information about the way in which they
      conduct their recruitment and induction processes. Respondents were given a series of
      methods and asked to indicate whether they used any of the options when recruiting
      Chairs and Trustees.

      Informal methods of recruitment and induction tended to be used more widely than formal
      methods; the exception being formal role descriptions - Almost three quarters (73%) of
      respondents use a formal role description when recruiting trustees or chairs – 58% use it
      when recruiting for either role

      In terms of induction processes, a higher proportion of respondents use informal induction
      than formal induction programmes. Two thirds of all respondents (65%) use an informal
      indication programme, and over half (51%) use this programme for inducting both trustees
      and chairs. This compares to 40% who use a formal induction programme.

      Similarly, respondents tended to use informal interviews; two thirds (65%) use informal
      interviews in their recruitment process, compared to less than a quarter (23%) that use a
      formal or panel interview.




                                                                                             OPM page 61
Table 6.3 – Methods used in respondent’s recruitment and induction processes
                                                          For                      For        Don’t
                                          For Chairs    Trustees    For both      neither     know
                                             (%)          (%)         (%)           (%)        (%)
Formal role description                        5           10          58            22         5
Informal induction programme                   2           12          51            30         5
Informal interview                             2           14          49            30         5
Skills audit                                   *           12          47            32         8
Formal induction programme                     2            9          29            54         6
Recruiting committee                           2            7          27            56         8
Formal or panel interview                      3            5          15            70         7
Base = 560


Respondents were then given a series of statements and asked to indicate which one they
felt most closely matched how they felt about recruiting trustees now, compared to five
years ago.

Although the largest proportion of respondents (30%) felt that it was no more or less
difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and knowledge compared to five years
ago, on the whole results show that respondents tend to feel that it has got more difficult to
recruit. Over one in five respondents (22%) stated that it has become a bit more difficult to
recruit suitable trustees over the last five years, and a similar proportion (21%) stated that
it has become far more difficult.

Only 8% of respondents felt that it has become any easier; 6% felt it has become a bit less
difficult to recruit potential trustees, and 2% stating that it has become far less difficult. Just
under one in five respondents (19%) stated that they have not been involved in recruiting
for long enough to be able to comment.


Table 6.4 – Extent to which respondents feel that recruiting Trustees now is different
from five years ago
                                                                           N         %
No more or less difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills     157        30
and knowledge, compared to 5 years ago
A bit more difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and      116        22
knowledge
 Far more difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and       111        21
 Knowledge
I have not been involved in recruiting for long enough                    100        19
A bit less difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and       31        6
knowledge
Far less difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and         12        2
knowledge
Base = 556, no-reply = 4




                                                                                            OPM page 62
Low income (less than (£10,000 a year) organisations are the least likely to say that
recruiting trustees has become more difficult compared to five years ago; 34% say that it is
far more, or a bit more difficult to recruit trustees with appropriate skills and knowledge,
compared to 50% of organisations receiving between £250,000 and £500,000 a year.

Respondents were then asked about the average length of time that their trustees remain
in post. Results show that most Trustees stay in post for a fairly long amount of time; three
fifths (60%) stay in post for an average of four to seven years, 8% for eight to ten years,
and 8% for over ten years. Only 1% of respondents stated that their trustees stay for an
average of less than a year.


Table 6.5 – Average length of time that Trustees remain in post
                                                  N      %
Under 1 year                                      7       1
1-3 years                                        133     24
4-5                                              199     36
6-7                                              127     23
8-10                                             46       8
Over 10 years                                    44       8
Base = 556, no-reply = 4




  Over 10 years                    8%


      8 - 9 years                  8%


      6 - 7 years                                          23%


      4 - 5 years                                                                  36%


       1-3 years                                              24%


    Under 1 year         1%


                    0%        5%   10%    15%      20%      25%     30%      35%      40%
                                             % of respondents

Respondents from community development organisations were the most likely to state that
their trustees remained in post for five years or less; 26% of respondents from community
organisations stated that their trustees tended to remain in post for six years or more,
compared to 80% of grant giving organisations.




                                                                                      OPM page 63
Similarly, organisations receiving smaller levels of income were more likely to state that
their trustees were in post for shorter periods of time; two thirds (66%) of organisations
receiving less than £10,000 a year stated that their trustees stayed in post for five years or
less on average, compared to 40% of organisations receiving moiré then £1,000,000 a
year.


6.2 Training, development and skills
Respondents were asked to state which types of training and development activities
trustees have access to. The most commonly used activities were written materials and an
induction programme; three quarters of respondents stated that their trustees had access
to written materials (74%) and three fifths (61%) to an induction programme. Just under
half (47%) stated that their trustees have access to regular networking opportunities, and
two fifths have access to one to one support (40%), and formal training (38%).

Smaller proportions of respondents stated that their trustees have access to mentoring
(21%) and shadowing (15%). The activity that the smallest proportion of respondents have
access to is communities of practice or action learning groups –only one in ten
respondents (10%) stated that their trustees can access these. Just over one in ten
respondents (12%) asserted that their trustees did not have access to any of the following
types of development activities.


Table 6.6 – Types of training and development activities that trustees have access to
                                                                        N        %
Written materials                                                      412       74
Induction programme                                                    339       61
Regular networking opportunities                                       259       47
 One to one support                                                    225       40
Formal training                                                        210       38
Mentoring                                                              114       21
Shadowing                                                              82        15
Communities of practice/action learning groups                         54        10
None of the above                                                      65        12
Base = 557, no-reply = 3




                                                                                       OPM page 64
                               Written materials                                                      74%

                           Induction programme                                              61%

                Regular networking opportunities                                    47%

                             One to one support                               40%

                                 Formal training                              38%

                                      Mentoring                     21%

                                     Shadowing                 15%

  Communities of practice/action learning groups          10%

                              None of the above               12%

                                                   0%   10%    20%   30%   40%    50%     60%   70%   80%
                                                                      % of respondents



Organisations with lower levels of income tend to be much less likely to offer an induction
programme as part of one of their training and development activities for trustees,
compared to larger organisations; only 21% of organisations receiving income of less than
£10,000 a year offer an induction programme, compared to 82% of organisations receiving
more than £1,000,000 a year. Similarly, only 48% of organisations with less than £10,000 a
year income offer written materials as part of their training and development activities,
compared to 89% of organisations with over £1,000,000 income a year. Therefore,
perhaps unsurprisingly these smaller organisations are also the most likely to state that
their organisation does not offer any of the specified activities or training programmes; a
third (33%) of all small income organisations do not offer any of the specified activities or
programmes, compared to only 5% of organisations with over £1,000,000 turnover a year.

Respondents were asked to specify the main areas in which they thought their trustees
needed additional knowledge or skills. The area that the highest proportion of respondents
– almost half (46%) said that their trustees needed additional knowledge or skills on was
charity law and compliance. Similarly high proportions of respondents raised the issues of
fundraising (42%), governance (42%) and marketing and communications (42%).

On in three respondents (35%) raised the issue of business skills and knowledge as an are
that they felt that trustees need additional knowledge or skills in, and similar proportions
stated financial control (31%), human resources (29%) and knowledge of the
sector/clients (25%). One in seven respondents (14%) on the other hand stated that there
were no particular areas that their trustees need additional knowledge or skills in.

Respondents were invited to specify other areas that they felt that their trustees needed
additional knowledge or skills in to do their job. Answers focused around the following
themes:
    “Different people require different things”
    “Disability and equality training so that they can be Equal Opportunities Employer”



                                                                                                        OPM page 65
          “Grant- making practice and education”
          “IT - the IT needs of the organisation are well documented by the worker, but most
           of the board do not understand the basics”
          “strategic planning and management”
          “Website development”



Table 6.7 – The main areas that respondents feel that their trustees need additional
knowledge or skills in to do their job
                                                                                         N        %
Charity law and compliance                                                              257       46
Fundraising                                                                             236       42
Governance                                                                              235       42
Marketing and communications                                                            233       42
Business skills and knowledge                                                           194       35
Financial control                                                                       175       31
Human resources                                                                         162       29
Knowledge of your sector/clients                                                        139       25
Other                                                                                   32         6
There are no particular areas                                                           75        14
Base = 557, no-reply = 3




         Charity law and compliance                                                                   46%

                         Fundraising                                                            42%

                        Governance                                                              42%

    Marketing and communications                                                                42%

    Business skills and knowledge                                                       35%

                    Financial control                                             31%

                   Human resources                                            29%

   Knowledge of your sector/clients                                     25%

        There are no particular areas                    14%

                                        0%   5%   10%   15%    20%   25%   30%     35%    40%    45%   50%

                                                               % of respondents




In general, there were very little differences in terms of size of organisation and the skills
that respondents felt their trustees could benefit from improving. The only exception to this
is that smaller organisations stated that they felt their trustees would benefit most from




                                                                                                            OPM page 66
help with fundraising. Over half (56%) of organisations with less than £10,000 a year
income stated that they would like help with this, as did 61% of organisations in the
£10,001 to £100,000 bracket, compared to less than half the proportion (26%) of
organisations receiving more than £1,000,000 a year.

Respondents were asked to specify what the main barrier to trustee board learning and
development was – respondents were only allowed to tick one box. Lack of time and other
commitments emerged as the main barriers to trustee and board learning; the highest
proportion of respondents (37%) stated that lack of time was the main priority, and over a
quarter (28%) gave “too many priorities” as their main reason.

A lack of willingness or interest on the part of trustees was given as the main barrier by
one in eight respondents (12%); while smaller proportions of respondents specified cost
(7%), little knowledge of available resources and services (6%) and no suitable resources
available locally (6%).

Other barriers to trustee board learning and development that respondents raised included:
    “Arrogance. Thinking they know enough and they know best”
    “Finding common time for activities such as 'away days'”
    “Geographical spread of Board members”
    “Most of the Trustees work full time and not locally”.
    “None of these apply – there are no barriers for our trustees”
    “Support opportunities are too London based – e.g. the NCVO national conference
       is always in London”


Table 6.8 – The main barriers to trustee and board learning and development
                                                                     N        %
Lack of time                                                        200       37
Too many other priorities                                           153       28
Trustees unwilling or not interested                                64        12
Cost                                                                40         7
Little knowledge of available resources and services                32         6
No suitable resources or services available locally                 24         4
Other                                                               34         6
Base= 547, no-reply = 13




                                                                                        OPM page 67
                                                    No suitable
                                                   resources or
                 Little                              services
             knowledge of                            available
               available    Other
                                                      locally
            resources and    6%
                                                        4%
               services
                  6%

                  Cost                                  Lack of time
                  7%                                       37%


          Trustees
       unwilling or not
         interested
            12%



                                 Too many
                               other priorities
                                    28%




Trustees from low income organisations were most likely to say that the main barrier to
trustee learning and board development was that there was little internal knowledge of
available resources and services. 13% of organisations receiving less than £10,000 a year
said that this was the case, compared to only 1% of organisations in the £500,000 to
£1,000,000 bracket.

Respondents were then asked to specify up to three types of materials and services they
felt that their organisation would find most useful. Written materials emerged as one of the
main types of areas that respondents felt would be most useful ; two thirds of respondents
(67%) specified online materials to download and print, and two fifths (39%) stated books,
toolkits and resource packs.

Sharing experiences and working with other boards/ trustees was also an area that a high
proportion of respondents stated would be useful. Over two fifths (43%) stated that they
would benefit from sharing of experience with other boards/trustees, a fifth (22%) from
learning groups such as communities of practice of action learning, and 18% from
mentoring. A large proportion of respondents (43%) also stated that they would benefit
from discussion materials and presentations.

Respondents were asked to provide examples of other types of materials and services that
they felt their organisation would find useful, if not already covered above. The responses
tended to focus around the following themes:
    “All these would be useful but the plea of lack of time is one which is invariably
         used”



                                                                                      OPM page 68
        “ An away day with all board members and staff”
        “conferences or networking opportunities often spur interest in further
         development”
        “I think sufficient resources are ALREADY available. No more is needed”
        “many of our community members have problems with literacy and materials need
         to be accessible to these people”
        “Training which fits our schedules - acknowledging childcare responsibilities etc”


Table 6.9 – The types of materials and services that respondents feel that their
organisation would find most useful
                                                                     N        %
 Online materials to download and print                             368       67
Sharing of experience with other boards/trustees                    236       43
Presentations and discussion material                               234       43
Books, toolkits and resource packs                                  214       39
Learning groups such as communities of practice, action             120       22
learning
Helpline                                                            118       21
Mentoring                                                           97        18
Resources adapted to a particular culture or need                   89        16
Other                                                               25         5
Survey respondents were asked to tick up 3 options.
Base = 557, no-reply = 3


Low income organisations were far more likely to state that they would find a helpline most
useful. When comparing the largest income organisations (over £1,000,000 a year) with
the smallest (less than £10,000), only 12% of the former would find a helpline useful,
compared to 26% of the latter. On the other hand, sharing of experiences with other
boards and trustees was favoured by high income organisations (45%), much more than
by small income organisations (21%).




                                                                                     OPM page 69
6.3 Governance costs and assessment
Respondents were asked how their organisation bears the cost for its governance work,
such as running meetings, covering trustees‟ expenses, audit fees, trustees‟ insurance and
strategy work. A set of four statements were provided and respondents had to tick which
most closely matched their organisations‟ practices (more than one option could be ticked).

Responses were mixed. While almost half of respondents (45%) stated that their
organisation does not have any budget for governance costs, the same proportion (44%)
stated that they budget for governance costs specifically, and allocate funds to improve the
organisations‟ performance, and 29% stated that they account for governance costs
separately in their Statement of Financial Activities. Only 6% of respondents receive
specific external funding to help cover the costs.


Table 6.10 – How organisations bear the costs associated with their governance
work
                                                                                             N          %
Budgeting for these costs specifically and allocating funding to improving                  245         44
the organisation's performance
Accounting for governance costs separately in the Statement of Financial                    160         29
Activities
Receiving specific external funding to help cover the costs                                 34           6
The organisation does not have any budget for governance costs                              252         45
Base: 558, no reply = 2




   Budgeting for these costs specifically and allocating
                                                                                              44%
   funding to improving the organisation's performance


     Accounting for governance costs separately in the                                29%
             Statement of Financial Activities


   Receiving specific external funding to help cover the
                                                                 6%
                          costs


        The organisation does not have any budget for
                                                                                                  45%
                      governance costs


                                                           0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

                                                                         % of respondents




Respondents were asked to specify the tools that their boards make most use of to assess
or report on governance performance. The vast majority (80%) assess or report on their
governance performance in some way, although one in five respondents (20%) stated that



                                                                                                    OPM page 70
they do not assess or report on the governance of their organisation. These respondents
were then asked whether there were any plans to assess the performance of their
organisation‟s board or trustees in the future; the results of which were also mixed; 48%
said that there were plans in place, while 52% said that there were not.

For those respondents that are currently assessing their governance performance, the
most commonly used tool is the Charity Commission Statement of Recommended Practice
(SORP) or the Standard Information Return (SIR); over a third of respondents (35%) tend
to use these most. Annual Self-Review was the next most commonly used tool; utilised by
17% of respondents.

Smaller proportions of respondents stated that they use Investors in People (8%),
PQASSO (8%), and other Quality Assurance framework, such as ISO 9000 (5%). Only 3%
of respondents use External Assessment (3%). Respondents were able to provide other
tools that they make use of to assess and report on governance performance. Responses
included, the AGM, Citizen Advice Quality Audit scheme, IIP, Matrix, QuADS, VE
Accreditation, and Mind Quality Standards.


Table 6.11 – The tools that respondents boards make most use of to assess or
report on governance performance
                                                                     N        %
 Charity Commission Statement of Recommended Practice               193       35
 (SORP) or Standard Information Return (SIR)
Annual Self-Review                                                  94        17
Investors In People                                                 44         8
PQASSO                                                              42         8
Other Quality Assurance framework (e.g. ISO 9000)                   30         5
External Assessment                                                 17         3
Other                                                               24         4
We don't assess or report on the governance of the                  113       20
organisation
Base: 557, no-reply = 3




                                                                                    OPM page 71
  Charity Commission Statement of Recommended Practice
                                                                                                         35%
         (SORP) or Standard Information Return (SIR)

                                       Annual Self-Review                            17%


                                        Investors In People              8%


                                                 PQASSO                  8%


        Other Quality Assurance framework (e.g. ISO 9000)           5%


                                      External Assessment          3%


                                                     Other         4%




         We don't assess or report on the governance of the
                                                                                       20%
                           organisation

                                                              0%   5%    10%   15%   20%    25%   30%   35%    40%
                                                                               % of respondents



Those respondents that indicated that they used one of the tools above to measure their
governance were then asked to specify what changes they have made as a result of their
assessment. The majority of respondents stated that they would be making a change,
although one in four (25%) said that they would not be making any changes, while 13%
said that they do not need to make any changes.

In terms of those respondents that will be making changes as a result of their assessment,
changes to structures, systems and processes were the most frequently cited (31%),
followed by the introduction of a learning and development programme for trustees (26%),
and changes to the recruitment of trustees (21%). One in eight respondents stated that
they will made changes to the way their board is held to account (13%), and one in ten
(9%) gave other changes.


Table 6.12 – Changes that respondents will make as a result of their assessment
                                                                                            N       %
Changes to structures, systems and processes                                               136      31
The introduction of a learning and development programme for                               116      26
trustees
Changes to the recruitment of trustees                                                     91       21
 Changes to the way our board is held to account                                           58       13
Other changes                                                                              39        9
We have made no changes                                                                    109      25
We don't need to make any changes                                                          58       13
Base: 440, no reply = 7




                                                                                                              OPM page 72
6.4 Advice about governance and the Code
All respondents were then asked whether they had ever sought advice about their
organisation‟s governance. Over three fifths of respondents (62%) stated that they have
sought advice about their organisations governance, while 38% have not.

Those respondents that have sought advice were asked to specify which of the following
sources of advice they have used; respondents could give as many answers as applicable.
National Umbrella bodies such as the NCVO emerged as the most common source of
advice used; 62% of respondents had used these bodies. Books, pamphlets and other
publications are also widely used (50% of respondents), as are professional experts (41%)
and websites (39%).

Respondents were then invited to provide other examples of sources of advice used.
These included the Charity Commission, Comic Relief, Community Foundation Network,
Countryside Agency, bassac, local COMPACT, NACVS, ACEVO, and National „parent‟
branches of the organisations.


Table 6.13 – The sources of advice used
                                                                    N        %
National umbrella bodies (e.g. NCVO)                               215       62
Books/pamphlets/other publications                                 171       50
Professional experts (e.g. lawyers)                                141       41
Websites                                                           133       39
Consultants                                                        109       32
Local organisations                                                85        25
Trustees from other voluntary organisations                        85        25
Regional organisations                                             63        18
Boards of other voluntary organisations                            58        17
Other                                                              39        11
Survey respondents were free to tick as many options as applied
Base = 345




                                                                                   OPM page 73
     National umbrella bodies (e.g.
                                                                                                      62%
                NCVO)
            Books/pamphlets/other
                                                                                          50%
                publications

 Professional experts (e.g. lawyers)                                               41%

                          Websites                                            39%

                        Consultants                                 32%


                Local organisations                       25%

      Trustees from other voluntary
                                                          25%
             organisations

            Regional organisations                  18%

          Boards of other voluntary
                                                    17%
               organisations

                              Other           11%

                                       0%   10%     20%     30%             40%          50%    60%          70%
                                                                % of respondents




Respondents were then asked whether they were aware of the recently published „Code of
Good Governance‟ (Good Governance: A code for the Voluntary and Community Sector);
three fifths of respondents (61%) said that they were, and 39% were not.

Those respondents who said they were not aware of the Code were invited to download a
summary copy, and then asked the following question: Would you be prepared to use the
Code in developing your organisation's governance? As shown in Table 6.14, almost three
quarters (72%) said that they would definitely or probably use the Code. 8% stated that
they support the Code but their organisations lacks resources to implement it, and only 5%
could not see how the Code would be relevant to their organisation.


Table 6.14 – Proportion of respondents that would be prepared to use the Code in
developing their organisation's governance
                                                                                         N      %
Yes, definitely                                                                          58     27
Yes, probably                                                                            98     45
No – I can‟t see how this is relevant to my organisation                                 11      5
No - whilst I support the Code in principle, my organisation lacks                       18      8
resources to implement it
Don‟t know                                                                               33     15
Base: 218


Those respondents that said that they were aware of the code were then asked to specify
which changes, if any, have been made to the governance of their organisation as a result
of reading the Code; in terms of whether they had made a change, whether they were
planning to make a change, if it was an area that did not need to be changed or if this was
something that they were planning to review. The results are shown in Table 6.15 below.




                                                                                                            OPM page 74
The majority of respondents felt that they didn‟t need to change many aspects of their
organisation, particularly the roles of the boards (53% felt they did not need to change
this), and their approach to equality and diversity (52%). Of those respondents that had
made changes as a result of reading the Code, the change that was most commonly made
was the organisation‟s approach to managing risk; 14% changed this as a result of reading
the Code.

In terms of those respondents that are planning to change something as a result of reading
the Code, over a quarter (27%) are planning to change their approach to development and
support for board members, and one in five are planning on changing the way in which
they deal with key stakeholders and communities (19%).

Fairly large proportions of respondents are planning to review a number of aspects of their
work as a result of reading the Code. Two fifths (40%) are planning to review their
approach to development and support for Board members, and a third (33%) planning to
review the way in which they deal with key stakeholders and communities.

The „other‟ responses that were provided, in terms of those changes that have been made
to the governance of the organisation since reading the Code included:
     “Changes were not as a result of just reading the code”
     “Haven't read it in detail yet so don't know what action might be appropriate as a
        result”
     “This work was in hand before the Code was published”
     “We have started a process of involving service users more in the Governance of
        the org”
     “We moved from carrying out informal induction to carrying out formal induction of
        our Trustees”
     “We need to review all aspects of our governance - some are strong, some not so
        strong”.

Table 6.15 – The changes that have been made to the governance of the
organisation as a result of reading the Code
                                                                         Didn’t
                                                   Have      Planning   need to    Planning
                                                 changed    to change   change     to review
                                                    (%)         (%)       (%)          (%)
Our approach to managing risk                       14         18         40          28
The organisation's internal controls                10         16         47          26
Recruitment practices                               9          17         42          31
Duties and responsibilities of individual
                                                     7         16         49          28
trustees
The role of the Board                                6         13         53          28
Our approach to equality and diversity               5         12         52          31
Our approach to development and support for
                                                     5         27         28          40
Board members
The way we deal with key stakeholders and            3         19         46          33



                                                                                     OPM page 75
                                                                         Didn’t
                                                   Have      Planning   need to     Planning
                                                 changed    to change   change      to review
                                                    (%)         (%)       (%)           (%)
communities
Other                                               7          7          50          36
Base: 342


Those respondents that had heard of the Code were then asked to specify which additional
materials or other support might be useful to help implement it – respondents could tick as
many as applicable.

Practically-focused toolkits came out as the most useful forms of support; 50% of
respondents stated that these would be useful. Similar proportions of respondents stated
that frameworks and systems for measuring progress (47%) and guidance closely tailored
to the needs of their type of organisation (42%) would also be useful.

„Other‟ ways in which respondents felt they would benefit from additional materials and
support included:
     “A dyslexia friendly copy”
     “I don't know enough about the code to comment”
     “Local seminars on how it can be implemented”
     “Much simplified version”
     “one to one support from professional organisations”
     “Publicity to make board members aware of the code and its importance”
     “Requirement or guidance from Charity Commission to require trustees to comply”
     “Short Sharp Guidance in bite-sized pieces that TRUSTEES will read (not just
        great tomes that paid staff will plough through”
     “The reintroduction of LA grants to support core functions of charities”


Table 6.16 – Additional materials and other support that might be useful to help
implement the Code
                                                                     N         %
Practically-focused toolkits                                        168        50
Frameworks/systems for measuring progress                           158        47
Guidance more closely tailored to my type of organisation           143        42
Additional case studies                                             69         20
Other                                                               40         12
Base = 339, no reply = 3


All respondents were asked if they would be interested in receiving help to implement the
Code in return for acting as a case study for the benefit of others. Over a third of
respondents said that they would (35%), and these were then invited to give their contact
details.




                                                                                     OPM page 76

				
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