What is a Charity Trustee?

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Charity trustees are the people who ultimately exercise control over, and are legally responsible for, the charity.

  • If the charity is a company, these people may also be known as directors or board members.
  • In an unincorporated association – an association that has a legal form with a governing document – they may be known as committee members. In the case of a trust it can be more complicated. If the trustees of the trust are the ones who decide policy and control the assets, then they are also charity trustees.

However, if the trustees merely have their names on the deeds of property but cannot sell or dispose of the property without the permission of the Charities Regulator, and have no other responsibilities, they are not charity trustees.

If you are unsure as to whether you are a charity trustee or not, then it is important that you check the legal structure of your charity to clarify your position and consult your charity’s constitution or deed of trust (‘governing document’).

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