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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Trustees' Week 2022: Thriving in challenging times

It’s a turbulent time to be a trustee. The impact of the pandemic and legacy of lockdown is still with us, and now we have unprecedented rising costs and political instability adding to the pressure. It’s a challenge for everyone in our charities, community organisations and social enterprises, but trustees are under particular pressure because the buck stops with them. When it comes down to it, trustees are responsible for the financial viability of their organisations, for their compliance with regulations and the law, and for the wellbeing of staff and volunteers.

If we’ve learned anything from the last three years, it’s that working collectively and supporting each other is essential – for individuals, organisations and communities. We’ve also learned how to be much more effective online, and to appreciate getting together in person more than before. Working collectively is essential to being an effective board. All trustees must feel included and heard and understand their individual and collective responsibilities. That’s hard when they’re subject to so many pressures in other parts of their lives, and when the challenges their charity is facing are so serious.

Resilience is the word of the moment, and that’s something trustees need in spades! Because they’re doing it in their own time, as volunteers, it can be a juggling act of competing priorities. So, they need support and resources to help them meet those different demands. And they need easily accessed opportunities to engage with others in similar roles in other organisations to share learning and support. Knowing where to go to find help is fundamental to building resilience.

That’s where SCVO can help. We offer a wide range of practical resources to help, including the Information Service, the HR Service, the Good Governance Check-Up, the Trustees’ Network, a variety of learning opportunities and free access to specialist expertise. And we help you get your voice heard at a national level. Please share your experiences, ideas and challenges with us to inform our influencing work and improve our services. ACOSVO also has a Chairs’ Network that facilitates peer support for trustees with a leadership role.

Trustees’ Week is all about learning, sharing and celebrating, and next week we’re running a webinar with our legal and tax advice service partners which will look at How to Survive and Thrive in Challenging Times Join us on Thursday 10 November to access help and advice on HR and employment, property, VAT and Tax, mergers and collaborations and good governance. And remember we’re here for you all year round. Whatever your challenge, get in touch with us and we will do our best to help in any way we can.

Last modified on 31 October 2022