November 6th to 10th is Trustees’ Week. It’s a time to come together to celebrate the achievements of nearly one million trustees across the UK. Trustees’ Week highlights the opportunities and support that’s out there for more people like you to take up the role. To mark this special week, we asked one of our trustees – Urmi Dutta-Roy – to share her experience of the role and how she would encourage others to get involved.
I knew I wanted to engage and positively contribute somehow. When the opportunity to join the LCF board was presented to me it made complete sense, their mission and objectives really resonated with me.Urmi Dutta-Roy, Trustee, The London Community Foundation
Trustees play a valuable and influential role at any organisation. They are the guardians of a charity’s mission and resources, ensuring that it operates with integrity, effectiveness, and transparency. At the London Community Foundation (LCF), board expertise covers grant-making and philanthropy, charity operations, business, legal, finance, treasury management, risk, and HR. Trustees on the board are volunteers who have a legal responsibility in ensuring strategic organisational goals are met for future sustainable operations and building public trust.
Why the London Community Foundation?
Having lived in London for large parts of my life, I have observed the complex challenges facing the city. I knew I wanted to engage and positively contribute somehow but would only consider roles or projects where there was a clear values alignment. When the opportunity to join the LCF board was presented to me it made complete sense, their mission and objectives really resonated with me. In addition, I knew I could add value to the board by bringing a strong financial lens gained through operating in global complex organisations, the ability to horizon scan coupled with governance expertise.
It has always amazed me what well-placed funding can empower when local communities and grassroots organisations mobilise to achieve a common goal, often changing lives. This is where LCF comes in and really thrives. They have in depth local knowledge of the issues facing communities in London, expertise in grant making and charitable operations, established ways of working connecting donors to local causes, are thought leaders collaborating to bring together different stakeholders in raising awareness for a shared objective.
In my role as trustee, I have seen the work that LCF does and those they support. From attending a site visit at Felix’s Kitchen in Poplar where surplus food is saved, cooked, and distributed to the hungry every day, to hearing survivor stories from grantees of the Violence Against Women and Girls fund. The whole experience has been very humbling.
Becoming a Trustee?
It is important to consider your time, commitment and motivation when becoming a trustee, as it can be a significant responsibility. However, for those who are dedicated and passionate about a cause, being a trustee can be a fulfilling and purposeful role. If you need further convincing, see below some well documented reasons for consideration.
Making a difference and altruistic motivations: Trustees play a crucial role in shaping the direction and impact of organisations. It’s an opportunity to contribute to a cause you care about which can be personally rewarding, knowing that you have helped to bring about positive change in your community.
Professional development: Being a trustee can enhance your leadership, decision-making and governance skills. It’s an opportunity for learning, personal and professional growth, adding value to all aspects of life.
Networking: Trustee roles often involve working with diverse groups of people, providing a chance to expand your professional network and connect with individuals who share your passion for a particular cause.
Being a trustee can enhance your leadership, decision-making and governance skills.Urmi Dutta-Roy, Trustee, The London Community Foundation
We’re really grateful to Urmi and all our trustees for serving the needs of local specialist organisations across London as part of the Board of The London Community Foundation. We appreciate their skills, their wisdom and the time they give to support the team.
If you would like to know more about becoming a trustee for a grassroots charity in London, we recommend you visit the Trustees’ Week website to find out more about what’s involved and how you can get started. There are free resources and events taking place throughout the week to help you understand the benefits, challenges and opportunities presented by being a trustee.