Charity Management

Young people enthusiastic about becoming charity trustees

05 November 2012

Over young people would consider becoming a charity trustee and nearly three quarters believe that giving more young people a seat on the board would help charities better engage with young people, according to a new poll by CAF

The ComRes survey, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services to not-for-profit organisations, found nearly three quarters of 18-35 year olds believe that helping run a charity would enable them to make a difference in society.

Two thirds say that young people would be able to relate more to charities if charities had more young people as trustees.

The poll of 1,005 18-35 year olds was carried out to mark the start of national Trustees Week on 5 November which aims to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved as charity trustees.

Researchers found that more than a third of young people would consider becoming a trustee – which is the equivalent of 5,194,000 young people across Britain. But when it was explained to them what being a charity trustee involves, the number of people who said they would consider trusteeship rose substantially to nearly half of all young people.

CAF published research in September showing that charities face a potential generation gap in giving, with more than half of all donations coming from the over-60s, compared to just over one third of donations 30 years ago. The over-60s are now more than twice as likely to give to charity as the under 30s.

The foundation is now calling for Government and charities to work together to engage young people in charities and address the under-representation of young people on trustees boards in order to harness the skills and passions of the next generation and close the potential generation gap in giving.

Paul Rees, executive director at CAF, said: “A lot of people might assume that young people would not be interested in getting involved in running a charity at board level. Our poll explodes that myth; there are in fact millions of young people who are ready and willing to help charities.

“Young people have a fantastic amount to bring to charities and a massive enthusiasm for getting involved, but only a very small minority are represented on charity boards of trustees.

“Charities are always keen to harness the enthusiasm and ideas of young people so they can build support across the generations and carry on their vital work into the future. Our poll show nearly half of young people would consider becoming a charity trustee when told what being a trustee involves. That shows there is huge potential for charities to work with younger generations to enhance their work.”

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