Posted on 16/09/2019 by Brigitte Stundner
We sat down with Arti Sharma who gave us her thoughts, interests and advice on being a Trustee.
1. How would you describe your current Trustee role?
I joined in June 2018 when the organisation had just undergone a strategy and theory of change refresh and though the subsequent board meetings it has been great to offer advic and support to the CEO and staff and how the strategy should be implemented for the long term benefits of the Charity and its beneficiaries. It has been really interesting to work with a new group of people who have a diverse set of skills and experiences. We work well together as a board and I have found it a great learning experience both professionally and personally.
2. What interested you in joining a Board?
I have a personal commitment and passion towards developing young people and ensuring they have access to opportunities that support their well-being and NurtureUK and its mission closely ties in with that. I also wanted to expand my charity knowledge and experience as well as have the opportunity to share my skills and expertise from the last 20 years with other organisations. A trustee is a really valuable way to do this as I get to see the ‘other side’ of charity governance as a board member and also able to bring back the knowledge into the charity I work for.
3. What is your favourite part of being a Trustee?
Working with a fantastic group of professionals and seeing the charity go from strength to strength.
4. What skills and experience did you want to bring to your current Trustee position? What skills did you hope to develop?
I have a strong background in strategic marketing communications, digital and as an ex-teacher a good understanding of the profession and challenges faced by teachers and
pupils within the education sector.
I am part of the marketing and public affairs sub-committee and will be working with fellow trustees and key staff to help formulate plans and output of work that benefit the charity’s profile and engagement amongst key stakeholders.
5. A Trustee role requires a significant amount of time for meetings, reviewing papers, and other events/activities. How did you balance your role with other commitments?
It has been manageable as my employer has been very supportive and understanding of my commitments outside of the organisation. All staff are encouraged to take 2 volunteering days to give back to the community. As the board meetings are set in advance, I have been able to manage my workload around that quite easily.
6. What do you think are the characteristics of a great Trustee?
- Passion and commitment - to charity mission and beneficiaries - without that it’s hard to actively participate and engage with what the organisation is trying to do. Having that passion towards the cause helps you maintain common sense and creativity and of course makes the role much more enjoyable!
- Time - being a trustee does involve a significant personal time commitment if you want to properly fulfill your duties. It comes with a lot of rewards and it definitely worth it if you are able to manage your day to day responsibilities around it.
- Being unbiased – every meeting you attend, advice you give and committees you participate in must put the best interests of your beneficiary(ies) first with no personal gain.
- Having a team-playing mindset - You often working with an array of people on the board and staffing who have different skills and experiences and working collectively as a team, helps decisions to be made quickly and efficiently. We all need to remember that we are all there for the same purpose - to ensure the beneficiaries get the maximum impact and benefits from the charities work.
7. What motivates you as an individual?
Working for and in environments where there is a strong sense of purpose, innovation, autonomy and values. I am lucky that my trustee role at NurtureUK gives me all of that.
8. What advice would you give to someone looking for their first Trustee role?
Do it! It is a great way to develop professionally and personally in a very supportive environment. Also it gives you the chance to work, interact with people who are equally driven by the same sense of purpose - to do good.
9. How did you get into contact with TPP?
I was introduced via a colleague
10. Describe TPP in one word?