Posted on 3/03/2022 by Lisa Ross
Over the coming months - we aim to share knowledge/advice of current findings impacting Charity Boards today and for the future.
Welcome to our first one in the series: “Skills Audit – Post Pandemic.”
In the early days of the Covid Pandemic, Boards were under pressure to provide quick answers to several fundamental questions – how can the charity operate through a pandemic? How can the charity operate in a fundamentally different financial landscape? How can steps be taken to ensure the safety of staff/volunteers/beneficiaries in the face of a once in a lifetime pandemic etc?
In the months that have followed, change has been constant, and it has happened at a pace that would have been inconceivable pre-2020. It has highlighted that Boards can demonstrate agility, resilience, and flexibility – working together for a common goal of survival. In the most cases they have been quick to adopt new business systems, innovation and transformation and have looked at their strategy for the future – post pandemic.
We’ve directly seen over the last six months that an increasing number of Boards have finally had the capacity to reflect on whether existing governance structures, and more fundamentally, existing personnel, are fit for purpose for the “new normal”.
Ensuring that the Board is suitably diverse – in its broadest sense, both in terms of professional skills and experience, but also ensuring the Board reflects the diversity of the communities that it serves – will help ensure that the organisation’s strategy will deliver the greatest impact for the charity’s beneficiaries.
We’ve also seen a pattern in Trustees not renewing their next 3-year tenure, simply put – they’re tired and just want a break and feel ‘new blood’ would benefit the organisation.
A key tool in this respect - to help identify the current gaps in the Board’s expertise - is a skills audit. A skills audit is best completed on an annual basis and looked at against the charity’s current challenges/opportunities, future plans, and Board succession planning. The Charity Commission, in conjunction with Reach Volunteering, has designed a free, downloadable skills audit template.
The audit will highlight any skills gaps and should then inform the Board recruitment plan for the year. We have written blogs before on how to recruit trustees and the importance of diversity and inclusion when recruiting new trustees.
At TPP we work with numerous charities to find them specialist trustees. This month alone we’re recruiting for EDI specialists, HR, fundraising, digital, marketing and finance trustees, details of our current opportunities can be found here.
We can utilise our extensive network, ensure diversity and inclusion by reaching a diverse pool of candidates and carry out highly targeted headhunting. We’re experts - it’s what we do.