Majority of trustee vacancies not being advertised, research suggests

Research into trustee recruitment websites indicates that more than 650,000 trustee vacancies a year are not being advertised.

NfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton has found that the total number of vacancies for a trustees advertised on recruitment sites each year is between 30,000 and 60,000 a year.

However, the number of vacancies a year is around 720,000, based on a total of 180,000 charities.

Each has on average 12 trustees, on a typical term of three years, so should have four vacancies to advertise a year, says Saxton.

Saxton said that his research “implies that an awful lot of trustee vacancies still aren’t advertised”.

He was carrying out the research after looking for trustee roles for himself, after his term on two charity boards finished this year.

His research also found that many recruitment sites “don’t have great search functions” in particular in filtering roles by region.

“I live in Cumbria, so I’m interested in being a trustee in Cumbria or for a national organisation. I don’t want to be a trustee in Somerset or Lincolnshire. The filters make it quite hard to search like this,” he said.

Saxton founded nfpSynergy 21 years ago and this year sold the market research firm to co-managing directors Cian Murphy and Tim Harrison-Byrne. Saxton’s new job title is driver of ideas (emeritus).

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