To mark Charity Trustees Week Ireland 2018, Lisa-Nicole Dunne, Cii Trustee & CMRF Crumlin CEO, writes about her experience as a charity trustee.
Having worked for UNICEF, Focus Ireland and CMRF Crumlin, and having served on the board of Fundraising Ireland for a short period I am completely passionate about the value that the non-profit sector brings to our society. It’s really quite amazing.
In an executive leadership role, you depend on your board to be supportive, strategic, challenging, curious, analytical, and passionate. I have worked with and depended on many wonderful trustees along the way. Trustees play a vital role in active steering of charities to deliver the impact they are here for and oversight and review to ensure they are doing this in the best possible way.
I became a trustee because I felt this is a sector that needs more advocates and I think being on a board is an exciting way to get involved with a cause you are passionate about. Whilst there is a critical need to focus on fiduciary responsibilities and good governance, charities depend on board members to be connectors, champions and to help with development too, so people with good sales marketing and business skills, and great networks can make a huge contribution.
It has been really interesting to see things from a trustee perspective and I think it has helped me improve my own skills and given a wider perspective as an executive manager. I am now a trustee of Charities Institute Ireland since its fruition, and we have been undergoing a review of the needs of our board as we grow into a young but vibrant organisation that helps the sector with strengthening its reputation, skills development and with key strategic issues as an advocate.
We recognise that a diverse board, with skills and experience from across a wide range of sectors and backgrounds, is most conducive to being productive. I would therefore encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to consider developing their skills and networks by joining a non-profit board whilst also really contributing in a meaningful way to the world in which we all live.