I spent most of yesterday at RSA Motivate - a 'first of its kind' event - that offered anyone in Oxfordshire, with a slight inkling towards social action to come along and find out about all the 'good stuff' happening around them and how they can get involved.
With the hung parliament result still very much a topic of conversation on everyone's minds, it provided me with the perfect context to evangelise about how we all need to step up and contribute our energy and creativity towards benefitting 'Our Common Good' (society rather than self) if we really want to see the social change that is needed right now.
For those who have heard me speak before, I often share a few shocking statistics about the stark disparity in some people's lives and an inability to participate in things many of us take for granted, and yesterday was no different. However, I also found myself appealing for younger trustees to join charity boards to improve decision making; ensuring strategic challenges now faced would benefit from a variety of perspectives and expectations.
So seriously no offence intended when I suggested a 'Pale, Male and Stale' epidemic facing most trustee boards. I was simply making the point that if we didn't start to change the age profile of those sitting on not for profit boards then the charitable sector would become unsustainable. Something we cannot let happen given the vital role it plays in supporting Our Common Good.
And with around 50% of trustee vacancies currently unfilled I believe there is a real urgency for charities to find a way of appealing to a different kind of individual. One whose motivation is to be adding skills whilst they build their career rather than just those who are looking to give back following a successful life / career.
Perhaps the potential for digital skills will enable the sector to really embrace this change.
In recent years there has been a lot of research on the benefits of volunteering, both on a personal and professional level and there is even compelling research suggesting that it is literally good for our health. Trusteeship, however, is a unique form of volunteering and brings its own distinct brand of challenge and reward. With up to 50 per cent of charities currently having vacancies on their boards and with charities facing unprecedented challenges, let’s revisit some of the many reasons everyone should consider joining a charity board.