A charity must follow any rules in their governing document about who appoints new trustees, when, and how, new trustees are appointed and who can be a trustee – the governing document may impose conditions
Co-opted trustees are found most commonly in unincorporated associations or charitable companies where the charity has a membership. Their appointment is under express provisions in the governing document allowing the trustee body to fill vacancies on an ad hoc basis or to supplement the skills of existing trustees.
Trustees may be appointed in a number of different ways – for example:
- they can be nominated by the other trustees or by another organisation, such as a local authority
- they may be elected by the charity’s members
- they may become a trustee by virtue of a post which they occupy, such as a mayor or mayoress of a town, the chief executive of a local health trust or the head master of a school; such trustees are known as ‘ex officio’ trustees
Other than in the case of ex officio trustees, the appointment of a trustee becomes effective only once a prospective trustee has formally agreed to accept the trusteeship. The trusteeship may then begin immediately, or on a specified date.
Following the appointment of a new trustee, trustees must ensure that the Commission is notified of the appointment as soon as possible