Paying Trustees for Services

Trustee ExpensesMost trustees are unpaid, but all trustees can claim reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. 

A charity can pay a trustee for the supply of any services over and above normal trustee duties.

The decision to do this must be made by those trustees who will not benefit. They must decide that the service is required by the charity and agree it is in the charity’s best interests to make the payment and must comply with certain other conditions

Examples of services that may be provided by a trustee in return for payment under the power in the Charities Act include:

  • the delivery of a lecture
  • a piece of research work
  • the use of a trustee’s firm for a building job
  • the occasional use of a trustee’s premises or facilities
  • entering into a maintenance contract with a trustee’s firm Trustee expenses and payments (CC11) 12
  • providing curtains or decorating materials for hall premises
  • providing timber for a building
  • providing specialist services such as estate agents, land agents, management and design consultants, computer consultancy, builders, electricians, translators, and graphic designers

The power cannot be used to allow payment for auditing services as a trustee cannot legally act as an auditor for his or her charity

Recording the proposed arrangement in the charity’s minutes will not be enough to meet the conditions for an agreement. There must be a separate written agreement which must cover certain issues, but there is no set format. This will depend on the nature of the service being provided, and the level of detail needed to cover it.

More detailed guidance can be found here in document CC11