Setting up and running a charity – guidance

The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do (CC3)

What's required of a charity trustee, including your responsibilities to your charity.


Being a trustee

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request a different format.

If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Charity trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. They may be called trustees, the board, the management committee, governors, directors or something else.

This guidance explains what being a trustee involves, including:

  • what trustees do
  • who can be a trustee and how trustees are appointed
  • their legal responsibilities
  • specific trustee roles of chair and treasurer

You should read this guidance if you are:

  • a trustee of any charity based in England or Wales
  • thinking about setting up a charity or becoming a trustee in England or Wales

For a briefer overview, see Charity trustee: what’s involved (CC3a).