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.


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).