Setting up and running a charity – guidance

Trustee expenses and payments (CC11)

Find out if a charity can pay trustees and what expenses trustees are entitled to.



Guidance to clarify the law and good practice where charity trustee boards want to make payments to one or more of the trustees.

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

Charities can pay some of their trustees (or people and businesses connected to trustees) for services. But a charity trustee may only be paid for serving as a trustee where it:

  • is clearly in the interests of the charity, and
  • provides a significant and clear advantage over all other options

Any other payment, such as compensating individuals for loss of earnings, needs authority from the charity’s governing document, the Charity Commission or the courts.

Trustees should have procedures in place to manage conflicts of interest and report on trustee payments in the trustees’ annual report and accounts.