Setting up and running a charity – guidance

Users on board: beneficiaries who become trustees (CC24)

Find out how charity service users can help to develop the charity's services by being trustees.


Users can contribute their direct experience to the development of services and help other trustees develop a greater knowledge of the user perspective. Taking on trusteeship can:

  • restore a sense of ownership and empowerment to users
  • help reduce inequality and discrimination
  • increase support for a charity among other users
  • broaden a charity’s contacts and influence

User involvement can take several different forms, from informal discussions with users about the charity’s services to a trustee body made up totally of service users.

User trusteeship needs to be introduced with care to avoid any problems with conflicts of interest.

Some charities are legally required to have users as trustees.