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Trustee Toolkit

"Everything I have been trying for, for the last six years, in one brilliant package." United Synagogue trustee

JVN are delighted to be working in partnership with Lead and specialist consultant Jonathan Bergwerk to devise a Trustee Toolkit with the aim of helping organisations plan to build a better and more effective trustee board.

After conducting the research with communal organisations, we found...

1. Trustees are unaware of available roles
2. Lack of clarity on what’s required, with increasing governance requirements
3. Lack of knowledge of available talent
4. Inadequate performance management and succession planning
5. Trustees with inappropriate skills and experience
6. Dissatisfaction amongst some Trustees
7. Not enough time given to leadership development

Results from the research were telling...

1. 42% of organisations have tenure for Trustees; typically a 3 year term
2. There is gender imbalance in Trustees: ⅓ female, ⅔ male
3. The age of most Trustees are equally split in 40s, 50s and 60s
4. 60% of organisations have sub-committees, especially Project/Work based, Finance and Fundraising committees
5. Recruitment of potential Trustees is largely done by word of mouth
6. Biggest challenge in raising performance is lack of time
7. 70% of Chief Execs identified significant areas for improvement vs. 40% of chairs

By implementing the toolkit we hope to solve the issues raised by providing...

1. A high quality process that Chairs and Chief Executives use widely throughout the Jewish Community to attract, develop and manage Trustees to significantly improve the performance of their Trustee Boards
2. More high calibre Trustees
3. Improving the fit between Trustee and charity
4. Greater satisfaction amongst Trustees
5. Improved performance of charities in meeting their statutory duties and increasing change
6. A more planned approach to Trustee succession

Key features of the toolkit include... 

1.Tools not rules; this isn’t halacha. Organisations use the tools relevant to their needs. Start off small
2.Customisable; driven by needs of the organisation and the legal requirements of the role
3.Straightforward to use
4.Suitable for all types and sizes of organisation where Trustees are encouraged to perform
5.Works best where Chair, CEO and Trustees are aligned in wanting a modern Board that focuses on beneficiaries
6.Underpinning Jewish approach– debate and involvement within a framework

The toolkit features on the following areas:



Competency Framework

The list of responsibilities, skills, behaviours and expertise which are required from Trustees.

Role Descriptions

The description of the responsibilities, skills, behaviours and expertise required by an individual portfolio Trustee role.

Succession Planning

Identifying organisational needs and mapping these against current and future talent


Attracting and assessing candidates that match a Role Description.


Enabling new Trustees to become rapidly effective

Personal Development Review

A self-review process for Trustees

Board Effectiveness Review

A process for reviewing the collective effectiveness of the Board against the Competency Framework and identify areas for improvement.

We are currently finalising the launch of the toolkit which will take place in the winter of 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Leonie Lewis at

Lead and JVN would like to thank Jonathan for his hard work and dedication towards developing and implementing the toolkit.

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