AGM 2021: Information for prospective trustees

Any paid individual member of War on Want may be nominated by another War on Want member who holds either individual, household or affiliated membership to stand for election as a trustee to the Council of Management.

War on Want is particularly looking for trustees with charity experience of strategic and operational planning, fundraising, human resources and legal skills.

War on Want is committed to promoting and supporting diversity amongst those elected to serve as trustees, and we particularly encourage candidates from minority ethnic groups to stand for election.

War on Want’s Articles of Association state that trustees shall serve for a fixed term of three years and, if otherwise eligible, may be reappointed for a further term, but that no trustee may serve more than two terms consecutively without a break of at least one year.

If more nominations are received than vacant places on the Council, then an election will take place. The Council of Management currently comprises the Chair, Norina O’Hare; Vice Chairs Tony McMullan and Lis Pritchard, the Treasurer, Mike Egan; and Shaista Aziz, Sunit Bagree, Mike Cushman, Mark Luetchford, Roger Mckenzie, Mario Novelli, Anna Stone, Marilyn Tyzack, and Ben Birnberg, honorary Company Secretary (non-voting member). You can find out more about them here.

Those wishing to stand in this election must be proposed by a fellow member or affiliate of War on Want using the relevant nomination form.  If you do not know any other War on Want members or affiliates, we can provide someone to nominate you; please contact David Rudkin at drudkin@waronwant.org for further assistance.

The closing date for receipt of nominations is 12 noon Friday 12 March 2021.

There are a number of responsibilities and duties associated with becoming a trustee of a registered charity. These are explained below. It is important that members who are seeking election to the Council of Management read this carefully.

Any member who wishes to take their nomination forward must also submit the following by 12 noon on Friday 12 March 2021:

  • A letter accepting nomination for election to the Council of Management of War on Want
  • A personal statement and biography of no more than 250 words about yourself and what you think you could bring to the role. This will be distributed to members as part of their voting papers to help them decide who they may vote for.
  • A high resolution colour head shot of yourself. This will be printed next to your personal statement in the literature which is distributed to members.

If you are nominating an individual or individuals please ensure that they are willing and able to stand before submitting the nomination form.

The role of a charity trustee

There are certain duties and responsibilities associated with becoming a trustee of a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Before accepting nomination to War on Want’s Council of Management it is important that you are aware of these duties and responsibilities.

Those members of War on Want elected to the Council of Management are appointed to control, govern and guide War on Want and its assets. They are trustees, and as such the performance of their obligation is subject to the supervision and control of the Charity Commission of England and Wales and can ultimately be enforced in the courts. The latest information on the role of a charity trustee can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3

Duties

Trustees must be familiar with the organisation’s governing instrument i.e. with the objects of War on Want and the means by which these are to be achieved. They must ensure that the charity’s activities and funds are directed towards the fulfilment of these objects. All candidates nominated for the Council of Management will receive a copy of the governing instrument plus War on Want’s Articles of Association.

The duties of the Council of Management are primarily concerned with the strategic direction, governance and guidance of the charity. It is the duty of Council members to ensure that the organisation is run as effectively as possible and that the requirements of all relevant legislation are obeyed. Individual trustees cannot allocate War on Want’s income or direct its actions alone; they are required to act as a body.

Trustees should never allow themselves to be placed in a position where personal or professional interest may conflict with their duty as trustees. Avoiding conflicts of interest means that trustees cannot be paid for their services, although reasonable travel expenses are paid. Trustees must not profit either directly or indirectly from their position on the Council of Management.

The Council of Management has a duty to maintain proper accounting records, prepare annual financial statements in compliance with relevant legislation and accounting standards and to submit these accounts to the appropriate authorities within specified deadlines. The Council of Management is also obliged to have War on Want’s accounts audited.

Liabilities

Personal liabilities may arise if members of the Council of Management act in breach of trust, e.g. by failing to discharge their duties to the standard required by law or by the governing instrument, by acting outside their powers or by otherwise acting negligently or fraudulently in the direction and governance of War on Want.

Personal liability exposes a trustee either to a claim for damages, or to make good the losses to the charity’s funds. However, if more than one trustee is guilty of a breach of trust, liability is joint and several and recovery of any damages or loss to War on Want can be enforced against any one of the trustees.

It is important that all candidates are aware of the above, since wide-ranging responsibilities and important decision-making powers are invested in the Council of Management.

Cycle of meetings

The War on Want Council of Management currently meets four times a year in London at 5.30pm and the Finance and Resources Committee also take place four times a year at 4.30pm. Due to COVID these meetings are currently taking place online. The Council also delegates certain of its duties to authorised committees, members of which are appointed at the first Council meeting after the AGM.

It is therefore important to consider the time commitment that this involves, and all members of the Council of Management should be willing and able to give time to the governance and strategy of War on Want and the fulfilment of its objects. Emergency meetings may be called from time to time at short notice, and certain Council members may also be required for interview panels or special activities.

Conditions

Nominees for the Council of Management must be paid-up individual members of War on Want. This means they must have an active regular donation (ideally via Direct Debit) at the time of being nominated and must maintain regular donations throughout their tenure as trustees. In addition they must not be bankrupt.

Further Information

If you have any questions about the process or would like to check your membership status, please contact David Rudkin. Tel 020 7324 5051