Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Paid trustees at largest charities receive on average £10k a year

Trustees at top-100 charities earn, on average, £10,180 a year if they are paid by their charity, while claims for trustee expenses average £2,858, according to a new report on charity governance by Grant Thornton.

In the report, The science of good governance towards charity best practice, Grant Thornton analyses the governance structure of the top 100 charities in the UK by income.

It finds 14 of the top 100 paid trustees remuneration for their role, totalling £1.9m, with the average pay per trustee being £10,108.

Some 80 per cent of the top 100 charities paid trustee expenses with the average claim being £2,858, although most trustees are paid less than £200. The vast majority of these expenses relate to travel.

The report also looked at information on governance practice included in top 100 charities’ annual accounts and reports and found some areas were lacking.

It says most charities showed little disclosure of the selection and appraisal processes for trustees. “If larger charities summarised their selection procedures and requirements they might build greater awareness of the attributes and responsibilities required of, and demonstrated by, trustees,” recommends the report.

Further, the report recommends that the charity sector make more use of nomination committees with clear terms of reference over the recruitment and selection of trustees.

It also says that very few (6 per cent) of charities used their annual reports to disclose the skills of their trustees and recommended that charities give brief biographies of the trustees so users can understand the range of skills and experience of the board.

Information on how frequently top 100 charities’ boards and committees meet is disclosed by very few charities, says the report.

The report recommends that charities disclose the attendance rate for board meetings advising that more than 98 per cent of FTSE350 companies give full details on the number of meetings and individual attendance rates. “The expectation and achievement of high attendance rates for committees and boards is a marker of good governance,” it says.

The report is based on the latest financial statements of the top 100 charities by income filed by summer 2012. The range of financial year-ends means the financial statements reviewed span from 31 December 2010 to 31 March 2012.

This article was taken from Civil Society – http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/14671/