Senior private sector staff should “step on board”

Companies invited to “Step on Board” to trustee development programme

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Trustees Unlimited are jointly launching a new programme ‘Step on Board‘ that will help senior employees in the private sector become trustees and non-executives in charities and other organisations with a social or environmental mission. Currently, there are 161,000 registered charities in the UK, with 800,000 staff and over 14 million volunteers and yet an estimated one in five charitable organisation has a trustee vacancy on their board. Many charities need trustees with leadership and professional skills.

Launched during Trustees’ Week, Step on Board is a comprehensive and tailor-made volunteering programme that will connect business leaders with communities. Companies will benefit from being able to offer their senior employees a new approach to professional development and at the same time enhance their corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategies.

Encouraging employees to work with charities is also one of the most effective ways for companies to improve their satisfaction and engagement levels.

Through one to one coaching sessions and interactive workshops led by sector experts, Step on Board will prepare potential trustees to be ‘board ready’ from day one. The sessions will enable candidates to grasp what charities need from trustees quickly, how the sector works, the role and responsibilities of trustees and the contribution they are expected to make. Following the programme, candidates will take up positions on a charity’s board or work as a non-executive in the voluntary sector.

Richard Williams, Director of Enterprise at NCVO said, “Step on Board has been created in response to increased interest from corporates looking to engage with charities in more meaningful, impactful and sustainable ways.

It offers the chance for them to make a bigger difference and leave a lasting impact on society. When senior level employees become trustees they learn new skills, including problem solving and strategic decision making as well as different ways of working. It can be a highly positive experience that goes far beyond ordinary management training programmes.”

By engaging trained Step on Board trustees, charities can complete inductions more quickly and welcome trustees who are able to make a valuable contribution from day one.

Step on Board will benefit both charities and private companies and promote the cross-sector sharing of skills and experience. It offers a more engaging, sustainable and cost-effective form of professional development than more traditional styles of leadership training.

As a bespoke service, the programme can be tailored to an organisation’s individual corporate responsibility goals or can be folded into its existing continuous professional development.

A four-step programme ensures that prospective trustees are ready to take on their next challenge and find the role that is right for them.

Interactive workshops will help to prepare candidates for their work as a trustee. They will take part in face-to-face diagnostic interviews to identify their areas of interest and will receive ongoing support to maximise the benefits to both sides.

There will be a thorough impact assessment and evaluation to judge the effectiveness of the project.

For more information about the programme, visit or email