News & Insights

POSTED Thursday 09-11-23

Securing a Trustee Role in the Third Sector

written by Lauryn Pringle.

We’re just back from a wonderful and inspiring few days in Edinburgh where we were exhibitors at SCVO’s The Gathering, the UK’s largest free voluntary sector event in the UK. It was great to speak to so many people, familiar and new, either involved in third sector work, or seeking a transition into this field.

Often we are asked what trends we are noticing in the recruitment market right now and one theme we have noticed this year that was a prevailing topic of our discussions at The Gathering, was the growing significance of Board recruitment. We’ve noticed an increasing number of organisations that are benefiting from the support of our services to find and match the best leadership talent that will compliment their organisations needs and ensure sound governance.

We at Aspen People work with many organisations to support the appointment of motivational and dynamic board members across our six specialist sectors – Charity & Not for Profit/Third Sector, Education, Government Agencies, Health & Care, Housing Associations and Local Governments. These sectors form a vital part of the fabric of our society and we pride ourselves on finding the leadership talent that helps drive positive transformational change. Equally, we are committed to providing Board opportunities to our candidates, that encourages growth and development professionally and in many cases, leading to opening up new doors in their career.


This blog is here to focus on our Trustee opportunities in the Third Sector, that I myself have the pleasure of being involved in, alongside Third Sector Lead Debbie Shields and others in the team at Aspen. The Third Sector plays a vital role to being the backbone of social change in Scotland, often fillings gaps that neither the government nor the private sector can entirely address. These organisations work tirelessly to combat issues such as poverty, inequality, environmental concerns, healthcare, education, and more. Trustees are at the forefront of these efforts, ensuring these organisations remain mission-driven and effective.


5 Tips for Applying for a Trustee Role in the Third Sector:

  1. Understand the Organisation’s Mission and Values – Before applying for any trustee position, it’s crucial to thoroughly research and understand the organisation’s mission, values, and goals. Make sure their cause aligns with your own passions and values. Your genuine commitment to the organisation’s mission is a key factor that will be assessed during the selection process and often we find to panels, can be the most important factor. Trustees are expected to advocate for the cause, so it’s essential that you truly believe in it
  2. Evaluate Your Skills and Expertise – Trustees often bring specific skills and expertise to the organisation. Consider what you can offer and how your background can benefit the organisation. Are you experienced in finance, law, marketing, fundraising, or another field that’s relevant to the organisation’s needs? It can put you to an advantage if you are able to highlight your relevant skills and experience in your application to demonstrate your value as a trustee, particularly where it may fill an existing gap on the board.
  3. Network and Build Connections – Networking is a valuable resource when seeking trustee opportunities. Attend industry events, join relevant associations, and connect with individuals who are already involved in the third sector. Building connections can open doors to potential trustee positions and provide you with insights into the organisations and roles that best match your interests and skills.
  4. Be Open-Minded throughout the process – When seeking a trustee position, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you are expressing interest in a role that often involves collaborative work within a group, sometimes on a voluntary basis. Hence, achieving the right cultural alignment is essential for both parties. In the event of an unsuccessful application, it’s important to recognise that the value of your skills and expertise remains significant. Feel empowered to continue applying for other board roles, as the key is to find the ideal fit for you.
  5. Tailor Your Application – Trustee application should be tailored to the specific organisation you’re applying to. Customise your covering letter to emphasise how your skills and experiences align with the organisation’s needs and goals. Your covering letter should also be able to outline your ‘Why?’ for this organisation in particular. Whether it’s the organisations service-users, their values or a personal lived experience – make sure to share this.

Our current Trustee opportunities available:


Trustees at Seamab (Closing date 10th of November)

  • Seamab is a remarkable charity that provides care, education, and support to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children.
  • We’re particulary interested in hearing from those with a background in social care.
  • 4 Board meetings per year, based in Perth and Kinross.

Non-Executive Directors at The Wise Group (Closing date 15th of November)         

  • The Wise Group is a dynamic and forward-thinking social enterprise dedicated to transforming lives and working to help lift people out of poverty.
  • We’re particularly interested to hear from those with either familiarity with the political landscape of North East and North West of England, expertise in fostering radical people and culture or proficiency in driving technological innovation.
  • Estimated 13 days commitment per year with a ‘remote first’ approach.


All our roles, along with how and where to apply can be found at

If you’d like to have a conversation about the Trustee roles we have available or more about our Board recruitment services and how we may be able to help, please contact Debbie Shields.