A study conducted by UK charity, Getting on Board revealed that 21% of British adults would like to sit on the board of a charity but half don’t know what a trustee is, Civil Society revealed.

Conversely, the survey also revealed that confusion reigns in the UK over the role of a trustee with 51% stating they do not know what a charity trustee is. Whilst the survey revealed that 21% would be interested in sitting on the board of a charity, significantly less (12%) said they would not like to be a trustee – even though both connote the same role.

Interestingly, the survey showed that almost twice the number of 18 – 34 year olds are interested in joining the board of a charity as over 55 year olds. This fact debunks the popular myth that the role of trustee is best suited for old retired professionals.

Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission for England and Wales said: “clearly the sector needs to do more to explain what a charity trustee is so that people realise what a fantastic opportunity it can be to make a real difference. Trustees are the driving force behind every great charity and are responsible for making decisions about a charity’s direction and activity. I have met so many trustees who tell me it’s the best thing that they have ever done and would recommend it to others.”

The survey was commissioned as part of Trustees Week (31st October – 6th November 2011) which is a national campaign dedicated to raising awareness of trusteeship.