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Board composition  |  Not-for-profit

Expert interview: what boards of not-for-profit organisations are looking for


Jackie Ballard has had a long and varied career which has encompassed social work, further education lecturing, training, Local Authority leadership, a 4 year stint as the Member of Parliament for Taunton and, more recently, Chief Executive roles at the RSPCA, Action on Hearing Loss and Womankind Worldwide. She has been the Chief Exec at Alcohol Concern since July 2014. She is also on the Board of Newlon Housing Association, is chair of the Outward charity and has recently been appointed as Associate Lay Member of Lambeth CCG.


What impact do / should independent directors / trustees have in shaping a charity? They are not burdened by day to day operational management and can concentrate on a future vision for the charity and on ensuring it continues to fulfil its mission. It is a huge opportunity to help to guide a charity in the interest of its beneficiaries.


What qualities do you typically look for when recruiting a new trustee to your boards? At Alcohol Concern we have recently recruited 7 new trustees. Each search starts with a focus on the skills gaps on the board; then on the type of person we are looking for – it must be someone who empathises with the cause and ideally has personal experience of the issues. We need people who can look at the bigger picture and the long term and who can assess and monitor risks.


If you are a young professional looking to support organisations in refreshing their board composition, we have designed the NED Accelerator Programme for you. Visit the course page to find out what you will gain and what alumni and non-executive directors say about the programme.



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