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Duties & Responsibilities of Trustees

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A trustee is an institution, an individual or a small group of individuals who hold the legal title to property that is entrusted for their use. They may be responsible for an individual's personal property or for organizations such as a town library, church or schools. There are many duties and responsibilities of trustees.


A very important duty of trustees is to familiarize themselves with the corporation, organization or individual's property and assets that they are entrusted with. They are also responsible for familiarizing themselves with the budget aspect if need be and with the general ongoing business of the organization.

Attend Meetings

Trustees also must attend meetings of the board, and to actively participate in the discussions and goings-on in the meetings. All meetings should be attended, and a trustee who misses a specified amount of meetings may be subject to removal from the board of trustees.

Maintaining and Safeguarding

Another responsibilities of trustees is to maintain close watch on sources of funds coming in and the use of those funds. They also may be responsible for safeguarding the physical property and any equipment that they may be entrusted with.


Trustees are often expected to provide some financial support if they are entrusted with legal rights to organizations such as libraries. They are also expected to participate in fund-raising activities.

Setting Policies

Another very important responsibility of trustees is to set and oversee policies. A board of trustees for a facility such as a university may set and approve policies for things such as salary and benefits. The policies are agreed upon and set by the trustees, and they issue the guidelines for those policies, and make sure everyone is following through on them and abiding by them when they are supposed to.