RYA Foundation Trustee


The RYA Foundation

Trustee Recruitment Information Pack 2023

The RYA Foundation is the RYA’s national charity. Set up in 2013, it awards grants for boats, sailing sessions, volunteer training and specialist equipment. We have been privileged to have had 10 years of making a difference, having allocated almost £500,000 to sailing centres and foundations around the UK, helping 15,000 people get on the water.

Our grants provide inclusive boating opportunities for those in need and aim to encourage longevity, so people take up boating as a sport for life rather than just trying it once. Our role is to help widen the availability of sustainable boating activities, enabling more people to enjoy being on the water, develop life skills and feel part of their community.

Charity Background

The RYA Foundation is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee – and is therefore governed by both charity and company law. The sole member of the company is the RYA itself, and the RYA Board approves the Trustees’ annual report and accounts. The existing Trustees appoint new members to their Board, subject to confirmation by the RYA Board, and they elect one of their number to act as Chair. Trustees play a crucial role in setting and supporting the Foundation’s strategy. We have an excellent board of seven trustees, but have identified the following gaps, which we would like to recruit to:

  • Marketing communications to help raise awareness and visibility of the charity and promote our new Youth Fund, due to be launched September 2023
  • Innovation in generating new sources of income, working closely with the RYA’s internal promotions experts


As company directors and charity trustees, the Trustees are responsible for the overall management and direction of the charity. Day-to-day administration is delegated to the Company Secretary/Secretary to the Trustees. S/he is supported by the staff of the RYA who currently edit the Foundation’s pages on the RYA website, deal with general enquiries and maintain the accounts.

Role description

Main responsibilities

Trustees are expected to have an interest in, and an empathy for, the Foundation’s object to support those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial or other disadvantage to engage in the sport of boating. To that end, they are expected to:

  • Attend all Trustees’ meetings, having reviewed the briefing papers and grant applications beforehand
  • Play an active role in the charity’s activities by contributing to the Trustees’ grant making decisions
  • Contribute to the work of the marketing sub-committee to support marketing communications in conjunction with the RYA Marketing team, with an initial emphasis on promoting our new Youth Fund and publicising our impact
  • Develop an understanding of the RYA’s programmes and activities, particularly the Sailability Programme
  • Help to broaden awareness of the Foundation’s aims, values and priorities and promote it to a wider audience
  • Participate in one or more portfolios of responsibilities, which will be identified between the Trustee and the Chair
  • Undertake personal development training in charity governance and matters relating to the Foundation and its work.

Desirable Skills and attributes

  • Knowledge of marketing communications, including writing compelling copy
  • Some knowledge of the RYA: its mission, values and core activities
  • Current or previous active participation in boating
  • Ability to actively participate in/contribute to committee discussions
  • Ability to work as part of a team and willingness to take collective responsibility for the governance of our charity
  • An interest in, knowledge of or experience in the voluntary sector
  • Empathy with those who live in disadvantaged circumstances
  • Good networking, influencing and communication skills
  • Broad knowledge of charity regulation and financial management
  • Experience in IT/digital media.  

Time commitment and location

  • The Trustees normally meet four times a year, either at the RYA’s offices in Hamble, in London (or the South East), or via video conference online
  • You may be a member of a sub-committee which will meet two or three times a year
  • Occasional attendance at trainings, conferences or for visits to partners and beneficiaries

The Application and Appointment Process

  • For an informal chat about the role please contact the secretary, David Murray info@ryafoundation.org
  • Please send your CV and a short statement about why you are interested in becoming a trustee to info@ryafoundation.org by Friday 6 October
  • You will be asked to complete a skills matrix and provided with further background information
  • Candidates will be informed by Friday 20 October if they have been shortlisted for interview
  • Interviews will take place on Thursday 9 November in London