Thank you for writing to us at the Community Tool Box with your question.
Thank you for writing to us. We can see your point, and agree that it many cases it might be advantageous to call use the term “Trustee” rather than “Board Member,” for just the reasons you mention.
One might then ask why the term “Trustee” is not more widely used. There may be special factors that apply in a particular situation, and if so it’s good to consider what these might be. It’s possible that the reason might be one of simple inertia – i.e., no one had ever proposed such an alternative before.
Or it could be that the reason is more psychological, rather than legal or fiduciary. In a setting where there is resistance, it might then be useful to probe the psychological sources of the resistance, which might hamper optimal board (or trustee) functioning. This is not to imply that this is true for your own setting, or any particular setting, but rather to introduce an additional dimension that might be operative in some situations.
In any case, it’s good to investigate the reasons why, and how they might apply to your own setting.. We hope some of these thoughts may be helpful. Thanks again for writing, and all very best wishes for success in your work.