Groups should be constituted so members have a shared understanding of the association’s structure, purpose and scope. Becoming constituted will also enable groups to have a bank account and access funding opportunities, please see the Funding and Finance page.
To become constituted, groups will need the following:
It is worth noting that a constituted group is not recognised as a legal body. Management committees of constituted groups may therefore be personally liable for any debts incurred and this is a risk that you should be aware of.
If you network with other local groups involved in similar activities, it may be possible that they could act as the umbrella constituted group. There are also Community Forums that welcome newly formed groups to take advantage of their constitution, bank account and insurance.
The key elements of each role are as follows.
The chair leads the organisation by:
The Vice Chair
Some groups have a vice-chair who can stand in for the chair when required and help organise meetings. The vice-chair may also have specific responsibilities within the organisation.
The secretary provides administrative support to the management committee, and the role includes the following:
The treasurer deals with finances but ultimate legal responsibility rests collectively with the whole management committee. The treasurer should not be in sole control of finances as highlighting mistakes, financial problems and fraud may prove difficult
The treasurer’s responsibilities may include:
For further information and training opportunities
Projects will ultimately have an end point. A well thought through exit strategy needs to be written into the group constitution. It should include what will happen at the end of the project; will it continue in some way and how will assets be disposed of?
There are other setups to consider such as Unincorporated and Corporated Organisations, Social Enterprise, Community Interest Company (CIC), for more information PAVS
A Charitable Incorporated Organisation is suitable for groups wanting to become charities but don’t want the complex structure of charity law. It provides limited liability for members. To register as a charity, you can adapt a model constitution approved by the Charity Commission
This Toolkit provides guidance regarding procedures and processes required for the development of community projects and business. The content will help anyone developing new project ideas as well as established groups needing specific information or wishing to network.
It will provide national and local examples of projects demonstrating great ideas for inspiration and ‘best practice’. Listing useful online help and advice produced by specialist organisations it signposts to the best contacts for support.