Getting Started

Forming a Constituted Group

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:

  • A management committee which includes a chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer.
  • A written constitution document that states your group’s name, aims and how you will operate and what will be done with assets if the group finishes.
  • A bank account
  • A set of accounts

 

Resource Centre - Constitutions

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.

ID: 4339, revised 12/11/2018

Management Committee Roles and Responsibilities

The key elements of each role are as follows.

 

The Chair

The chair leads the organisation by:

  • acting as a figurehead and setting the direction of the organisation
  • representing the organisation publicly and speaking on its behalf
  • taking an overview of the organisation and its work
  • ensuring the governing document and policies are complied with
  • exercising specific and delegated authority
  • authorising action to be taken between meetings of the full management committee
  • ensuring the effective working of the management committee
  • leading and managing management committee and general meetings
  • preparing the agenda for meetings (usually with the secretary) and disseminating necessary advance information
  • signing cheques and legal documents
  • supporting and encouraging other management committee members and staff.

 

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

The secretary provides administrative support to the management committee, and the role includes the following: 

  • meetings:helping to set agendas with the chair, sending out agendas and paperwork; organising a meeting room; checking that a quorum is present; taking and circulating minutes, and attending to other administrative matters.
  • documents:maintaining membership lists and other organisational records; safeguarding key documents; arranging for the production of the annual report; sending out documents and returns to regulators; keeping internal policies up to date, and ensuring there is adequate insurance cover.
  • administration:dealing with correspondence, press and publicity, and providing secretarial services to the management committee generally.
  • ensuring the annual general meeting (AGM) is held within the specified time limits, and other general meetings are called with due notice
  • reporting the minutes for all relevant meetings

 

The Treasurer

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:

  • planning and overseeing the financial affairs of the organisation
  • ensuring the organisation is in good financial health
  • maintaining suitable systems for budgeting, financial control and reporting
  • preparing annual accounts and other financial reports
  • reporting and interpreting financial information to the management committee
  • ensuring that the accounts and financial systems are audited or inspected as required by law
  • ensuring all tax, VAT and in some circumstances national insurance obligations are complied with
  • managing fixed assets and stock
  • acting as a signatory for cheques, invoices, contracts and other relevant documentation.

 For further information and training opportunities 

ID: 4340, revised 05/12/2018

Planning an exit strategy

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?

 

ID: 4341, revised 12/11/2018

Group Set ups

There are other setups to consider such as Unincorporated and Corporated Organisations, Social Enterprise, Community Interest Company (CIC), for more information PAVS

 

ID: 4342, revised 12/11/2018

Choosing a legal structure

PAVS - Choosing a legal structure

CFiW - Community Foundation  in Wales

Resource Centre - Information

If you are considering a community interest business it may be helpful to refer to the Business Advice and Support Pages  

ID: 4343, revised 12/11/2018

Charitable status

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 

ID: 4344, revised 12/11/2018
ID: 4345, revised 13/11/2018

Getting Started

 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.

 

 

 

ID: 3785, revised 12/11/2018