Forming a community group

If you have a concern, or an interest, that's shared more widely than just you as an individual and want to do, promote or change something for the benefit of other people then you could benefit from forming a community group.

Why set up a community organisation

You can go it alone, and many successful people have, working on an ad hoc basis and using an informal ring-around when anything needs to be done to avoid getting bogged down in structures, rules and finance.

However a formal organisation can be a much more powerful way of getting your message across or organising your activities. People and agencies are more likely to pay attention and offer support and resources for your cause. 

The governance structures needed make decision-making more democratic and responsibilities clear. While the managerial and administrative arrangements (such as a constitution document and budgeting procedure) show your group has clear aims and rules and procedure in place to achieve them. This allows potential funders or new members to quickly understand the purpose of your group and how it functions and decide if they want to support or join it.

What to consider

The first thing to do is to check that nobody's doing it already. If there already is an organisation working in the field, it may be better to join it and if it's not doing quite what you want, you may be able to do something to change it.

Do not start up a new competitor unless you have to. There may be a need for 2 agencies, and there may even be room for two agencies, but on the other hand there might not. Starting up your own association should be the last resort option.

Advice on setting up community groups

Whilst setting up your new group, you may find the following documents helpful:

Page last updated: 12 March 2019
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