Starting up a new community group is an exciting undertaking and not one to be taken lightly. There are many reasons why people wish to start up their own organisation: to fulfil a need in the community that is not being met; to develop a project that has started informally or to develop a new venture or business idea in the charitable sector.
Before you decide to set up a new organisation make sure you do your research. Here are some key questions to consider:
Have you identified a clear need?
Do you have a clear purpose and vision for what your organisation will do?
Is another organisation already working in that area?
Could you volunteer or apply to work at an organisation already doing the work?
Could you partner with an organisation already doing the work and/or become a project of an already established organisation?
Do you want to be paid?
Have you identified people who can be trustees?
Do you have family members who will want to be involved?
If you need support with starting up an organisation contact us. We can:
Offer one to one support and advice, signposting you to useful resources
Offer information and guidance on deciding an appropriate legal structure, choosing a governing document and recruiting trustees
Support with collaboration and partnering with organisations already working in the area
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Community Southwark Useful Resources
Community Southwark Resources - Governance & Leadership: fact sheets and resources to ensure good governance & leadership from the very beginning.
Community Southwark Resources - Information about Southwark: Information and resources tohelp you do your research before starting up a new organisation.
Community Southwark Resources - Planning your future needs: fact sheets and resources to help you get on with strategic planning, business planning and much more.
Community Southwark Resources - Social Enterprise: Fact sheets and resources looking at social enterprise and the questions to ask when starting an organisation
Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs): this provides an introduction to the CIO form with useful links for more information.
Charities & Trusts: a brief overview of charities and trusts with further resources to help you decide on a suitable legal form.
Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs): a brief overview of the Community SouthwarkC scheme, pros and cons and further reading.
Community Interest Companies (CIC): this provides an introduction to the CIC form, pros and cons, and why it is suitable for social enterprise activity.
Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG): this provides an introduction to the CG form, pros and cons, and why it is suitable for social enterprise and or charitable activity.
Getting Started Guide: provides an introduction to key things to consider when starting a new community group or voluntary sector organisation
Getting Started Jargon Buster: a quick overview of some of the languarge you will come across in the sector and whilst setting up your organisation.
Legal Forms Decision Tool: based on the Get Legal decisio tool, this is a quick quiz to start you off on your decision making journey.
Legal Forms of Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations Visual Chart: a visual chart summarising the main legal forms used in the VCS
Registered Society (Industrial and Provident Society) Co-operative and Community Benefit Society: an introduction to IPS and the two main forms these take - Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies (Bencoms).
Starting up - initial assessment: 10 key questions to ask yourself before setting up a new organisation.
Unincorporated Association: an introduction to the key points of this legal structure, the pros and cons and further resources.
Charity Commission Website - lots of useful information and guidance for starting up community groups, Charities, and CIOs including guidance on governing documents and the role of trustees.
CIC Regulator - this site provides useful guidance and templates for those considering starting up a community Interest company
Companies House - information and guidance for companies.