Your Constitution

A constitution is a written framework of rules for your organisation.  It is in effect your group's governing document, stating your aims, clarifying decision-making procedures and establishing a basis for good practice.  It will be a basic requirement for your group to operate. You will need it to open a bank account, apply to funders, register for charitable status, become a company, hire staff or acquire premises.

Your group’s governing document will reflect the type of structure you have chosen for your group and will be referred to as a:-

  • Constitution (for Unincorporated Associations)
  • Trust Deed (for Charitable Trusts)
  • Articles (for incorporated groups such as Company Ltd by Guarantee or Community Interest Companies)
  • Rules or Model Rules (for Industrial and Provident Societies)

When you are setting up a community group for the first time, it is essential that the steering group takes time to discuss, clarify and agree the basic aims and purpose of the group.  Why are you setting up in the first place?  What are you aiming to do?

Think carefully not just about where you are now but where you want to be.  Try not to limit your group and its activities in the future.  Be sure you understand and agree on the essential questions about your purposes, membership, management, decision-making processes and finance. 

Other Community Toolkit Topics to look at:

Further sources of information

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Last Updated 02/10/2013 11:41