How to: Set up a group part 1

Step 1

The first step in setting up a group is to know what the purpose of the group is and what the group aims to achieve. This can be done through setting up a ‘terms of reference’, ‘set of rules’ or ‘constitution’.

You may also want to think about what your mission, vision and values are. These will be the foundation stones for your group.

You should ensure that you have adequate support from volunteers, members and, where relevant, staff, to run your group It is best to have all these details in one place to ensure that you can easily identify them.

Step 2

Next you need to be able to identify what activities your group will follow. How you are going to go about those activities and which person (board member, staff, volunteer) is responsible for which activity.

Step 3

It’s probably best to think of the things that motivated you to start a group. Are the reasons supported in your terms of reference and your mission, vision and values. Does everyone in your group have the opportunity to contribute towards these?

Step 4

=> Is there a process manual, so that anyone can pick up the group activity, detailing how sessions will be co-ordinated?
=> Do you have a plan outlining who is going to do what and when?
=> Have you covered all angles, making sure that everyone who wants to be involved can be?

Step 5

You need to make sure that everyone who is interested in running the group has a job role/description. This will help everybody to understand what they are responsible for and create accountability within the group. You should think about putting volunteer agreements in place and whether all paid member of staff have contracts.

Make sure that all work plans include any funding requirements as well as the groups objectives.

Step 6

The final step is to ensure that you’re promoting your group effectively.

  • How are you going to promote your group?
  • What is the best method of promoting your group?
  • Is there going to be a cost towards the promotion?

Other things to think about...

Training: Do people need to be trained in what they are going to be doing, particularly volunteers?
Competition: Are there any other groups in your locality that run a similar group. Could you potentially work together?
Sustainability: Will you be able to get further funding to develop your group?

For more information on group work and setting up a group, contact your local infrastructure organisation (CVS). If you require contact details for your local infrastructure organisation, please email or telephone 0161 235 8035.

This information was produced with support from Halton Voluntary Action’s DeveloP IT Toolkit.

How to: Set up a group 1
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For more information or to get support and advice contact the Rainbow Partnership.