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Step 1: What Is A Community Group?

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What is a Community Group?

A Voluntary and Community Group is defined as a ‘group or organisation which works for the public benefit’ and has the following characteristics:

  • Structure – rules around how the group is organised and run.  This is called a ‘governing document’ or constitution
  • Self-governing and independent from any other organisation.  Voluntary and Community groups are free to appoint their own management committee
  • Not for Profit – no-one within the group will profit from that group.  It is run by volunteers who can be reimbursed for volunteer expenses but apart from that any profits made must be reinvested in the group
  • Public/Community Benefit – the activities carried out by the group will benefit a particular group of people within the community
  • Funding – voluntary and community groups can apply for funding to get their group started and help with developing their activities
  • Generating Income – there are lots of ways of bringing money in - for example, membership fees, donations, fundraising. These aspects are covered in the Fundraising section later on

There are other structures that you can adopt depending on the kind of work you plan to do.  These are covered in the Legal Structures section