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Getting started

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Turning an idea into action

If you are thinking about setting up a new group, then the first thing you should do is carry out some research before you start. Here are some key questions that you will need to think about:

  • Is there a real need for your group and is there evidence to support this?
  • What are others already doing in your local area?
  • What is motivating you to set up your group?
  • Do you have the time and commitment to set up and run the group?
  • How will you get others involved in running and supporting the group?

Other sources of information

NCVO – Deciding to set up a new charitable organisation

View resource

What’s the purpose of your group?

It is really important that you clearly set out the purpose of your group right at the beginning. This is because the purpose of your group will influence the choice of structure and the kind of organisation it could become, for example whether it could be called a ‘charity’.

You should start by working through your ideas so that you have clearly identified the purpose of your group. Think about the difference that your group is going to make. You will need to be clear about:

  • WHAT your group is going to do
  • WHERE you want to do it
  • WHO will benefit
  • And HOW

Ideally at this stage you should write this down and draw up a simple plan setting out what you want to do, why you want to do it and how you will do it. This information will provide a guide for your work and will also influence the choices that you make about the structure of your group. Once your group is up and running we would recommend that you develop this plan into a more extensive document, which we will call a business plan. You will find more information about this in the Running your organisation section.