Becoming a Formal Group

When are we a formal group?

A viable group is formed when a minimum of four people, with an agreed aim, are prepared to hold scheduled meetings. The Friends group then starts to plan, to put together a constitution, obtain insurance and open a bank account.

Don’t worry, your Programme Co-ordinator for Communities, Debs, is here to help with all of this. You can contact her here.

At the end of this stage you will have a better idea about the number of people that will be available to help start up a group, and to get the work rolling. There needs to be a minimum of three people if the group is to become formalised and adopt a constitution. You will also have a clearer idea about what type of Friends group this will become.

Even if you have been working as a group for a while it might be beneficial to come together in a more official and formal way as a constituted group.

So that everyone understands your group’s aims, it is helpful to have a constitution, which is simply a set of written rules or an agreement governing the aims of your organisation, how it will be run and how the Friends members will work together. It will cover the following aspects:

Your constitution will cover the way that your Friends group will work, for instance:

•Who is eligible to join the group
•How the committee is elected
•How decisions are made
•Whether the group has powers to open a bank account

If your Friends group is planning to apply for grants, funders will ask for a copy of your constitution. An sample constitution can be downloaded here.  Don’t worry if it looks complicated – your Programme Co-ordinator can help you to make sure that your constitution works for your group.

Next > Involving the Council