Do you have a concern, or an interest, that's shared more widely than just you as an individual?
Do you want to do something, or promote something, or change something, at least partly for the benefit of people other than yourself?
Do you have the drive and commitment to start and run a new organisation?
If the answer is YES then perhaps you would benefit from forming a community group.
Why set up a community organisation?
You can go it alone, and many successful people have, working on an ad hoc basis and using an informal ring-around when anything needs to be done to avoid getting bogged down in structures, rules and finance.
However a formal organisation can be a much more powerful way of getting your message across or organising your activities. People and agencies are more likely to pay attention and offer support and resources for your cause.
The governance structures needed make decision-making more democratic and responsibilities clear. While the managerial and administrative arrangements (such as a constitution document and budgeting procedure) show your group has clear aims and rules and procedure in place to achieve them. This allows potential funders or new members to quickly understand the purpose of your group and how it functions and decide if they want to support or join it.
Do you really need a NEW organisation?
The first thing to do is to check that nobody's doing it already. If there already is an organisation working in the field, would it be better to join it?
If the other body isn't doing quite what you want, can you get it to change?
Will it be able to stretch to cover your interests? Could it handle a spin-off, or a sub-committee?
Don't start up a new competitor unless you have to. There may be a need for two agencies, and there may even be room for two agencies, but on the other hand there might not. Starting up your own association should be the last resort option.
Advice on setting up community groups:
Feel free to download and print off the information sheets on the right of the page to use whilst setting up your new group.
Writing your constitution
An example of a constitution
Roles and responsibilities of a committee