Things to think about when forming a group

Forming a group

Think about the following when forming your group:

  • Leadership – Do you need someone to provide direction, a spokesperson, someone to chair the group, meetings, etc.? Is this you? Or who will this be?
  • Membership – Who are the members of the group and what are their needs? How will they be recruited, connected and how will communication with and between members occur? Do members need to share some values?
  • Purpose – What is the group’s core reason for being? What does your group seek to achieve?
  • Function – How will the group achieve its purpose? Will you meet in person? How often, where and when? Will any funds be required? How will this be attained and managed – do you need a Treasurer? Who will look after the group’s information – do you need a Secretary?
  • Co-ordination of action – Who is going to do this? Do you need a small working group/committee?
  • Rules – Does your group need to agree to some common understandings? Is membership open or are there some criteria? How will decisions get made? Do you need a Charter or Constitution? This may be necessary if you wish to apply for funds.
  • Promotion – Do you wish to expand your group? How will you recruit new members? What promotional material will you need?
  • Communication – Will you need to communicate to others? Will you need to have a public profile? Who are your audiences? What are the key messages for each of these? Will you engage with the media and who will do this?
  • Affiliation – Do you want your group to be part of a bigger group? Are your aims and values similar? You may want to consider joining Alcohol Action New Zealand, please click here
  • Sponsorship or endorsement – Sponsorship or endorsement can assist your group in gaining funds, increasing your profile etc. It is important that it aligns with the group’s purpose and values, and doesn’t create conflicts of interest.

Get some external advice before proceeding with any sponsorship or endorsement. Check legal obligations, contracts, and ensure your group’s aims will be supported.

Sometimes less is more – too much formality can a) be a lot of work and b) put some people off. Your group processes should support you and not bog you down.  Check out any legal and financial requirements and ensure you have the structures in place to comply with these.