A constitution is a written document that establishes the rules and principles of a group. It may be a sensible idea to create a constitution for your community group as they govern the conduct of its members, and direction you want to take. They are generally agreed on by everyone in the group so each person has a chance to say how the group operates.
Your constitution may only have the basic information, or it may include a long-term plan – there is no “one way” to write a constitution as they are personal to your group.
There are many different features you may wish to include such as
- Aims and Objectives
- Alterations to the Constitution
- General Meetings
- Annual Reports
- Property Lists
- Ownership Rights
The reason your community group may want a Constitution is for the protection of its members and its archival material. If items are gathered and stored together for a long time, a member may want reassurance that their item will be safe and secure. Amendments can be made to the Constitution if the group’s plans change.
More information at the Charity Commission website
Your community group may also want to form a Mission Statement – this is a brief declaration of your group’s purpose and actions. It should be a representation of your group’s aims, as well as a reminder to your members of what you wish to accomplish together.
Generally shorter mission statements are more effective than longer ones.
Hampshire Record Office
Sussex Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8TH
tel 01962 846154