; Constitutions

What are Constitutions

A constitution lays down officially and in writing the key aims of your group, its membership and how it will be run. It is the key governing document for your group and clarifies the 'rules' and decsion - making processes.

You will usually be required to to have a constitution if your group wants to apply for funding, acquire premises or employ staff. You will also need a constitution if your group wants to become a charity.

How to write a constitution

The exact form a constitution should take and what it needs to include may vary depending on the type of legal structure your group decides to adopt. However, a constitution should generally contain the following:

  • The name of the group
  • The aims and objectives of the group ( what the organisation exists to do )
  • Membership details,  including who can join the organisation with reference to age and geographic location
  • The powers the organisation will have ( eg/ to employ staff, to fundraise )
  • How and when committee members are elected and removed
  • How the committee should operate and the duties of  committee members ( eg/ Chairpesron, Treasurer, Secretary )
  • How the organisation's finances are to managed and accounted for, including operating arrangements for any bank accounts
  • Details of the procedures for the AGM
  • Altering the constitution - the conditions which must be satisfied to do so
  • How the organisation will be Dissolved in the event of winding up

If you are new to writing constitutions, you may wish to contact other youth groups to see what they have done or you may wish to contact your Local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) for further advice and support.

A sample constiution for an unincorporated youth group can be found here.

For more information and a copy of a model constitution for Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations ( SCIO's ) , visit SCVO's web-site.



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