Role of the management committee
All community organisations are run by a group of people – sometimes they are an elected management committee, sometimes it’s just the people who turn up to every meeting. If you take the time to work out who is responsible for what, and how you are going to make decisions within your group, it can save you a lot of trouble. This section contains information to help people take on specific roles within a committee, and also to help committees as a whole work effectively.
A small groups’ guide to preparing and using budgets
This information sheet looks at what chairing a meeting involves, and how to do it. There are some useful tips and advice to help improve and develop your chairing skills.
This guide summarises the requirement for charities to produce accounts, reports and returns each year.
An introduction to health and safety for community groups run by volunteers.
The Resource Centre held two workshops on chairing meetings in March 2016. These were attended by twelve people from nine different Brighton & Hove City Council Tenant and Resident Associations.
A short summary of the responsibilities of registered non-company charities with income under £250,000.
A guide to the key responsibilities of an organisation’s management committee, trustees or other governing body.
Quick and easy guide to taking minutes
A quick overview of the main roles of officers, and a more detailed explanation of the role of the Secretary.
A step-by-step guide on how to be the treasurer for a community group. Includes basic principles of managing money, keeping track of cash and bank accounts, and sharing information with the rest of your group.
Information and tips to help your whole committee take responsibility for looking after your group’s money.
These books are available at the Resource Centre, to borrow or to use in the Centre.
- A Chair's First 100 Days
- Communication skills (Booklet 2 of 5 of "From Conflict to Cooperation" series)
- Community Matters: Reference Manual for Community Organisations Advisers
- Conflict - where it comes from & how to deal with it (Booklet 1 of 5 of "From Conflict to Cooperation" series)
- Everyone's Business: Safeguarding for Trustees
- Fundraising and Trustees: the essential guide
- Governance & Participation: Developing democratic governance - factsheets
- Governance & Participation: Development toolkit CD ROM
- Just about managing? Effective management for voluntary organisations and community groups
- Meetings and decision-making (Booklet 3 of 5 of the "From Conflict to Cooperation" Series)
- Model constitution for a community association
- Organisational growth and development (Booklet 4 of 5 of "From Conflict to Cooperation" series)
- Recruit a Trustee Pocket Guide
- Role and responsibilities of the committee (Booklet 5 of 5 of "From Conflict to Cooperation" series)
- Simply Governance: A comprehensive guide to understanding the systems & processes concerned with the running of a sustainable community enterprise
- Starting on the right track: A guide to recruiting and inducting a new chair
- The Charity Trustees Handbook
- The complete guide to business and strategic planning for voluntary organisations
- The Minute-Taker's Handbook
- Trustee guide to campaigning and influencing
- Voluntary but not amateur: a guide to the law for voluntary organisations and community groups
- Voluntary matters: a guide to management and good practice in the voluntary sector (booklet)
- Voluntary matters: management and good practice in the voluntary sector
The services listed below are not provided by the Resource Centre. These are websites and services we feel are particularly useful for small groups in Brighton & Hove, and which are not easy to find by searching the internet.
Most useful services for local groups
Sandy Adirondack provides Training and consultancy on governance and law for the voluntary sector. She offers email updates on a wide range of legal issues for the community and voluntary sector including employment law and charity law.
Finding volunteers, Help with developing policies and sample policies, Help with fundraising, Information about managing volunteers, Information on funding sources, Information on managing community and voluntary sector groups, Information on running a group, Networking and finding other community groups, One to one support with managing money, Providers of example equal opportunities policies, Statistics and data, Training for community groups, Training in book-keeping
Community Works runs the following projects for the voluntary sector in Brighton & Hove:
- A network of elected representatives, who speak on behalf of the sector at council and strategic partnership meetings.
- Six-monthly conferences and other networks where community and voluntary groups can get together and share experiences, information and views
- Volunteer Centre services: You can advertise volunteer opportunities on the Community Works website. They also have a good practice guide for community groups who work with volunteers. It includes sample forms and policies for groups to adapt. They also run a forum for volunteer managers.
- Support for trustees and management committee members
- Business skills volunteering, which brokers relationships between voluntary groups and businesses
- A programme of training courses
- A mentoring scheme
- One-to-one consultancy
- A funding bid reading service
- A bank of sample policies and procedures, to help larger organisations develop their own policies.
- a free monthly DBS advice surgery in partnership with Safety Net, on the first Thursday of every month. You need to book a half-hour slot in advance. If you are using Safety Net for your DBS applications, you can also bring forms and ID documents for checking at the surgery.
- free half-hour one-to-one advice surgeries on any topic. These run on the last Tuesday of each month, between 2pm and 4.30pm. You need to book in advance - email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 234023
They have an electronic voting system which is available to hire. This consists of hand-held pads which can be used by people in a meeting to vote. The results are then displayed instantly on a laptop. They also have a wooden ballot box, which groups can borrow.
Help with developing constitutions and sample constitutions, Information on charities and charity law, Information on insurance, Information on legal structures, Information on managing money, Information on running a group, Information on running childrens groups, Information on setting up a company, Risk Assessment (Financial and Organisational)
Very comprehensive website with information how to set up a charity, legal guidance, and a database of all registered charities. Also has specialist guidance section specifically aimed at small groups wanting to become charities.
The Charity Commission is now part of the GOV.uk site, which can make it difficult to search for the information you need. They advise you to:
- always include 'charity commission' in your search terms, eg 'report serious incident charity commission'
- enter your search term, then select 'Charity Commission' from the drop down list of 'Organisations' on the search results page
Some specific guidance you may find useful:
- Information on the regulations about accounts and reporting for registered charities
- Guidance on the forms of insurance available to charity trustees, highlighting the importance of risk assessment
- Model governing documents for charities, including unincorporated associations and small charities
- Guidance about trustee conflicts of interest, including employing trustees
- Enquiries form
- Independent examination of accounts
- Information about managing volunteers
- Information on being an employer
- Information on insurance
- Information on managing community and voluntary sector groups
- Information on running a group
- Interpreting and translating
- Legal advice
- Mailing address
- Mediation for community groups
- Online discussion and decision-making tools
- Quality Assurance System providers
- Support for black and minority ethnic groups
- Training in book-keeping