Find out most of the things you need to know about starting a voluntary group, including the different types of structures that are available and what you might need to consider when deciding whether you should register your organisation as a charity or not.

First steps – from idea to action

This information sheet will help you if you are starting an organisation, suggesting points to think about right at the start and tells you how to find out more.

| First steps - from idea to action |

| Y camau cyntaf - o syniadau i weithredu |

Involving the community

Involving your community in your project or organisation is normally seen as quite an important aspect, particularly if the organisation relies on the community’s support to succeed.

| Involving the community |

| Cynnwys y gymuned |

Involving service users

The value and capacity of service users as key decision makers in their voluntary organisation and informing how it can most effectively deliver its services, is increasingly recognised as a way to increase accountability.

| Involving service users |

| Cynnwys defnyddwyr gwasanaeth |

Planning your work

Once your group is going, it is time to draw up a simple work plan. This is sometimes called a business plan or a strategic plan. This will tell your members, supporters and other interested people, what you are doing, why and how you will go about it. You may need a plan if you are applying for funding.

| Planning your work |

| Cynllunio eich gwaith |

Choosing legal structures

Your legal status is the way your organisation is defined in law, based on the way it is set up and the rules and regulations that govern it. All organisations have some kind of legal status whether they’re aware of it or not, if there is an underlying intention to create a legal relationship (even if they do not have a written governing document).

| Choosing legal structures |

| Dewis strwythurau cyfreithiol |

Charitable status

The Charities Act 2006 defines a charity as an organisation that exists for exclusively charitable purposes and is for the public benefit. A charity is required by law to register with the Charity Commission if it has an annual income of £5,000 or more. Small charities below this threshold are not required to register. Just because a small charity isn’t registered, doesn’t make it any less of a charity, it still has to abide by general charity law and falls under the jurisdiction of the Charity Commission.

| Charitable status |

| Statws elusennol |

Where to go for help

County Voluntary Councils’ key role is to provide advice and information to local voluntary organisations on any issue that may affect them. They support voluntary action by supporting volunteering, advising on good practice, providing information on funding sources along with a myriad of other issues. In addition, they represent the third sector (charities, voluntary groups, social enterprises and community groups) on cross-sector partnerships. Groups can also become members of their local County Voluntary Council (CVC).

| Where to go for help |

| Lle i fynd am gymorth |

Model constitution for setting up a small charity

This constitution is specifically designed for charities which expect to stay small and have an annual income under £5,000. It is not meant for charities that own a building, employ people or intend to register with the Charity Commission.

| Model constitution for setting up a small charity |

| Cyfansoddiad enghreifftiol ar gyfer sefydlu elusen fach |

Charitable Incorporated Organisations

The Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a legal form designed specifically for charities. This information sheet will offer more detailed guidance on the CIO, including the differences between the two CIO models that can be used, the advantages and disadvantages of this structure and how you can look to register a CIO if you decide it is the best structure for your organisation.

| Charitable Incorporated Organisations |

| Sefydliadau Elusennol Corfforedig |