Help with Running a Club or Society
The main problem that leaders of clubs and societies face is finding people to help with managing it. So it makes sense, when starting something like this, to make sure that you have that help or there is a significant level of interest in your area.
When Do You Need To Start Managing A Formal Group?There is help out there for forming and managing community groups but it does depend on the sort of group that you are forming as to where you look for it. At its most basic, a special interest club can simply be an informal group of people who meet regularly at a set time for a chat or mutual support. It's only when you need to start putting it on a formal level that you might need help managing it and it's usually when money becomes involved that you have to take those extra steps.
As soon as you start collecting money for a central pot, or you need people to chip in for a joint trip, a leaflet or website or something like that, it's time to look at forming a proper club or society to make sure someone is responsible for managing that money. If you all put some money into a pot for a coach to take you to a sporting event, for example, then there'll inevitably be a slight shortfall or a slight overrun. What to do with that money can become a thorny issue, and that’s why clubs and societies have constitutions, committees and officers.
Get Help Managing A Club From Central GroupsIf your club or society is to be started around some sort of special interest, then there's nearly always a national club who can help you out with managing the startup and running of the club. So if you want to start a bird watching or wildlife club, then you will find lots of support and materials by affiliating the group to the RSPB. You can also get a lot of help from local and regional councils, who are keen to see people managing wildlife groups around the United Kingdom.
Similarly if you are starting an amateur drama or operatic society, the National Operatic and Dramatic Association will help out, and affiliation to their body gives access to lots of information, products and services that help with managing a group. A sporting club will find help available from regional sports partnerships, councils and the umbrella organisation of the sport in the UK.
Kicking Off A New Club Or SocietyTo start a proper club you need to have an inaugural meeting at which executive officers are elected and a committee formed. This will represent the members' views when it comes to managing the decisions that the group needs to take. Then financial contributions from members need to be agreed and paid up. These are to pay for meeting spaces or other services and equipment that the club requires.
As a minimum you probably need a chairperson, a finance person and a club secretary, although more committee members will be needed to make sure members views are adequately represented. A plan to draw up a constitution, which reflects the goals of the society and its rules and regulations, needs to be agreed. There's more information about these items and many others in articles in this section.
Although it all seems like a lot of red tape, all this work on managing a society properly will be worth its weight in gold when a disagreement kicks off and the rules are already in place to sort it out.