Photo: group of people.

Setting up and running a group

Support for new and established groups in Cumbria, from choosing an appropriate legal structure to business planning, fundraising, and recruiting and managing volunteers.

Setting up a new group is very exciting. However, it can be a bewildering experience, so many options, so much information to consider, but where do you start? The following workbooks and guidance sheets will help you through the process of setting up and running a group.

What people say about ACT

  • It is good to know that this organisation exists

    Pauline Boardman

    St. Cuthberts Church


  • If it had not been for you encouraging & inspiring us to apply for the grant it would not have been achievable.

    Home Manager

    Inglewood Care Home, Wigton


Relevant Resources

Guidance Sheets

Toolkits & Workbooks

  • ACT Community Exchanges Toolkit

    Community Exchanges are regular community-led events that bring people together, provide services and information and reduce social isolation. This toolkit brings together a series of guidance sheets and video interviews from Crosthwaite Exchange, 'The Vic' Community Cafe in Culgaith, and Bolton Exchange, to support other communities looking to start their own Exchange or Community Cafe.

  • Good Neighbours Scheme Toolkit

    A Good Neighbours Scheme is a community-run initiative linking people who are in particular need with community volunteers who are willing to help. The Good Neighbours Scheme Toolkit will assist and guide you through setting up a scheme. Please also see accompanying template documents that can be used in conjunction with this toolkit.

  • Questionnaire Design Guide

    Being able to put together a survey which is easy to understand, and will give you the information you need, is a useful skill for any community group, particularly those doing Community Led Plans. This guide provides an introduction to writing questionnaires, the types of questions to avoid, how to ensure your survey is accessible to all, and how to analyse the results.

  • Getting Going Workbook 1.

    This workbook will help members of the community who are thinking of setting up a new group to choose an appropriate legal structure. Planning what type of organisation your group will be, right at the start, will help you to be clear about: what you are trying to achieve; what activities you will provide; who you want to benefit; where you will operate; who will be responsible for the organisation; who the organisation has to report to; how the organisation will be managed.

    This is one of a series of Workbooks about setting up and running effective organisations - these Workbooks are numbered 1 to 7.

  • Policies and Procedures Workbook 2

    Developing policies and procedures will help your organisation be clear about: your legal responsibilities; how you deal with your stakeholders; how you will be accountable for the organisation; and how you will put your policies into practice.

  • Sustainable Funding Workbook 3

    Sustainable funding is about getting better at fundraising and diversifying into new areas of fundraising so that you don't become over reliant on one source of income. This workbook will help your organisation to develop a sustainable funding strategy.

  • Robust Business Planning Workbook 4

    This workbook will help your organisation plan its activities and produce a business plan to help you be clear about: what you are trying to achieve; how you deliver your services; how you monitor, evaluate, and review your activities; your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; and what is going on around you and how much you interact with other people and groups.

  • Developing Your Budget Workbook 5

    This workbook has been produced to help your organisation plan its finances to pay for its activities and produce a budget and cash flow forecasts.

  • Marketing Workbook 6

    Marketing is simply letting other people know what your organisation does or what it plans to do so they can take part in your activities, volunteer to help, or offer financial support. This workbook will help you be clear about who you want to communicate with, what you want to tell them, and how.

  • Working with Volunteers Workbook 7

    This workbook will help your organisation recruit and support a volunteer workforce. Understanding how to attract, retain, and manage volunteers will help you: increase the number of volunteers supporting your organisation; increase the skills within your organisation; and allocate resources efficiently.

Case Studies