You are here

Back to top

Start a Group

So you have an idea of something you want to do in your local community. How can you make it happen? 

1. First, find out if something similar exists already.
Can you partner with an existing organization and extend what they are doing?
Find a group
East Sussex Community Information Service

2. Find other people who share your vision.
Different people will bring different skills, so you can share tasks between you. If you are going to apply for grant funding or become a formal non-profit organisation you normally need to have 3 unrelated people running your group.  

3. Do you need to become a formal organisation?
You might be able to do what you want to do as an informal activity with little paperwork. However if you intend to apply for grant funding, open a group bank account or start contracts, you usually will need to make the group formal. 

4. Key questions to consider
What are the aims of your project? 
Where will the money come from to run your activities? 
Do you want to earn an income from this work? 
Do you want a membership of local residents to support your project? 

5. Choose a legal structure 
The structure of your organisation will depend on what you want to do. Although you can change the legal structure in the future, it is worth trying to get it correct from the start. Could you become a small charity, or a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) or something else? At the bottom of this page you can download our guide to the most common legal structures to view some of their features. 

Set up a small charity
Set up a Community Interest Company (CIC)
Set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

6. Further Support Available

If you are local to Hastings, and you need further help with any of these steps, you can contact Matt Pitts at Hastings Voluntary Action on 01424 444010 or email

Every fortnight we distribute an e-bulletin full of useful information about funding, networking opportunities, training, and more. If you would like to receive this e-bulletin you can add yourself on to our Mailing List. Or you can "like" us on Facebook to get up-to-date information.

Once your organisation is set up, you may want our help to find volunteers or funding or take part in some of our training.

Other Media Attachments: 

HVA Membership

Hundreds of organisations active in Hastings have joined HVA.  

Its free to join and members can benefit from a range of services.


Get our latest news on funding, services and more in your inbox.

Our funders