Getting started

Created: August 21, 2013 at 9:31 AM | Updated: February 15, 2024 | By Community Resource Kit

You have an idea

Sometimes, people get ideas to help their community. They see something that needs fixing or notice that something helpful is missing.

Do some research

  • First, talk to your friends and family about your idea.
  • Then, ask people in your community if they think your idea is a good one. Look around to see if anyone else is already doing something similar. Maybe you can join them instead of starting something new.
  • Check if your idea is part of any plans your town or city already has. You can ask the local government or look online for information.
  • Consider if it's better to join an existing group instead of starting a new one. You can use a fundholder such as The Gift Collective or work with a charity that already exists instead of creating a new charity. This can make things significantly easier and save you time and effort.
Tip: Listen to different opinions and ideas - this is consultation. It's okay to be excited about your idea, but be careful if only people you know agree with you, as it might not be the best choice.

Make a plan

Think about why you want to do this, what you want to do, where you want to do it, when you want to start, who will be involved, and how you will make it happen. Decide on some rules for your project. You will need to make a plan for how your group will work together.

If you do decide to set up a non-profit, you'll need to start by deciding which is the best legal structure to use. 

Tip: Starting and keeping community projects going takes a lot of commitment, time, and resources. Think carefully about whether it's better to start a new group or work with groups that already exist. Be ready for projects to need more time, work, and money than you first think. Also, consider how you'll manage volunteering alongside your other commitments, like work or family.

Next page: Stages of development

Previous page: Community and voluntary groups in New Zealand

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