Initial considerations for organisational structures
Before your group decides what sort of organisational structure will suit it best, you should have gone through the planning process and be clear about the group's role in the community, the nature of your project and how you intend to operate. Fitting the organisational structure around the group's activities is much better than trying to fit the group's activities around the organisational structure.
You need to be clear about:
- flexibility: how much flexibility do you need as the project or service develops?
- size: will there be any limit to the size of the group?
- what the desired culture and values of the group are
- what activities the group proposes to undertake (the various legal forms have different restrictions on their activities while an unincorporated group will have very few)
- who will make the decisions do you want to separate governance, management and ownership and have controls outside the group?
- funding: how much is needed, from whom and for what?
- accountability: how will the group's financial performance be monitored?
- liability: who will be liable if things go wrong?
- responsibilities: management, governance and operational.
When you have answers to these questions, you will be in a much better position to choose the right structure for your group.
Tip: The Community Law Manual has a very useful resources in Chapter 2 - Choosing the Right Legal Structure for your Group - http://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-27-community-organisations-and-the-law/choosing-the-right-legal-structure-for-your-group/