Get a project group together

To deliver a big project, you need to get a group of people together with specific skills and knowledge.

We can help you identify those skills and give you advice to help you run the group in a professional way.

Person pointing at paper with an open computer

What skills do you need?

Ideally, you need people with project management, business and financial skills.

Ask your volunteers what skills they have. Then, in your resource plan, write:

  • The full list of skills you think you need
  • Those you already have
  • Those you hope you can find in the local community
  • Those you may have to “buy” in or get from outside experts

To fill the gaps, ask people in your own congregation and the local community if they would like to be involved.

The resource plan will also tell you if your volunteers need training in a specific area. Volunteers need to be trained – they have to know what they are doing.

Find out more about doing a skills audit

What roles should you create?

At the very least, you need:

  • A chairperson to run the meetings
  • A secretary to take the minutes
  • A treasurer to keep control of the budget
  • A communications person
  • A project manager
  • Someone to engage with the community

Build your client team

Who should be on the group?

Ask people from the church to join the group and include members of the PCC. Also, invite people from the community or a partner organisation.

But don’t ask your architect to join the group – it’s not a good use of their time (or your money) if they come to every meeting. Send them the meetings’ minutes instead.

The larger the team, the better. Just make sure everyone’s tasks are clear.

Set up your organisation

Funders prefer to deal with properly constituted organisations. So you need to set up a structure to deliver your project and manage it in the long term.

Decide on your group’s terms of reference. They should explain the levels of authority and responsibilities.

Develop a clear set of aims and objectives. Your objectives should explain how you will make your project happen. They should be “SMART”:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Agree a clear chain of command and communication. Think about who will pay the invoices and how the group will approve expenses. And seek the backing of your PCC.

Find out more about setting yourself up

How to run your meetings?

As a group, talk about how you will run your meetings and how you will make decisions.

You may want to agree a set of values. For example:

  • Be positive
  • Be respectful
  • Speak succinctly and let everyone have their say
  • Aim to agree by consensus
  • Be responsible for tasks you agreed to do and be honest if you need to ask for help
  • Listen to hear

Learn to appreciate others’ contributions.

Schedule regular meetings in the diary to keep your project moving and meet somewhere comfortable and practical.

Agree how often people need to come to meetings for the project to work well. But don’t worry if they can’t make it every time.

Finally, agree how you are going to communicate between meetings.

Find out more about running your meetings

Keep track of your documents

You will create many plans and policies during your project. Collect them all together into one big file. So far, you should have written:

If something changes, don’t forget to go through your documents and update them.

Come up with your policies and procedures

If your project includes building work or provides facilities and activities for people, then you should have a number of policies in place sooner rather than later.

Environmental sustainability
Access for everyone
Child protection and vulnerable people
Equal opportunities
Health and Safety

“You may find that another group’s policies can be adapted to suit your needs. Don’t re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to.”

Crossing the Threshold

Case studies

Next steps

To make your vision become a reality you need to start thinking about:

Want more help?

Become a NAVCA member

Get advice and find tools to help you write your policies

Get expert support during your project

Get started, get organised, achieve your goals, and become resilient

Increase your knowledge and skills set

Take courses on fundraising, governance, and project management

Find out your group’s strengths and weaknesses

Use the online tool and become more effective

Resilient Heritage Grants

Strengthen your group and be in a better position for the future

Loomio

Manage your meetings, make decisions and record the outcomes