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Community Development Resource Kit

SECTION A: Community Development Practice

SECTION B1: Setting Up A Community Group - Introduction

SECTION B2: Setting Up A Community Group - Legal Structures

SECTION B3: Setting Up a Community Group - Incorporated Societies

SECTION B4: Setting Up a Community Group - Charitable Trusts

SECTION C: Planning and Managing

SECTION D1: Employment Matters - Agreements

SECTION D3: Employment Matters - Support

SECTION D2: Employment Matters - Recruitment

SECTION E: Running Meetings

SECTION F: Project Management

SECTION G: Financial Management

SECTION H: Funding

SECTION I: Keeping Good Records

SECTION J: Technology - The Internet

SECTION K: Political Processes and Submissions

SECTION L: Legislation

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SECTION F: Project Management

Planning, Networking and Public Relations

Project Planning: Checklist

Develop the Idea

  • What is the need in your community? How do you know that the need exists?
  • Is anybody else providing the service already? Can you link with them or are you covering different ground?
  • Does it fit the kaupapa of the group?
  • Is it possible to carry out this project?

Plan the Project

  • Who is the project for?
  • What are the specific objectives?
  • How can you meet them?
  • What resources are needed?
  • What activities will you include?
  • What is your timeline?
  • What tasks need to be carried out?
  • Who will carry out the specific task?

Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Who is the monitoring and evaluation for?
  • How will you do it?
  • Who will do it?
  • What will you do with the results?

Implementation of the Project
  • Are you still on task with the objectives or do they need modification?
  • Have you got all the resources?
  • Do the people who need to know about it, have the information?
  • What changes need to happen?
  • Who will write up the plan?

Reviewing the Project
  • What were the results of your monitoring and evaluation?
  • What went well?
  • What could be done differently next time?
  • What ends need to be tied up?

Keeping the Management Committee Up and Running

A combination of new and existing committee members is likely to add to the energy of the committee. The combination will also enable the new members to take responsibility and leadership, avoid stagnation of ideas on the committee and also counteract a closed system of communicating and operating (where people repeat bad old patterns by talking only to the same people). Committees should:

  • select the best people they can to take over committee responsibilities
  • work to ensure that the full range of skills and experience the group needs is represented on the committee
  • offer committee members and new recruits full training for this important job (refer to section D3 Employment - training voluntary workers)
  • regularly set and regularly review the organisation's policies
  • set clear boundaries for managers
  • make sure their treasurers and auditors are included and know their contributions are valued, and include them in their planning and reviews
  • plan ahead to replace office holders with people who are trained and ready
  • find ways to recognise committee members’ contributions
  • balance work with enjoyment.


Subcommittees focus on a particular job and can contribute a great deal to the achievements and success of the organisation. Successful subcommittees are task- and action-oriented, and

  • have no more than 3-6 members
  • stay focused on the task at hand
  • have members with the skills and ability to do the job and to work as part of a team
  • do not need to be drawn from within the organisation. A very effective way of getting access to skills is to co-opt people for specific time-limited tasks or projects
  • regularly receive direction from the parent organisation and report back to it
  • are fully supported by the parent organisation
  • are discontinued when their defined task is finished.

Have no more than a handful of sub-committees. Use members where and when they are needed.


Networking involves people making a point of keeping in touch with each other to share information and support around a common theme. Informal networking goes on continuously in every community. Formal networks may be set up as information bases (like the Race Relations Office network). Some networkers meet on a regular basis, are assisted with training, travelling and communication expenses, and in return have a pivotal role to play in the life of the organisation to which they are attached. On the other hand, friends may network through phone calls or a lunch now and then. Some networks work through networks already established in other areas - networks can overlap other networks. People may be networking informally during a facilitated meeting and some network meetings may be facilitated meetings.

Networks distribute information using e.g. phone trees, network meetings, newsletters, email, texting. A network that functions well can activate members quickly for a particular event. Having strong networks is often of great assistance to community organisations when they are seeking resources (money, people etc) or to bring about change.

Networks of interest to you and your organisation may already exist: check with other organisations working in your field of interest. If it appears that none currently do exist you may wish to call a meeting or write to other organisations or individuals to gauge interest. If you are seeking to establish a network or to strengthen an existing one, a good way may be to organise an event (such as a visiting speaker) of interest to community organisations that have similar objectives to your own. A successful and cohesive network can become a useful lobby group to take action on an issue of importance.

Protocols Between Groups

A protocol is a written document to define the relationship between two organisations. Protocols can be drawn up by any kind of group - community, local government, central government - which wants to build a relationship with another group.

The protocol formalises the relationship of the organisations beyond the goodwill of individual people within them. It makes quite clear what each organisation can do for or with the other. A protocol can also define a practical, achievable step-by-step process of increasing co-ordination between the two groups.

In a protocol you are likely to find the following described:

  • the common ground of the two groups
  • their complementary roles in that area
  • the way each group will work with the other (e.g. one group might refer clients to the other, the two groups might share resources etc. - it may also say who will be responsible for doing what)
  • a respect for the independence of each organisation
  • the date and the way in which the protocol will be reviewed.

Protocols (which sometimes have other titles, such as accord, agreement, convention, pact, treaty etc) are useful for presenting a common front to funders to show: lack of duplication, the degree of co-operation there is between the agencies, clear thinking and organisational skills.
- thanks to Margy Jean Malcolm

Public Relations

Public relations involves bringing a change of attitude towards, or awareness of, an organisation. It is an important part of the management of any service or project. Public relations includes a number of communications activities, such as media relations and writing project reports, as well as fundraising, membership drives and special event management (refer to Section G: Funding and Sponsorship).

Working with the Media: Checklist

Guidelines for approaching the media:

  • Appoint the best public officer you possibly can
  • Get in touch with media well before an event
  • Approach the journalist most concerned with your area of work or type of story
  • If you do not already have a contact, approach the Chief Reporter
  • Deal with only one journalist in each news organisation
  • Be obliging and helpful
  • Always make your approach in person
  • Always make an appointment
  • Be completely honest about story content
  • Cover Who? What? When? Where? Why?
  • Remember that “dog bites man” is not news (“man bites dog” is): what makes your story different from every other?
  • Be unambiguous
  • Be accurate
  • Do not demand coverage
  • Do not expect repeat coverage unless you can offer something different from last time
  • Supply a media kit
  • Supply two tickets to functions or events you would like covered by the media
  • If a photographer is wanted, organise for someone to accompany them to supply information during the event - especially the correct spelling of names.
  • Approach radio and TV as well as newspapers, but
  • Do not refer to them as “the press”

Media Releases

Head the release MEDIA RELEASE

  • Give it a succinct title
  • Date it
  • State the source of the release, i.e. who it is from
  • Use the first sentence and the first paragraph (the “intro”) to convey the main message, i.e. the essence of what you want to communicate
  • Focus on what is unique and interesting about your story
  • Give as many facts as possible (Who? What? When? Where? Why?)
  • Write in a simple straightforward style
  • Make the release as short as you can (seven paragraphs is a usual maximum)
  • Remember that anything you say may be put at the beginning and used as the main point of your story
  • Source any opinions you use
  • Format double-spaced with wide margins using one side of A4 paper
  • Write "more" at the end of a page and "ends" at the end of the release
  • Do not split paragraphs over two pages
  • Give names and contact details for people who can offer more information
  • Give media outlets (radio, TV, newspapers etc) equal opportunity.

Media Kits

A media kit folder should be sent to all key people connected to the event as well as the media. It could contain:

  • purpose, history and details of the organisers
  • any relevant biographies (e.g. of a performer or invited speaker)
  • details of the content or reason for the event
  • photographs (uncluttered, interesting - usually of people doing something - good focus, contrast and exposure, taken close to the action, and captioned on the back with names of people, the event, what is happening, and the date);
  • copies of any reviews
  • general details
  • contact names and phone numbers
  • any relevant posters or newsletters
  • tickets to any paid event

Writing Project Reports

A report is a reminder of your achievements and a powerful public relations tool.

Report writers should consider:

  • the reasons for the report
  • the audience or recipients
  • the appropriate style of presentation
  • the length
  • any support material
  • questions that might be raised
  • how to stimulate change
  • any reactions they want or may receive
  • the powerful impact of pictures and graphics
  • keeping it simple
  • humour (beware - tastes differ)
  • format

Formal Project Reports

1 Report Presentation

      1.1 Reports should be:- well-structured and clear
          1.1.1 they should address a project's terms of reference
          1.1.2 they should show value for money
      1.2 Good reports have information presented logically that addresses the questions of what, why, when, where, how and who - WWWWWH - correct mathematics, and no contextual or other errors.
          1.2.1 Spelling errors detract significantly from any report. Using a word processor’s spell checker is only one step: reading a hard copy of the final draft of the report will help you pick words that are spelt correctly but out of context, or repeated or omitted words and sentences. Another thing to watch out for is the inclusion of left-over parts of sentences that were moved or deleted. Some tricky words to watch for include: their/there, your/you’re were/where; though/through/thought; off/of/if; in/is; any/and.
          1.2.2 It is a good idea to get someone else to proof-read your report - you as the writer will be used to the text and be reading what you want to see, and reading for meaning, rather than checking the words and figures on the page. A fresh pair of eyes often picks up things a writer misses.
          1.2.3 Remember to recheck any numbers and calculations - typos love numbers, especially decimal points.
          1.2.4 Avoid trendy styles, such as overuse of slashes (“and” and “or” are grand old words, and how do you read “products/services” out loud? - “products slash services”?), corporate-speak and other jargon (“overseas” not “offshore”, “staff layoffs” not “downsizing”) and text message style (“U R” etc).
      1.3 It is a good idea to use paragraph numbering for the sections and subsections of reports, but don’t overdo it. Three layers should be enough.

2. Report Structure

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Last updated: 21/03/2005