Registered Charities

Getting started

If you are thinking about creating a new charity, and want to make the most effective decisions, these resources can help you identify and ask the right questions. They can also help you in developing your new charity when you first start operating.

This can help your charity to:

What should we be considering when setting up as a charity for the first time?

These resources provide information and direction to help you, if you are considering starting up a charity


CommunityNet's resource kit gives you a history of the voluntary sector in New Zealand, outlines the stages of development a charity may go through and provides planning and research resources to get you started.

Organisational structure

Keeping It Legal's Getting Started fact sheet will help your organisation understand membership and trust structures and help decide which one is appropriate for you.


New Philanthropy Capital, UK, has collated a body of independent research into the charitable sector for funders, charities, advisors and government, to help build understanding of social issues and the sector. It has publications on a range of topics, including research that can help charities to engage their funders, induct new trustees and staff, and make management decisions. It also publishes a Little Blue Book that can be downloaded, that sets out an approach to analysing charities, to assit in making better decisions.

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Where can we find funding tips to ensure long term sustainability?

Here are some resources to help identify potential opportunities and guide your decision-making, if your charity wishes to find alternative ways of gaining income.

Community Grants

The Community Funding Centre, Australia has a range of help sheets, newsletters, books and training to help community groups improve their fundraising and become healthier and more viable.

Raising funds

CommunityNet's resource kit has a chapter on raising funds. In particular, you will find a funding application checklist, a six step plan, funding timeline and public funding information.

Sustainable Funding Project

the UK's National Council for Voluntary Organisations have developed tools, training, and resources to help voluntary and community organisations to develop a sustainable income. They include case studies, articles, and publications (note: some publications incur a charge).

Guidance to funders

The UK Treasury Department has published guidance on the considerations that funders take into account when considering an application, and a good practice guide for improving relationships between government and “third sector” entities who are contracted to it to provide services.


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What are the growth stages of a charity and how can we plan for them?

These resources will help you gain an understanding of your organisation's current stage, and how to identify opportunities for growth.


KnowHow NonProfit (UK) has a great online assessment tool that will allow your organisation to identify key areas where you already meet the basics for sustainability and those that may need more work. On completion, you can print a report listing all your findings.

Stages of development

The CommunityNet resource kit tables common development stages, gives the characteristics of each and bullet points matters to consider when your organisation reaches these stages of development.

Action planning

For tips on identifying and extending areas of success, as well as areas in need of development, see the organisational capacity resources from UK-based KnowHow NonProfit.

Strategic planning

The Free Management Library hosts third party content on understanding and conducting strategic planning, Cass Business School (UK) and, Authenticity Consulting (US) have samples and suggested workflows that are recommended reading.

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Should we be working together with others to achieve our outcomes?

These resources will help you gain an understanding of your organisation's current stage, and how to identify opportunities for growth.

Collaborative working

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations' collaborative working webpage suggests key questions, and provides tools to merge your organisation or collaborate with another.


UK Charity Commission publication Collaborative Working and Mergers provides toolkits, checklists, and links to publications for those considering working in partnership or merging with other organisations.

10 tips for working together

information on how to collaborate with other organisations to achieve a bigger change including getting started and 10 top tips. Hosted by KnowHow NonProfit (UK).

Identify the need

Sparc's ClubKit includes reasons for setting up a club, and information and advice on identifying other clubs or organisations with similar purposes or activities - this information may also assist charities.

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How can strategic planning help to develop our purpose and vision?

Here, you'll find some resources that can help you create a better understanding of how to guide your charity's directionand as a consequence — its outcomes.

Things to think about

The UK Charity Commission has helpful ideas about things to consider before setting up a new charity — such as whether a new charity is the best way forward, whether there are existing charities with the same purposes and activities, and information about how a charity should operate.

Strategy and impact

UK National Council for Voluntary Organisations has FAQs, publications and advice about developing a strategy for a new charity, and effective impact reporting — to know and show what you are doing well and what you need to improve. It also has information on managing change, quality assurance, involving people in your work, and working with your funders.

The six stages of strategic planning

Third Sector Foresight (UK) has developed strategic planning resources to help you decide if you need a new strategy, and information to help you along the way, covering topics such as: your purpose, your operating environment, strengths, weaknesses and capacity, making and communicating your decisions, implementing and evaluating your strategy and the planning process.

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