RUILS : Pooling Budgets

Step 4 - Organising Yourselves

It is important for everyone involved in the group, including your support network (if you have one) to meet to discuss how you will organise and run the group and who will do what. How you organise yourselves will depend to a certain extent on the type of thing you want to do and whether or not you need support. If you don’t need anyone to support you and you are not planning to sell things, the best idea is to set up an informal club.

Forming a Club

Why do you need to do this?
There are many challenges you may face when you get together to do things as a group. Forming a club with a set of rules and an agreement between the group members is a way to think about some of these things before they happen and agree how the group will act. Regular meetings are a good way to make sure you are all happy with how things are going, talk about any problems and agree how to sort them out.

How to form a Club

A club is not a legal entity so you don’t need to do anything complicated or register anything but there are some simple things which will help your pooling arrangement go more smoothly.

  1. Arrange a meeting - Talk about what your club will do, how often and where you will meet, how much everyone will contribute and who will be members. You could also think up a catchy name for yourselves. Think about what happens if someone is on holiday,  ill for a time or wants to leave the club. Should they still pay, how will the rest of you pay the extra share and how will you try to recruit someone new. What happens if new people want to join? How will you make sure they fit in?What happens if some members of the group are unhappy? Use this template to help you think about everything and make notes.
  2. Decide who will do what – you might decide to have a leader who will run the club and make sure everyone sticks to the rules. This could be one of the group or even one of your support network. You may have someone to take notes of meetings and help to organise activities and events. Someone else could look after the money, make sure everyone puts in what they have agreed and pays bills. You may want to nominate someone to research ideas and someone to organise activities or you could agree to take it in turns to organise outings. It’s up to you how you organise this but make sure you have something written down that the group has agreed and signed up to.
  3. Work out the costs and decide how much you will all pay. You can use our costs and contributions calculator template to work this out. If you have a regular arrangement or have to pay in advance for anything, you will want to have an agreement with the rest of the group about the costs, where you hold the funds, who can access the money and how much each person pays.
  4. Decide how you will manage your Money. If you are pooling casually you might just bring along your contribution every week or whenever you meet and pay your share depending on how many of you there are. If you want to keep the funds in a bank account there are a few options.
    1. Have a joint bank account and pay in by regular standing order or direct debit. This can be from your Direct Payment account or your own money. Most banks have special accounts for clubs called community bank accounts, which you can open without paying fees and more than one person is allowed to sign cheques.
    2. If the members of your group all have Direct Payments you could ask the Council if they would set up a group Managed Account for you. They would then pay an agreed amount from each member of the group’s budget into the group account and they would pay bills and manage the money for you.
    3. One person (can be a parent or supporter) looks after the money, each person pays their contribution to that person and they pay the bills.
    4. You can use our costs and contributions calculator template to help you work out what everything costs and how much you each have to pay.
  5. Agree the rules of your Club – Once you have discussed everything and decided the rules you can use this template to record everything and everyone can sign up to it. Make sure you include the following
    1. How you will review the arrangements and make sure everyone is happy.
    2. What happens if someone doesn’t turn up?
    3. What happens when someone wants to leave the group – how much notice do they need to give.
    4. How will you find new members.

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