What you need to know

Start a community group

So you want to start a community group? How do you do it? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

When setting up a community group, your organisation can exist simply as a group of people with a common interest and shared purpose or you can  ‘incorporate’, which provides a formal legal structure and identity.

Incorporating your community group is not compulsory but can be beneficial.

Let's find out more.

How do I set up my community group?

There are a number of stages involved in formally establishing your not-for-profit organisation. Before setting up a not-for-profit organisation, your community group needs to:

  • agree that the group will operate on a not-for-profit basis
  • decide whether or not the group should incorporate; and
  • if the group is going to incorporate, decide which incorporated legal structure would best suit the group's aims and activities – refer to Handy Links: ‘Legal information for community organisations’

Consumer Affairs Victoria has a checklist for registering and requirements as an incorporated association.

Managing volunteers

When recruiting workers of any sort for your organisation, there may be some legally required background checks , as well as other checks that are recommended as part of the organisation's duty of care.

For example, if you have not completed background checks the organisation may be liable for damage incurred by someone working for your organisation.

Running an event

Our Event Planning Guide can help you organise a successful event.

It includes tips on how to plan an event, as well as providing information about some of the rules and regulations that might apply to your event.



A not-for-profit organisation will generally need to make and spend money, if only to cover the costs of providing their services, day to day operations, and to plan and provide for the future. Finances are an important consideration.

Here's a few things to consider:


Grants are are great way for not-for-profits to source funding.

Billions of dollars are provided each year by local, state and federal governments, as well as philanthropic, community and corporate trusts and foundations.

It is important to source grants that align with your community group’s values and to remember that when you receive a grant you are legally contracted to deliver what you agreed to.

We have grants available for community groups. Learn more on our grants page.

Insurance and OH&S

Community organisation survey

In September each year, we conduct a short survey with community organisations in Moonee Valley.

The survey provides our community organisations with the opportunity to give their feedback on their interactions with us.

In mid-August, we will send out a link to participate in the survey to a database of community organisations.

If you didn’t receive an invite to complete last year’s survey, and feel that you should be on the list, please contact us at surveys@mvcc.vic.gov.au