There will come a point where an organization will need a governing structure. In order to define the structure, some documents will be needed. One important document is the charter document. A charter document is important because it tells the purpose of an organization and its structure. However, there is no standard format for charter documents. The details may vary according to each organization, but there is basic information that needs to be included. Here is how you can write a charter document.
- Define your organization’s mission. The mission statement of your organization will be serving as a summary for the charter document. Be sure to make it as specific and as detailed as possible due to this reason. It should indicate the goal of your organization and describe briefly the plans your organization intends to do to achieve them.
- Describe the requirements for membership in your organization. Be sure to include what you think is suitable for your organization. If you will be asking for due payments, competencies, tryouts or other things, detail them onto a list and be sure to include the process for application. It is best if you also include how the selection process will proceed.
- Define the structure of your organization and its governance. You can choose to have a board of directors for your organization but each position should be defined. This means to include the duties and the responsibilities that are expected for each position and the daily activities. If you opt not have a board of directors, you can have a president, a secretary, a treasurer, and any positions you think is necessary. Whatever the structure you decided to have, you have to be detailed about the expectations from the people who will hold each position.
- Be specific about what your organization will do to achieve its goals. People want to join an organization with a direction. You may develop a list that contains the daily activities of your organization or a monthly schedule of events. It is practically up to what you think is suitable for your organization and its future members.
- Have a process for amendments to the charter. Having a procedure will help the future leaders of the organization from rewriting the whole charter document just to do some minor changes.
- Choose the style and format for your charter document. Once the charter document has a consistent format and style, and once it is edited and completed, you should have the charter members of your organization sign it. Make sure the charter document has undergone review and revisions before doing so.
Make sure you include the information you think is important for your organization in your charter document. A charter review can be made annually to see if the information included still fits to the ideals of your organization. Make sure that the members of the charter committee all agree to what is included in the charter so future conflicts can be avoided. Finally, let your members know about the existence of a charter, and let them have access to it so that they will know what your organization is all about.