A charter is an organizing and founding document that encapsulates what an organization is and what it does. While a charter is not a required document for all organization, it may become necessary as the organization grows bigger so as to give an organizing structure and to ensure that every member of the organization has similar advocacies for the organization and for the focus of the organization.
For clubs - university clubs, sports clubs, and so on - their charter are called "club charter." This article will focus on how to write a club charter.
- Convene the members of your club. Since a club is a collective decision and is something binding to every member of the club, you should get the ideas of the rest of the club members through a general assembly. Ask them what they want to include in the charter, what they want to focus on, and so on. Note down all the suggestions and comments on the suggestions.
- Elect a committee who will write the club charter. Writing a charter with the rest of the club members is not only impractical, but also tiring. Thus, it is suggested that during the general assembly, a committee who will write the club charter should be elected. Note however that they should make use of the suggestions and comments relayed by the rest of the members.
- Assess the charters of other clubs, but do not plagiarize them. As a guide, you can browse through samples of club charters over the Internet. However, do not go as far depending on them so much leading you to copy its contents and plagiarize it.
- Make an outline of your charter. There is no clear-cut format of how a club charter should be, so it will all depend on your creativity and your club's needs. However, it is required of you to include in the outline the name of the club, the preamble, the major committees, the terms of office, the officers, meetings, quorum, rules of order, ways of amending the club charter, amendments, and other details necessary to your club.
- Write the mission statement. A mission statement is a brief, written statement that describes the goal of your club. In writing the mission statement, determine to whom your club caters to, what are its goals, and to where you want your club to be in the future.
- Set the rules of order within the club. This should include the regular meetings in detail, the hierarchy, the roles of the officers, the day-to-day activities of the club, the voting quorum requirement, money-management issues, and so on. All these must be written in detail in the charter.
Lastly, it is important that you include the rules of amendment in the charter. While you should not amend the charter every now and then, there still comes a point where the charter needs to be amended so as to serve the needs of the members. Writing rules of amendment will also prevent future club officers to amend the whole charter if they are just making minor changes.