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Issues for activist groups

Legal structures

Legal structure is usually last on the minds of most activists. In fact, you or your organisation may never wish to consider the legal implications of how you structure your organisation because you are opposed to formal structures, strictures and controls in the first place.

However, considering the legal and practical implications of how to structure an activist organisation can be very important to the success of a campaign, the survival of your organisation, or the survival of its members.

While a lot of activism (and sometimes the very best activism) occurs on a very informal basis and between loose networks of people with common interests, often such informal activity can be the beginning of something that requires greater organisation. In selecting a structure for the organisation you should consider at least five key things: function, control, money, protection against civil liability, and insurance.

As a first step in considering the structural needs of your organisation, you may also want to check out the 'Getting Started' section of the PilchConnect website www.pilch.org.au or Our Community www.ourcommunity.com.au both of  which have loads of great information for not-for-profit organisations at the starting out stage.