Writing a Constitution

Purpose of Constitution

A constitution is the founding document of your organization and provides a basic governing structure. It outlines your mission, goals, officer responsibilities, meeting rules, and membership requirements. A constitution is also important to provide consistent leadership, as it will be passed on to future officers.

Sample COSO Group Constitution

Use the sample constitution as your guide for developing an organization constitution. Anything in italics is required to be included. 

Tips for Writing Your Constitution

  • Bring all stakeholders together, including your advisor and founding members, to write the constitution.
  • Start by writing your mission, which is a statement that explains your group's purpose.
  • Write your constitution in a broad manner, so that future leaders can use it.
  • Write your constitution with the future in mind. Do not use proper names, dates, locations, and exact meeting times.
  • Keep your constitution in an editable digital format (Microsoft Word document), a permanent digital format (pdf) for web use, and a hard copy in print.
  • Make sure you have uploaded your constitution to Dartmouth Groups so that all members can access it.