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Social Land Ownership

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Not-for-Profit Landowners Project Group


See also:

Moving Forward - Options for the NfP Landowners Network

Phase 1 Project - How the NfP has Implemented its Main Tasks

Strengthening the NfP Land Owning Sector - The Next Stage [1999 to 2003]

NFP Assessments1996 Profiles
2001 Sector Review

Background to NfP Landowners Project Group

In November 1996 a loosely knit learning and good practice network of social land ownership organisations was established. Its primary purpose was to facilitate this more structured and systematic learning process.

In 1997 the NfP Landowners Project Group constituted itself as an unincorporated project association and devised a two-year Phase 1 Project to meet its learning and information needs. It received funding from HIE, SNH and Community Learning Scotland and in-kind contributions from the participating social landowners, RSPB, the John Muir Trust and the Caledonia Centre for Social Development.

The project, which completed in August 1999, focused on five main activities:

bulleta series of 5 training events to devise a Whole Estate Plan framework linked to local field visits;
bulleta Case Study Scheme; r
bulletesearch on the NfP sector; and
bulleta modest Information Support Services to members.

As a final in-kind contribution to the Phase 1 Project the Caledonia Centre for Social Development has developed a website for non-profit distributing property associations and published the main NfP project outputs:


The name of the organisation shall be the Not-for-Profit Landowners Project Group, referred to hereafter as the NFP Project Group.


The office of the organisation shall be situated in Highland Council area.


The objects of the NFP Project Group are:

(a) to improve the understanding and increase awareness of the interdependent relationship between communities and the land through the provision of training and other educational opportunities.

(b) to document the initiatives and experiences of the Not-for-profit Landowning organisations thereby providing a body of knowledge from which socially motivated organisations and interested individuals can benefit.

(c) to facilitate the networking between those NFP organisations who own, lease, manage or aspire to own land and where appropriate between statutory agencies and other supportive organisations.

(d) to promote and facilitate joint action between NFP Project Group members thereby harnessing the collaborative strength of organisations, adding value to initiatives and thus avoiding duplication of effort.

(e) to commission research and analysis of the NFP Landowning sector with a view to better informing NFP organisations and their members, potential funders, policy makers and interested researchers of the scope, extent and scale of the movement.

(f) to provide NFP Project Group members with a forum for support, mutual solidarity, dialogue and information exchange.

(g) to encourage, sponsor and endorse demonstration projects and pilot studies which harmonise and integrate economic, environmental and social matters through the development and implementation of whole estate management plans which use participatory approaches as their primary instrument of delivery.


The NFP Project Group shall have the power to perform such activities as may be necessary or conducive to the attainment of any one or more of the objects set out in (3) above. In particular, it shall have the power to perform the following activities in furtherance of its objectives:

(a) to seek, receive and collect funds, grants, donations and subscriptions in money or kind.

(b) to receive payment to cover the cost of development activities, project work, training work, research, documentation, electronic and text-based publications, audio-visual materials and other work undertaken or services rendered by the NFP Project Group.

(c) to contract personnel to carry out the functions of the NFP Project Group.

(d) to make grants, loans, fee payments, awards and fellowships to individuals, community-based organisations and voluntary bodies in furtherance of its objectives.


(a) The number of members of the NFP Project Group shall be limited to fifty. But the members may by resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the members on the register provide for an increase of members. The signatories to this constitution shall be the founding members. Thereafter, membership shall be conferred by invitation as decided by the Management Committee.

(b) The Management Committee may co-opt suitable persons or representatives of organisations as associate members. Such members shall have the same privileges as an ordinary member but shall not be eligible to vote at meetings of the organisation.

Management Committee:

The affairs of the NFP Project Group shall be managed by a Management Committee consisting of up to seven persons as follows:

(a) Convenor (b) Secretary (c) Treasurer and (d) Four Committee Members

These office-bearers shall be elected from among the members at the Annual General Meeting. The term of membership of every member of the Committee shall be for two years. The Convenor will function as the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation and be accountable to the membership for the proper management of the organisation. The Secretary will maintain an up-to-date register of all members. The Management Committee shall meet at least once every four months and the quorum for a meeting shall be three voting members.

General Meetings of the Membership:

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) shall be held in Autumn of each year and a quorum for the meeting shall be ten voting members. Special Meetings shall be summoned by the Secretary on the direction of the Management Committee or a written request of not less than ten voting members. The Secretary will give twenty-one days written notice for the AGM and Special Meetings. The quorum for a Special Meeting shall be one third of the number of members on the register. There shall be no proxy voting in the organisation. Postal and electronic (e-mail or fax) voting will be at the discretion of the Management Committee.

Financial Matters:

The organisation shall maintain one or more accounts in a commercial bank or banks as determined by the Management Committee. Bank accounts will be operated by any two of the following office-bearers:

(a) Convenor (b) Secretary (c) Treasurer

The Management Committee shall cause proper books of account to be kept with respect to :

(a) All sums of money received and expended and

(b) All sales and purchases of goods and assets and liabilities.

The accounts of the organisation shall be audited by a competent person selected by the Management Committee. The financial year of the organisation shall be from 1 April to 31 March of each year.

Amendments to the Constitution:

Any amendments to the Constitution will require the approval of at least two-thirds of the membership attending a General Meeting of the members.

We the undersigned individuals hereby agree and subscribe to this constitution on this day the Twenty-third of June Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-seven.