Tag Archives: volunteer

Volunteer Labor

 

Save money.  Build community.  Use volunteers. But consider the risks and shortcomings first.

A kindly retired neighbor crafted a small wood shelter for the children who shivered in the Colorado elements as they waiting for the school bus each morning.  A grateful association board thought it would be a good idea to make sure the man was insured in case something went wrong.  The insurance agent said, “Whoa.”

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Volunteer Now!

The need for community volunteerism has never been greater than it is today. The economy has strangled the budgets of many Home Owner Associations and elevated the need for community home owners to be more involved in caring for the public areas in their associations. Though volunteering may seem to be an encumbrance on home owners, it can actually turn into a benefit.

Those who volunteer to assist the community testify to the payback they receive from doing so. And, just what are those benefits? First, volunteerism gives one a sense of self-worth. There is a personal satisfaction in one’s spirit when he or she has done something meaningful without being remunerated for it. Secondly, there is a special connection with others in the community who joined in the volunteer effort. Getting to know your neighbors while being involved in a project within the community builds friendships and unite the community in ways that serves everyone’s interests. Thirdly, there is a blessing involved in feeling that you are improving the area in which you live. We all know that special mood that is produced when we plant trees or flowers in our own yard, or when we put out bird feeders or bird baths for our special feathered friends. That unique emotion is multiplied when special projects are accomplished in the community public areas by the residents who live there.
 

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A Few Good Men (and Women)

Some homeowners run for the community association board because they’re upset about an assessment hike.  Others want to overturn what they consider unfair architectural rules.  It is not unusual for personal agendas to be strong motivators for homeowners to seek office. 

But more often, it seems, homeowners are too busy to serve on the board or don’t want to take on the responsibility.  The same people remain stuck on the board because others aren’t willing to step up.

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Saving your Sanity: Developing a Communications Policy and Protecting the Association

One of the best things a homeowner’s association board can do to protect the associations from liability and restore sanity to volunteer service is to develop a comprehensive communications policy that limits what Board members and committee members can say when they are speaking (or e-mailing) in their in individual capacity.  I have served on three separate homeowners association boards.  As an attorney. I also represent homeowners associations in my practice.  It is with this experience in mind that I offer the proposal and suggestions that are set out in this article.  It is my hope that this article, which contains a mix of legal and practical advice, will help you restore sanity to your volunteer service on the Board of Directors.

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