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Electing Officers and Forming Committees

 Roles of Elected Officers - A Helpful Guide

 A) OFFICERS - You will need to elect a president, a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer. The duties of the officers, the term of office etc. should be outlined in the association’s bylaws. Generally, but not always, the person who took the initiative to get the neighborhood organized is the one who serves as the president initially.

B) COMMITTEES - Committees are the best way to spread the work load and to engage your members in a meaningful way. The president can name standing committees for recurring tasks and special committees for one-time tasks or special events.

Don’t be surprised to find that most of your rank-and-file members will not want to assume any responsibility at first. It is normal for a handful of workers to carry the load in a new organization. However, it is critical that you eventually cultivate new leaders. The biggest reason that some non-profit organizations fail is that the original leaders burn out or move on. As your association matures, try to identify the next generation of leaders and encourage them to assume responsibility gradually. Naming them to committee posts is a great way to do this. Don’t wait until the officers are ready to step down only to find that there is no one to take their place.

C) RECORD KEEPING - Keep good records from the beginning. The secretary should take minutes of each meeting and the treasurer should track all income and expenses. You might want to have an official photographer to create a visual record of your events and accomplishments.

D) FORM A STEERING COMMITTEE - Most neighborhoods form a steering committee early on to help get the initial organization up and running. A successful neighborhood association works as a team where everyone works on a common goal and no one individual becomes a superstar or is self-serving.