No matter how big or small your project is, you can form an association and have it last for as long as you need it to. For example, an association can be set up if a community simply wants to rally for a cause.
Forming a neighbourhood association can be a great way to get to know your neighbours, share ideas, learn new skills and speak with one voice regarding neighbourhood improvements. The first step to getting started is to talk to your neighbours and organize a meeting. Remember that it is important to include all people in your community so you can benefit from the different skills and talents each will have to offer. It is important for an association to define its own goals and objectives and to make them realistic and attainable. Don’t forget to have fun!
In the case where there is already an existing association in your neighbourhood, there may be opportunities to build upon what’s been established.
A neighbourhood association may be big or small, formal or informal. A more formal association elects board members* at an annual general meeting. It adopts written rules (By-laws & constitution) to guide its operations. Board meetings usually occur once a month. The following elected positions may be part of its structure:
*Detailed job descriptions should be developed for each position. For more information on job descriptions, contact the HRM Volunteer Management Resource and Training Centre at 490-4599.
A neighbourhood association may want to form other positions or committees from the overall association. This way the smaller groups can each focus on a specific part of the overall project making it easier to coordinate all aspects. You can meet as often as you like. These meetings would normally happen around a specific project. Committees report back on their activities at the regular board meetings. Some committees operate on an ongoing basis and others may be created to address short-term issues. Here are a few examples:
Resources that offer useful information:
Associations may wish to register as a Non-Profit Society. Certain grant-funding agencies may require groups to be registered. For more information visit Service Nova Scotia (Registry of Joint Stocks) at http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/rjsc/needs.asp
If you have any questions about starting a neighbourhood association or if you have some questions about your existing association, you can contact the Volunteer Training Centre at 490-4599.
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