How to Organize and Run a Successful Civic Association
Civic Association Handbook
What makes Civic Associations work?
- Build a nucleus of interested and active neighbors
- Learn the ropes: Learn what to do and where to get answers and help
- Keep the community informed.
- Follow up on complaints promptly
- Be diplomatic: No strong-arm tactics
- Build strong relationships with elected officials
- Get involved in the community and know what issues will affect you
- Join and work with CCOBH
What makes an association strong and effective?
- Strong interest on the part of elected leadership and residents
- Transparency and openness in operation
- Widely shared perception that the leadership listens to and fairly represents the community
- You must get out and recruit active civic association members: Requests for volunteers won’t do.
- Remember: When things are going well it will be hard to get people’s attention. When problems arise it will be hard to avoid people’s attention.
- Respect volunteer’s time: Break responsibilities into easy-to-accomplish parts. People are busy. Don’t overload them.
- Tell the community what you are doing. Don’t assume that they know.
- Listen more. Talk less. Ask questions.
- All you really have is diplomacy. Use it. You are dealing with the people you have to live with. Treat them with respect.
- We have posted some examples of civic association bylaws for your use.
What CCOBH Can Do For You
CCOBH Is Ready to Help Your Association
- Train New Officers – CCOBH can help you build a strong association leadership team by offering training and mentoring for your association’s new officers. We can share our years of experience in civic matters to teach them how to use all the resources available to them. We can show them how to get accurate and timely information, and we can introduce them to problem solvers at the county and state level who can help them address your association’s specific needs.
- Offer Guidance – Things sometimes go awry. CCOBH can offer timely advice and guidance to help you get your civic association functioning properly again.
- Answer Questions – CCOBH provides a great deal of “how to” information on our website (www.ccobh.org); however, we are also available to answer questions about specific issues you face. Whether by e-mail or face-to-face, CCOBH can get you fast answers to your questions.
- A Voice for Brandywine Hundred – CCOBH regularly appears at a variety of New Castle County hearings and meetings, and we work directly with county officials at every level on behalf of our member organizations and all our Brandywine Hundred neighbors. We also work with our Brandywine Hundred legislative delegation on those issues likely to affect the communities of Brandywine Hundred. When you need help to make your voice heard we will be there to lend assistance.
- Attend Your Community Meetings – Local concerns about development, utilities and infrastructure do not always make it into the press. CCOBH can attend your community meetings to help you understand how local issues impact your community, and show you what your association can do to further your community’s best interests.