From identifying budgets and managing finances to welcoming new homeowners and organizing social activities, committees are essential to a well-functioning homeowners’ association (HOA). Committees consist of homeowners who volunteer their time and efforts to consider, investigate, and take action on HOA-related tasks that require group oversight.
While some governing documents specifically name mandatory committees, an association’s board usually has the power to adopt additional committees they deem appropriate, such as a Neighborhood Welcome Committee or a Social & Events Committee.
When forming a committee, it’s important to follow guidelines to ensure that each committee is successful. Follow these steps to create a strong committee:
1. Start from the bottom.
Determine the basis for the establishment of the committee. Why are you forming this committee?
2. Define the decision-maker.
Identify the scope of authority given to the committee. Are they allocated a budget? Can they make decisions independently, or do they make recommendations to the board without the power to act?
3. Get the big picture.
Clearly define the purpose and function of the committee to ensure it fulfills a specific need within the association.
4. Set to-dos.
Detail the responsibilities and activities of the committee and its members.
5. Organize the team.
Decide how many members the committee needs. How are they appointed? Should they only be residents? What does the leadership and voting structure of the committee look like?
6. Clock in.
Identify a timeline for task completion, term limits, and the overall committee lifespan.
7. Talk it out.
Communicate how many and what kind of recommendations the committee must deliver to the board.
8. Keep track.
Clarify the board’s expectations for reports and minutes. How often should this information be provided to the board to ensure proper oversight and communication?
9. Set boundaries.
Create an understanding of the committee’s relationship to the manager, board of directors, and other key stakeholders. How should they interact?
10. Say, “thank you!”
For continued success, be sure to recognize the efforts of the volunteers. Hold a volunteer appreciation event, send a personalized thank you note, or give out annual volunteer awards.
When committees are well-structured, they function better, and it allows members to work with unity and purpose. Cooperation within the committee serves the needs of the entire homeowners’ association and will help prepare your community for a strong future.
More Ways to Get Involved
Many homeowners want to be involved in their community, but they often don’t know where to start! For helpful tips to attracting more volunteers, download our FREE ebook, “A Guide to Getting Homeowners Involved in Your Community.”