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The development of function-specific best practices in the community association industry has been a goal of CAI and the Foundation for Community Association Research for several years. The Foundation is currently developing best practices in select topic areas using a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, past winners of the National Community Association of the Year Award, recommendations from industry experts, various industry-related publications and, once developed, recommendations from those communities scoring highly on the Community Performance Index. The subject areas for the initial best practices were selected through a survey of CAI and Foundation for Community Association Research national leaders.
- Energy Efficiency (123KB PDF file)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) works to ensure secure, reliable, and affordable energy supplies that support a growing economy and protect the environment. Energy efficiency improvements and tips are easy ways for Americans to preserve the global environment, reduce air pollution, and conserve natural resources for future generations. To learn more about DOE programs that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Web site at www.eren.doe.gov/.
Reserve Studies/Management (98KB PDF file)
There are two components of a reserve studyóa physical analysis and a financial analysis. During the physical analysis, a reserve provider evaluates information regarding the physical status and repair/replacement cost of the associationís major common area components. To do so, the provider conducts a component inventory, a condition assessment, and life and valuation estimates. A financial analysis assesses only the associationís reserve balance or fund status (measured in cash or as percent funded) to determine a recommendation
for an appropriate reserve contribution rate (funding plan).
- Governance, Resident Involvement and Conflict Resolution
(118KB PDF file)
It is CAIís purpose to foster vibrant, responsive, competent community associations that promote harmony, a sense of community and responsible leadership. Common characteristics of such community associations include good communication, trust in the management and board of directors, continuing education of board members and homeowners,
and uniform, flexible and reasonable enforcement of governing documents. Inclusiveness ó the involvement of as many residents of the community as possible ó is a critical element in fostering a sense of community.
Financial Operations (114KB PDF file)
It is CAIís purpose to foster vibrant, responsive, competent community associations that promote harmony, a sense of community, and responsible leadership. Given that the fiscal
health of the association has a direct impact on every member of the community, proper
management of financial operations is an important element of building better communities.
While the responsibility for an associationís finances rests with the board, there are
numerous areas where advice should be sought from qualified financial professionals.
According to CAI Research Foundationís National Survey of Community Association Homeowner Satisfaction, the average community association resident volunteers twice a year for community - sponsored events. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said that they participate in
each of the following community-wide events: parties, holiday celebrations, neighborhood
watch programs, and community holiday decorating. Forty-five percent of respondents
said that they participate in other social events. However, 45 percent of community
association residents also admitted that they either never volunteer or only volunteer
in their associations once a year.
How do managers and boards increase resident involvement within community associations?
By treating all residents as stakeholders and developing and conducting community
harmony and spirit-enhancing programs and including residents in the initial
stages of program development.
Building community spirit is more than informing residents about board action and
improvements. Itís asking their opinions and developing programming that they will
enjoy that will spur further community involvement.
Community spirit means pride in a community. The community associations of
today are neighborhoods of yesterday. Spirited communities, like safe neighborhoods,
have higher sale values. Community spirit creates an emotional equity that sets communities
apart from the rest.
Strategic Planning (132KB PDF file)
Strategic planning is more than ensuring your association will remain financially sound and be able to maintain its reservesóitís projecting where your association expects to be in five, ten, or fifteen yearsóand how your association will get there. It is a systematic planning
process involving a number of steps that identify the current status of the association,
including its mission, vision for the future, operating values, needs (strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities, and threats), goals, prioritized actions and strategies, action plans, and monitoring