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How To Organize

Truthfully, the idea to create a neighborhood association starts with just a few people. The large and active Rock Island neighborhood associations everybody knows about today didn’t start out that way. Once, each was just an idea – one neighbor talking to another.

Some important tips for starting your group:

  • Be clear about the purpose or reason for your association – actually writing a mission statement will help provide focus;
  • Establish a core group of dedicated and reliable people – shoot for six;
  • Select initial activities that have a good chance of success in order to build momentum and confidence;
  • “Brand” your neighborhood by selecting a color and logo and then put that logo on everything from letterhead to t-shirts to signs;
  • Build relationships with institutions such as churches, schools or senior centers in your neighborhood;
  • Keep people informed through newsletters, short fact sheets or email, but include a little of everything to appeal to as wide an audience as possible;
  • Host neighborhood-wide meetings on an occasional basis, but be sure the agenda is carefully planned and moves briskly;
  • Take quick action after the meeting to reinforce the importance of decisions and input;
  • Stay focused on a few well-defined goals or projects and avoid too many tasks that will dilute volunteer resources;
  • Ask neighbors John Doe or Jane Smith for help on specific tasks because general, vague calls for volunteers are nearly useless;
  • Be a team player and take on occasional tasks or activities that benefit the entire City of Rock Island and not just your neighborhood;
  • Don’t forget to celebrate achievements.