Our Community Development Ebooks Can Make Your Community Work Easier

Last Updated: June 6, 2024

People who are active in their communities never seem to have enough time. Our community development ebooks series will bring you inspiration, more effective ways of reaching your goals, work-saving examples that you can adapt to fit your own situation, and sometimes a deeper level of information more specific than we can provide on the website.

Admittedly the "series" doesn't exist yet, but our first book on starting a neighborhood association has been available for a few years and later in 2024 we will be adding an ebook on starting a community development corporation and another on block clubs and their unique role in neighborhoods.

For now, you'll have to content yourself with the first in the series, How to Start a Neighborhood Association: Hints on Creating a Process That Makes Sense for You. You can choose from a .pdf file you can download directly from this page at 2.99 USD, or a Kindle edition of the book, which of course you buy at their place of 3.99 USD. Content is basically the same, with the Kindle lacking in photographs but adding the social media policy sample and a couple of other tiny snippets.  The newer cover at the top of this page goes with the Kindle version.

We know that if you want to start a neighborhood association, this would be the best community development ebook we could have completed first!  When people come to the point of wanting a neighborhood association in their area, they need step-by-step directions. They are correct in thinking that many, many people have been down this path before and can share some valuable lessons learned.

Most of us underestimate how different our neighborhoods are from one another.  Each place offers unique assets and challenges.

You wouldn't make this next mistake if you just thought about it a little bit.  Consider that every person who might be involved along the road to creating a neighborhood association brings to the party a specific bundle of wishes, hopes, dreams, experiences, abilities, limitations, and relationships.

Then you add in the number of relationships between pairs of people in your average neighborhood association start-up meeting.  Let's say you attract 25 people to your first meeting, a respectable showing.  That's 300 pairs of people, each of which might misunderstand, insult, or team up with one another.  

Wow.  Now you understand why one size does not fit all when it comes to starting a neighborhood association, and why our 74-page pdf (or 115 Kindle "pages") still won't be some kind of miracle cheat sheet to how to make the project quick and easy.

You may find our initial starting point for organizing to be inappropriate for your location or situation, but even if that is the case, you will pick up many tips on desirable organizational structure and those that do not work as well.

What we do promise is that with the book, things will be quicker and easier than they would have been otherwise.

Specifics of the Book

Our style is to tell you right up front that much of this information is lifted straight from somewhere on this website.  We can't have a web page that is long enough, however, and we bet you don't want to sort through more than 15 of our pages to find what you need.  So the book offers a super convenient format combining paragraphs from different parts of the website, and adding in these elements not available anywhere on the website:

  • A couple of sample meeting agendas
  • A couple of sample lists of items you want to include in your budget
  • Sample meeting ground rules
  • Sample by-laws
  • Sample social media policy
  • A lengthy discussion, with examples, of starting a group that you envision as a temporary group formed to face some particular opportunity or threat
  • Photos designed to help you re-sensitize yourself to what your own neighborhood actually looks like (none in the Kindle version)
  • Assorted other tidbits from our experience of working with many brand new neighborhood associations, as well as a few failed attempts.

How to Obtain the PDF Version of This Book

The cost is only $2.99, a really small price to pay to miss out on the aggravation of having to do some things over and over again to get them right.   The samples alone are worth more.

When we have substantial updates to offer, we'll send those on to you free.  Of course there is a money-back guarantee.  We don't think you'll be disappointed.  Click that silly little Buy Now button below.

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Contents of How to Start a Neighborhood Association Ebook

Deciding Whether to Start a Group  

  • Do You Need to Start a Neighborhood Association?
  • Setting Up a Second Community Organization
  • A Word of Encouragement     
  • The Steering Committee Approach
  • Inviting People to Participate

 Early Meetings

The First Meeting

  •    Agendas and Ground Rules, Including Samples
  •    Expectations for Early Meetings
  •    Essentials of a Good Meeting
  •    Presiding
  •    Lively Meetings
  •    Focused Group Participation
  •    Refreshments
  •    Meeting Length
  •    Domination
  •    Sample Outcomes

Types of Neighborhood Associations

Issue Campaign Groups  

  • Presumed Deadline
  • Indefinite Deadline

A More Permanent Organization

Negative and Positive Organizations

Overlaps Between a Homeowner’s Association and a Neighborhood Organization

Organizational Questions

  • Naming and Branding Your Organization
  • Membership
  • Founder of the Group
  • Board and Officers
  • Budgets
  • By-Laws, Including Sample
  • Incorporation
  • Establishing a Bank Account
  • Mission Statements and Vision Statements

 “Early Success” Projects

  • Clean-Up Activities
  • Planting Flowers or Trees
  • Block Party  
  • Paint-Up Day
  • Website or Facebook Page
  • Neighborhood Tour or House Tour
  • Event Targeting Businesses or Investors
  • Neighborhood Walk or March
  • Picnic
  • Health Fair or Jobs Fair

 The Five Big Challenges

  • Fund Raising
  • Organizing for Addressing Issues
  • A Basic Communications Program
  • Leadership: Rhythm of Activity and Preventing Burnout
  • Organizing Your Information

 Additional Resources

Order PDF Now!

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This is your moment; don't blow it.  If you're even thinking about starting a neighborhood association, this humble little community development ebook, the first of several to come, will be your best friend.  Don't waste time and effort, and don't frustrate yourself and your family.  Order your download now; it's only $2.99.

If you prefer the other version, you can return to the top of the page to find the link or just check on Amazon.

If you would rather comb through this website to find relevant information, we have two suggestions. First, use the search box that appears at the top of nearly every page to find a word on this website that you think may be relevant. Second, go to our sitemap, found in the navigation, and check out the yellow box near the top, where you will find links to several pdf's that will show all the pages on the site for neighborhoods in general, distressed neighborhoods, rural areas, and so forth. This cross-reference is quite helpful, since many topics we discuss could fall under more than one broad category of community work.

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