Download the Neighborhood Handbook here, for use during association meetings.
The success of TPAs goals and initiatives is achievable by establishing clear and open communication with the community’s stakeholders and existing organizations. Once the residents, local institutions and neighborhood association take on these goals and initiatives, then the neighborhood is much closer to fulfilling its present and future needs.
The first step is to map out and establish existing and new relationships within TPA. It is necessary to locate all the existing organizations, institutions, libraries and educational facilities working within the neighborhood (as there are many). Establish a relationship with these groups and see if their plans for the neighborhood align with any of the goals and initiatives created within the Thomas Park/Avondale Neighborhood Action Plan (TPANAP). This will save time and energy and reduce any potential overlap or conflict between groups. As well, relationships should be interconnected between groups to increase productivity and continuity in the implementation of initiatives. Most importantly these relationships must be respected and all ideas to improve upon initiatives should be considered.
Regular meeting schedules are important to maintain organization and clear communication. The meetings should remain in the same place and at the same time. The time and location for the meetings should be well advertised as well. These advertisements should indicate to the residents that all community members are welcome. The goal is to have a high participation rate at these meetings and should include members of existing organizations. This will ensure the ability to accomplish the neighborhood’s goals.
An executive board is recommended in order to prioritize, coordinate and implement the initiatives for TPA. With recent events, the board for TPA has diminished and so it is necessary to locate members of the community who are willing and capable of taking on leadership positions. These positions include president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. Many positions can arise with time as the board may see fit, but first, the main leadership positions within the board must be established. Ideally, the board should be made up of diverse individuals who can bring different areas of insight and expertise to the neighborhood. It is highly encouraged to have a board member who has many contacts with existing groups within the neighborhood.
The goals and initiatives for this neighborhood are meant to be reworked and to adapt to the changing needs and conditions of the neighborhood. It is the responsibility of the executive board to keep track of these initiatives to ensure their implementation. Board members should be aware of planning processes and legal issues within Muncie and to ensure every initiative abides by the rules and regulations within Muncie. As well these initiatives should not conflict with the interests of other groups within and outside the neighborhood.
A work plan will give the neighborhood a timeline for the completion of goals and initiatives. This schedule should consider the priority rankings as established by the neighborhood residents. The phasing for each initiative will be determined as per the amount of time required for the completion of each initiative. This should then be directed so that the plan implementation process is conducted in a timely fashion. Consequently, initiatives will be assigned to a time frame and directed by the executive board.
The funding for various initiatives incorporated in the plan should be approached by applying for respective federal, state and local grants. The federal, state and local grants will allow TPA neighborhood association to acquire the resources needed to fund initiatives and projects.
Fundraising for the neighborhood improvement with the help of residents could be a significantly suitable fundraising approach. The residents who actively contribute their dues into the neighborhood will provide an added benefit and are more likely to become engaged in the community-building process. However, distinctive fundraising events can be initiated within the neighborhood, involving heritage and cultural festivals, block parties, sports/tournaments, etc. Such initiatives should directly benefit the association.
Furthermore, contacting and writing to local businesses for donation requests, both within the neighborhood and around Muncie, in order to generate funds for the betterment of the neighborhood. This will help in strengthening the networks and relationships between the community and local businesses and also promote community’s assets.
Maintaining financial accounts is essential for the TPA Neighborhood Association, and for that, a treasurer should be positioned in charge of managing the accurate and complete financial records for the Association. Keeping records of cash flow, both going out and in of the bank account, is a requisite. In addition, maintaining a general account book or ledger is essential for the neighborhood association. The monthly recorded information about the amounts receivable by and payable to the association should be provided by the treasurer as public records to residents. Further enhancing transparency and ensuring responsibility between the TPA Neighborhood Association and the residents.
The association should publicize the new plan to emanate active involvement among the residents and grab the opportunity to contribute to its initiatives. Effective publicity will persuade greater involvement of residents in the association’s actions towards the community and will help achieve the completion of initiatives on time.
Distinctive projects to raise funding and foster community relationships can take place prior to completing the initiatives, contributing to their overall success. TPA walks, cleanups, meet and greets with new residents and local institutions/ businesses and other such activities can be approached to advance the effective engagement of residents. Such projects will help motivate residents focus on the action plan and help them gain interest in TPAs quality of life.