March 24, 2013
Bruce Rodgers, the Regional Consultant for Habitat for Humanity International from Albany, NY, attended the meeting to advise and answer questions about the application process.
Overall, Habitat builds more houses outside of the US than within.
1. How are we doing so far?
● Application looks good so far -- we have a lot more to do, but Bruce is willing to help guide us at each step of the way
● He said it’s not just about completing the application, but really understanding and learning about what we will need to do once we start working
● Recommends saving and referring back to the application in the future
2. How do we attract more Steering Committee members?
● We started with holding an informational meeting, and then it became word of mouth
● The best way to recruit more is word of mouth -- recruiting community members we know who would make a positive contribution to the committee
● If we absolutely need more people, we can have another informational meeting, but Rodgers suggests that we should remain small for now and focus on the specifics that need to get done.
● We should be seeking out people with certain skills that would be of benefit
3. How can we attract people when we aren’t even up and running yet?
● It is hard, this is the “unglamorous part” with the work on the policies
● We need to be looking for people who realize that this phase of the affiliation process is vital and recruit them to work on each part of the application
4. How do we move from Steering Committee to Board?
● Typically, the Steering Committee just becomes the Board to start, following affiliation
● Habitat is a non-member organization...the Board constitutes itself
● Board positions are rotational depending on terms that we set
● Original board members should have 1, 2, and 3 year terms so that the turnover does not leave us with a completely new and unexperienced board each year
● What is required of a Board Member?
- 1 Board Mtg (1.5/2 hrs)
- 1 Committee Mtg (1.5/2 hrs)
- Committee Functions (varies)
- Minimum of 5-6 hours a month, Potential for 20-40 a month
5. What kind of support will Bruce give us?
● If we have trouble with any portion of the process, we can contact Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org
● Once we form subcommittees, each subcommittee can send their portion directly to Bruce for him to edit and send back
6. What are some of the usual challenges that we could face?
● Finding people with the interest, calling, time, and dedication to spend doing the behind the scenes work
7. What sort of timetable should we be using?
● The timetable is in our hands...there are a lot of variables that we can and cannot control
● If we are really motivated, we can get it done rather quickly
● Once the application is complete and approved, we are very close to starting work!
● We will instantly become tax exempt under HFHI which will save us time but we will still be independently incorporated
● We have to formally elect ourselves as board members at a meeting once incorporated (should we each decide that we would like to be a board member)
● We can advertise positions, but Rodgers warns that sometimes people come who are unaware of the extent of the responsibilities (these folks would be better suited as committee members)
● In the future, we need to select 2 people to head each committee and set a clear timeline for ourselves regarding the completion of the application
● Our goal is to get re-organized and make sure the application is consistent throughout
Submitted by Erica Bilodeau
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