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Old 01-20-2015, 10:45 AM   #21
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DW retired a couple of years ago, after spending the last 20 years working in a private catholic school (teacher and administrator at different points). She reads a ton, and when the small elementary school where our kids went (right down the street) had a need for someone to help (1/2 to 1 day per week) restocking library books, she thought that sounded great for a retired English teacher who loves books. Then she found out she would have to redo the entire background check, including getting fingerprinted at the local police station. She had already been through this as part of her job, but they wouldn't accept that. I'm sure they're just covering their butts, but she decided it wasn't worth the hassle and declined to help out.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:46 AM   #22
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I was secretary for an educational 501c3 for 2 years, then graduated to treasurer for another year... Wow - that was a lot of work. I hear you on people complaining!

I observed that some of the people who complained the most were the ones who didn't contribute time or money to this program. What are you going to do.

I'm glad I did it. I would definitely hesitate to take on the treasurer role of a non-profit again. While I'm good at record keeping, it was challenging getting all the different forms, tax returns, 1096/1099's, etc for the state and federal authorities. And turbo tax does not cover this. LOL.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:53 AM   #23
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I've been on my Condo board several times.

After a while I learned to insulate myself from the complaints. It's usually the same people over and over again. The worst are the dog owners who want the Condo Board to intervene on their side when somebody's dogs get into a fight. Both dogs are off leash in violation of the condo rules!

Overall, it was a good experience and I got a chance to know some of my neighbors better.

Some people should not buy a condo. They should buy a single family home on 20 acres, out in the country, where there are few building codes. They would be a lot happier.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:44 AM   #24
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I've been on my Condo board several times.

After a while I learned to insulate myself from the complaints. It's usually the same people over and over again. The worst are the dog owners who want the Condo Board to intervene on their side when somebody's dogs get into a fight. Both dogs are off leash in violation of the condo rules!

Overall, it was a good experience and I got a chance to know some of my neighbors better.

Some people should not buy a condo. They should by a single family home on 20 acres, out in the country, where there are few building codes. They would be a lot happier.
+1000!
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:51 AM   #25
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Absolutely true statement. Being a relative newcomer to a similar-sized car club, I volunteered to be the newsletter editor. That was over 5 years ago, sometimes I wish someone would complain so I could use the "if you think you could improve on it, why don't you volunteer..." line - but instead they keep telling me I'm doing a fantastic job.

You gotta learn to mess up more!
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:10 PM   #26
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I don't think I'll ever "volunteer" again; I might join an organization I'm interested in, or donate (not my time). I've been soured on the experience.
So much depends on the other people involved. I've written before about the petty bickering backstabbing environment in a store unloading trucks after HS.

Before that I had a job in a gas station, back when they hired HS and college kids to pump the gas, check the oil, etc. That job was actually fun in spite of the occasional PITA customer because the guys I worked with were such a hoot to be around.

And in the model airplane club we were all pretty much on the same page as to goals and how to get there so there wasn't much in the way of strong disagreements or domineering egos.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:24 PM   #27
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Can sympathize with the OP. I learned early on to pick and choose my volunteer activities wisely. I had had great success with a local organization at their main location. Loved the people and activities. They asked me to run a table at a street fair very close to my home. Little did I realize, I had to go to the main site, fill my entire car with stuff the day before, tote it to my spot in the fair, run it as a one man show all day (bathrooms a mile away), pack stuff back to the car, and take it back to the center the next day. Never again!! Now, I ask questions before I sign up for anything. Finished a morning gig recently where we did science experiments with elementary age children. Loved to see them learning!
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Old 01-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #28
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Have been burned several times by the back-stabbing and politics (in charitable non-profits, nonetheless!).

So, now, before agreeing to help, I sniff out the situation. If there's the faintest whiff of such BS, I quietly exit.

i used to get paychecks for refereeing such nonsense. And the pay wasn't worth it.

The freedom and peace of ER are too precious......

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Old 01-21-2015, 12:02 AM   #29
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+1000!

We threw out our condo board in our building in NYC. And many board members in high-priced buildings are subject to lawsuits.

Not my cup of tea.

Not sure what I will do for volunteering in my upcoming retirement. But, none of those things above. Once politics is mixed in, I am outta there fast. Don't like it in w*rking life, detest it in my free time.


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Old 01-21-2015, 06:43 PM   #30
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We threw out our condo board in our building in NYC. And many board members in high-priced buildings are subject to lawsuits.

Not my cup of tea.

Not sure what I will do for volunteering in my upcoming retirement. But, none of those things above. Once politics is mixed in, I am outta there fast. Don't like it in w*rking life, detest it in my free time.


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This brings up a question. In my HOA, several folks are wanting me to be the president. I don't mind too much since it's a small neighborhood and responsibilities would be minimal. BUT...years ago the HOA was sued by someone who had their car vandalized...and I don't need to be named in a lawsuit because something stupid. Anyone have any background or experience in this?

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #31
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This brings up a question. In my HOA, several folks are wanting me to be the president. I don't mind too much since it's a small neighborhood and responsibilities would be minimal. BUT...years ago the HOA was sued by someone who had their car vandalized...and I don't need to be named in a lawsuit because something stupid. Anyone have any background or experience in this?
Based on my experience as both a HOA board member and president - don't do it. No matter what, refuse to serve if the HOA won't purchase a Directors & Officers Liability policy.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...insurance.html
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:04 PM   #32
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Based on my experience as both a HOA board member and president - don't do it. No matter what, refuse to serve if the HOA won't purchase a Directors & Officers Liability policy.

What HOAs Need to Know About D&O Insurance | Nolo.com
Absolutely, no way I serve w/o a D&O policy in place. At one time I was on 4 boards at ONCE.. Two were little theatre groups, talk about bickering!! Now I just help file shopping carts and shelves at a food bank
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:36 PM   #33
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Based on my experience as both a HOA board member and president - don't do it. No matter what, refuse to serve if the HOA won't purchase a Directors & Officers Liability policy.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...insurance.html
Thanks, I certainly appreciate the input. I was hesitant before but I do enjoy being involved and whereas most of the board members have been around the block more than a few times, I'm the young whippersnapper that they have felt could breathe new life into the organization. But...I know they don't have the insurance, so that'll be a no go.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:18 PM   #34
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FlyBoy, I am shocked that the Board does not have directors' insurance. That's false economy. Do not agree to join the Board unless they get it first.

My condo board has $5 million in directors' and officers' liability coverage. The rider cost only a few hundred $.
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Old 01-22-2015, 05:34 AM   #35
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Thanks, I certainly appreciate the input. I was hesitant before but I do enjoy being involved and whereas most of the board members have been around the block more than a few times, I'm the young whippersnapper that they have felt could breathe new life into the organization. But...I know they don't have the insurance, so that'll be a no go.
Don't be so sure about them actually wanting you to breathe new life into the organization. I was elected president of a fly fishing club. I had helped in various positions before so I thought I knew how the club worked. I also knew they had several thousand dollars in the treasury that grew by a few hundred dollars each year. As president I proposed a plan to bring in "name" speakers to have presentations/seminars to get good local media exposure, provide a benefit to the members and slowly spend down the treasury. Most of the board was enthusiastic and we had a plan to spend the treasury down over a 5 year period knowing that we would probably grow in membership from the enhanced programs. One board member didn't agree. There was a provision in the bylaws that gave past-presidents a vote at board meetings if present. This guy rounded up past-presidents from decades past. Some I hadn't seen in over a decade. They came together to "save the treasury" and voted down the plan at the next board meeting. I immediately resigned but (foolishly) agreed to finish out my term where absolutely nothing different was done and the treasury continued to grow.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:04 AM   #36
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I've had good and bad volunteer experiences. I served as District Treasurer for an international organization I won't name because it does so much good (I'm now back to being an officer at the Club level and have been a member for 10 years). The experience just about killed me. I understand that controls are needed when money is involved, but this went way beyond that. I was also the guinea pig for their new accounting system which had nasty defaults (e.g. they had already ordered the Club's bank accounts numerically so if you didn't remember to pick the checking account from the drop-down box when booking a transaction it defaulted to the Money Market account). Any request to change some of the major headaches was met with "it can't be done". At the end of my term the Audit Committee did a hatchet job on me because I'd lost a few pieces of paper.

And then just last year they asked me to be Treasurer again.

I had much better experiences on the Board of Directors of my professional society- served 2 terms. We did deal with a nasty lawyer who threatened a lawsuit against us. I put him in his place when he assumed none of us had read the French portions of the paperwork (dealt with a member practicing in Quebec). Guess what I studied in HS and still remembered. Volunteer work for my professional society gave me a great network and I needed it a few times when changing jobs.

I'm also on the church vestry (governing committee). That turned out to be more work than expected because I filled an unexpired term of someone who moved away, then a 3-year term, and it was extended another year when our priest left and we had to run things with supply priests in his absence. My last meeting is tonight! (But I'm on the Finance Committee now. ) Good people, good stuff to do, but too much worrying about budgets. I have to keep remembering that this is not MY budget.

There will probably be other opportunities, but, like others here, I'm cautious. And if it involves asking for money, get me outta here.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:59 AM   #37
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My first volunteer gig after FIRE was being a volunteer driver for the DAV Transportation Netw*rk. I did that for almost 2 years. The guys loved me from the first day when I introduced myself as "the crazy woman driver from near NYC". We had a blast.

But...there was drama going on between the main office and the office I was based at. None of it involved me, but every time I reported for duty, I had to listen to it. The dispatcher was pretty crabby.
I tried to explain to him that I needed to get going with my clipboard and find all my passengers, but he kept droning on and on and on...

So I had to quit. It all reminded me of my former j*b.

I am still a VA Volunteer, but not as part of a group. I do favors for veterans one-on-one as a need presents itself. Much better approach for me. If I hear of an event at a Legion or VFW post, I just show up as an extra pair of helping hands.

No meetings, no crap to deal with. Hallelujah!
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Old 01-22-2015, 03:00 PM   #38
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This brings up a question. In my HOA, several folks are wanting me to be the president. I don't mind too much since it's a small neighborhood and responsibilities would be minimal. BUT...years ago the HOA was sued by someone who had their car vandalized...and I don't need to be named in a lawsuit because something stupid. Anyone have any background or experience in this?

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
Check your CC&Rs. They will outline what type of insurance coverage the association must purchase. Then, ask the board to tell you what the current policy covers. Most carriers include D&O liability as a part of the packages of coverages they provide.

If there is no D&O Liability, gently decline until the association corrects the 'oversight.'

Rita
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:54 PM   #39
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Found volunteering was not for me. If I'm going to get dressed and out of the house and not get paid I found myself becoming resentful. Now I do volunteer events, like one-time clean-ups of the Bay or helping the day of a "walk for..." Just can't handle scheduled have-to-be-there things anymore.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:03 PM   #40
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My DH who has never been a quitter in his life, has been volunteering many many hours a month in our community since he retired. One of his 'jobs' is as editor of the monthly neighborhood newsletter. He included an article this month from a neighbor who asked for the neighborhood association to be more open and inclusive (a very common complaint in these parts).

Now the NA (it's not an HOA) want to oversee or limit what types of articles he publishes.

I told him, "Honey, if it's not fun any more, don't do it." Seems like he's going to resign from this position shortly. He's 72 years old. Life's too short for this nonsense.




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Well DH pulled the plug on his volunteer editing gig today. It was just getting worse and worse with no appreciation for what he was trying to do. For free. For at least 20-30 hours a month.

He says he has no regrets. That's good.


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