What if your association has lost the trust of the owners? Maybe it has happened because of bad press. Maybe it has resulted from a bad lawsuit. Or, maybe it has happened because of strife on the board. Regardless of why, it is possible to repair the trust with thoughtful, committed and consistent actions. Generally, people want to believe the best in volunteers and they understand that sometimes bad things happen in a non-profit organization. The first step we would recommend is developing a plan. The plan should cover all of the following:
- What are the areas that need to be addressed? If you don’t know, ask. Ask owners and LISTEN.
- Do you have existing resources to address the issues? This might include leadership, management, finances, etc. If you don’t have them, can you get them?
- What will it look like when we have rebuilt the trust? Be clear. If you can’t identify it, you won’t know when you’ve succeeded.
- Who will interact with the media if necessary? It is best to have one point of contact.
- Who will speak for the board? Will it be the president, manager, any board member. A central spokesperson can often rebuild trust faster than multiple points of interface.