Citizens' Assistance Office

How to Create a Civic Organization

If no civic organization of the type you want to organize exists in your neighborhood:
Contact those individuals in the community who will volunteer their time to such an effort.

Block Associations, Tenant Associations, Homeowner Associations, Civic Clubs, Community Housing Development Organizations, Neighborhood Coalitions, Neighborhood Development Organizations.

At your first meeting:
Collect contact information on those who attend; create an organization file; Define geographical boundaries, if they apply; Select an organization name; Appoint a temporary chairperson and set a meeting to elect permanent officers; Decide an organization postal address or electronic mail address; Determine neighborhood needs that will be addressed by your organization.

Then ...
Prepare Articles of Incorporation to obtain a Charter from the state of Texas; Prepare, adopt and maintain by-laws; Apply for a state franchise tax exemption; Apply for exemption from taxation with the Internal Revenue Service.

Subsequent to these initial organizational matters, of interest to each civic club are matters such as:
Membership: How to obtain members and how to keep them Officers: How to obtain those too - and keep them How to keep meetings as brief as possible - and purposeful When to use Advisory Board Members The amount of money needed from membership to reach which community goals What style record keeping is preferred? Should the organization seek out publicity?

Why a civic organization is important to a community

Short Term Goals
Express your desires for your neighborhood; Learn the perspectives of your neighbors; Organize your neighborhood to-do list; Seek discussion and congeal the ideas on those projects most valuable to most neighbors; Implement those projects you have the resources to complete; Seek assistance and partnership from individuals and groups, private companies and government for those projects beyond your reach.

Long Term Goals
Organize neighborhood projects so existing projects gain value from the implementation or construction of the current project; Join umbrella neighborhood organizations to include your neighborhood’s plans to region-wide plans; and ensure your neighborhood is part of larger projects at work; Seek out planning information, from government offices, for example, within which your goals can be fitted For further information and assistance, contact your neighborhood liaison