Education Finances

Budgeting for Education

Everyone can agree that there is value in all forms of education. We can also agree that all things of value have a cost associated with them. In public education, the cost of this value is managed by local government and paid for by the application of taxes. When it comes to continued education toward career oriented professional degrees, the importance of planning for the required funding is all too well known to our young people and their families. Yet, these goals are still accomplished due to the acknowledgement of the long-term value.

So, if education brings value, why is it that it is not the standard practice of all community associations to be prepared to pay for the value of education for their community association volunteer leaders? The purpose of this message is to offer the seemingly obvious consideration of planning for the expense of education programs for community association volunteer leaders by providing for this modest expense as an annual line item in the annual budgets of community associations.

As an example, in contrast, many associations are happy to spend thousands of dollars each year on annual flower plantings on their properties. The annual landscaping provides a temporary benefit, but the benefits from CAVL education has long-term value which lives on. So, why would it not make sense to adopt the practice of planning ahead for spending a designated amount each year on education for our community volunteer leaders?

In my 20 years of involvement with the Community Associations Institute, I have seen countless examples where lessons learned in CAI education seminars have saved communities from some form of major difficulty and/or financial loss. A cost to benefit analysis obviously favors the planned expenditure for the education of our community volunteers and managers.

The Community Association Institute, (at both the national and local chapter levels), offers essential seminars for our community association volunteer leaders and for our professional community managers.  Among these courses and seminars, perhaps first and foremost is the Board Leadership Development course, which is provided by CAI National. This recently reformatted collection of education modules includes the necessities that community association volunteer leaders need to effectively govern and maintain their communities. In addition to the programs which have been developed by CAI National, our chapter’s education committee volunteers work hard throughout each year developing meaningful programs for our membership.  So, in your role as a professional manger or as a community association board member, consider the value of planning ahead to take advantage of these valuable education program resources by budgeting for CAI education programming.


By William J. Hasselman

For the past 20 years at Becht Engineering, Bill has provided expertise in building envelope diagnostics, structural faming inspections, corrective design, and related expert witnessing services. CAI participation has included serving 4 terms on the Chesapeake Chapter CAI board of directors and providing a steady commitment to the education committees of both the Washington Metropolitan and Chesapeake chapters.

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