Educated boards make better decisions than well-meaning, but uninformed, volunteers. Considering the value of the resources boards control—often millions of dollars—education for volunteer leaders shouldn’t be optional. All community associations should invest in training and educating board members and key volunteer leaders who are poised to become board members.

Learning on the job or by making mistakes isn’t a satisfying way for volunteers to apply their willingness to contribute. It’s frustrating for the volunteer and sometimes places the association in jeopardy. Board members who carry out their duties based on a solid foundation of knowledge are more effective, make better decisions and achieve greater success.

Their terms of service are more enjoyable and fulfilling. Volunteer education also adds a layer of protection for the association and the individuals who serve it. A knowledgeable board member will have a greater understanding of his or her responsibilities and obligations and will be less likely to make rookie mistakes or inadvertently violate the governing documents. In short, an investment in volunteer education will reap significant dividends for the association and its members.