Best Practices

We continue to collect local and national best practices for improving quality of life within communities.

Developing a Neighborhood Association

Muncie Action Plan’s (MAP) Task Force 2 has created resources for Muncie neighborhoods who are interested in creating a neighborhood association. These resources are based upon research and input from Marion, Indiana, a community which has experienced great success through its neighborhood associations. These resources include:

At the 2016 IDEA Conference, Nicholas M. Tokar referenced these links in his session on How to Apply for 501 (C) (3) Status.  This form is used to apply for recognition as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Tax Code.

About the 1023EZ tax form | 1023EZ tax form (pdf) | Instructions (pdf)

The Importance of Neighborhoods

“Why Neighborhoods Still Matter” (Colliers Magazine, February 2012)
After a significant tragedy takes place in the Peter Lovenheim’s neighborhood but has little impact on him directly, the author embarks on a social experiment to get to know his neighbors in a meaningful way and discovers that neighborhood engagement is vitally important.

“Why are Neighborhoods Important?” (Muncie Action Plan)
This PDF infographic highlights the role that neighborhoods can play in advancing and enriching the city of Muncie.

“How Livable is Your Community?” (AARP)
This interactive site from the AARP scores neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. for the services and amenities that impact your life the most.

Improving Neighborhoods

Urban Naturalist Guide (American Planning Association)
Jane Jacobs was a writer and activist whose book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” highlighted what made neighborhoods vibrant, safe, and interesting places. This guide by the American Planning Association provides instruction for observing and studying the health of current-day neighborhoods.

Organizer’s Workbook: Tools to Support your Awesome Neighborhood!
This great resource from the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center provides tools to recognize the assets in your neighborhood and empower you to make real, lasting change in your community.

Citizen Planner Manual for Indiana (American Planning Association)
This resource from the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association was developed for plan commission members, board of zoning appeals members, neighborhood organizations, and citizen committees to give insight into the land-use planning process and legal framework in Indiana.

Neighborhood Technology Toolkit

In summer 2015, Building Better Neighborhoods hosted a Neighborhood Technology Workshop to educate residents on how to develop Facebook and Twitter accounts and a website for their neighborhoods. The resources from the workshop are available here:

  • WordPress Workbook: Create a website for your neighborhood for free (pdf)
  • Twitter Tutorial – An introduction to one of today’s most popular online communities (pdf)
  • Facebook 101 – Building a better neighborhood network through social media. (ppt)

Logic Model

In summer 2016, Building Better Neighborhoods hosted a workshop to help neighborhood association leadership become familiar with the structure of logic models. Attendees developed a vision for their neighborhood in order to identify a common goal for change efforts. | Logic Model Workshop Materials (pdf)