Mister Condo presents “Navigating the Members Only
Section of the CAI website (http://www.caionline.org)”
Brought to you by the Connecticut Chapter of the Community Associations Institute,
home of Ask Mister Condo at (http://www.askmistercondo.com/)
Navigating the Members Only Section
of the CAI website (http://www.caionline.org)
Hello! I am Mister Condo and I
will be your friendly guide today. My
job is to familiarize you with the CAI
Community Association Volunteer
Leaders “Members Only” section of the
CAI national website. When you join CAI,
you join at the national level and then
choose your local chapter
Your local chapter website has plenty of resources
for you to use and we encourage you to visit often
for the latest updates and local CAI happenings.
However, you also need to get familiar with the
national website at http://www.caionline.org as
there is a wealth of information waiting for you
When you joined CAI or renewed your membership, you completed an application that was sent off to National
Headquarters and processed. You then should have received a letter welcoming you and providing you with a
temporary password that will give you access to the CAI National website. If that didn’t happen or if you do not know
what your password for the website is, you can retrieve your password from the login screen of the national website -
CAI Home Page Login
Once there, simply enter the email address you used when registering for the site. You will need an active email
address and a password. If you are logging in from a secure computer, like your home computer for instance, be sure
to check off the “Remember Me” block at sign on so your computer will remember the information for you on your next
Now that you have logged into the website, the website will reveal all of the features available only to CAI members.
Let’s take a quick tour and view some of the highlights and items you won’t want to miss!
The CAI Home Page
The Blue Strip across the top is quick access to the CAI Store and also a Search Bar for the site. This is useful if you
are looking for something specific. Simply type in your search query and select from the results page.
The Gold Strip is links to some of the most used features of the site. You can read more in the About Us section.
Access a full list of Member Resources. Check out Education and Events if you like. There are also links to Information
and Tools and Issues and Advocacy if you want to keep an eye on laws and legal issues. Finally, there is a chapter
selection tool in this area in case you need to look up information on a local chapter.
CAI Members Only Content
Here is where you will find almost everything you will need to run a successful community association. The Board
Member Tool Kit, Sample Forms and Templates, E-Newsletters, as well as Association Governance and Management
Articles are all here. You’ve hit the Mother Lode of useful CAI information! Let’s start with my favorite, “Board Member
The items we will discuss today are all
found on the left hand side of the
page in the orange section. This is
where you will find the most
commonly needed items for
community association volunteer
leaders. Let’s take a deeper look at
these links and see how useful they
Click on “Members Only Content”
from the Left Hand menu
Board Member Tool Kit
This is perhaps the single most useful item that you will find on this website. Inside you will find everything from soup
to nuts for running a successful community association. Go ahead and click on the link to Download the entire Tool Kit.
This will allow you to view and download the entire Board Member Tool Kit booklet.
Board Member Tool Kit
This is a 112-page document so I
recommend that you download it to your
local computer by clicking on the
download icon that should appear on
your screen when you have The Board
Member Tool Kit booklet loaded. The
booklet is in Adobe’s PDF format so you
will also need the free software from
Adobe to view it if you don’t already have
it installed on your computer. Most tablet
devices also have preinstalled software
that allows viewing and saving of PDF
documents. Most computer users already
have this software installed so it shouldn’t
pose a challenge.
Board Member Tool Kit
Click on the icon that looks like a
diskette and save the Board Member
Tool Kit on your local hard drive so
you will have it to review offline.
Once you have it downloaded, you
can also easily share it with other
Board members by simply emailing it
to them or making a copy on a
diskette or flash drive. You will want
to make sure every member of your
Board and every committee Chair
and member receive a copy. It is an
incredibly useful tool with many
features that you will undoubtedly
use. Let’s take a look at some of the
CAI Board Member Tool Kit Contents
A quick review of the contents of the Board
Member Tool Kit shows why it is such a useful
document. You’ll find everything from a
discussion on Governing Documents to Working
with Managers and Business Partners to
Finances and Reserves to Communicating with
Residents. It really covers most situations a
typical condominium or homeowners
association is likely to encounter, all in one
convenient, easy to use place. My favorite
sections include the Role Descriptions for the
Board, President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
This is a perfect way to instruct Board Members
of the responsibilities of these important
positions before they decide to serve.
Here’s what those pages look like:
New Board Member Orientation Checklist
And here’s one you might not have
thought about, The New Board
Member Orientation Checklist. This is
a great tool to welcome new Board
members and get them over the
uncertainty of what their
responsibilities are when serving on
Working with a Professional Manager
Have you ever wondered what the role of the professional
manager is with regard to the Board and the management
of the community? Wonder no more! The Board Member
Tool Kit has the answer for you!
The Importance of Meetings
There is even a section on the importance of meetings and
a sample meeting agenda to guide you in planning your
Board and association meetings so that you can handle the
community’s business in a professional and timely fashion.
CAI Sample Forms and Templates
Back to the Left Hand side links, go ahead and select “Sample Forms and Templates”. Here you will find just about
every form and document you will ever need. It covers everything from Soliciting Bids to Creating Rules. Again, this is
a soup to nuts directory of necessary information that will help you do a better job of governing your association.
CAI E-Newsletter Archives
Continuing down the left hand side, the next link is for “E-Newsletter Archives”. CAI publishes several E-Newsletters
that are chock full of excellent and timely content. You may already receive some of these via email but this is a
wonderful place to do some extra reading about topics and issues that affect your association.
Copyright-Free Newsletter Articles
One of my favorites on this page is the Copyright-Free Newsletter Articles that are perfect for insertion in your
community newsletter. Just click, cut, and paste! What could be easier?
CAI Association Governance & Management Articles
The next link will bring you to “CAI Association Governance and Management Articles” which is a great collection of
articles on governance and management of community associations. These are general interest articles and cover a
wide range of topics. All are great reading and I’ll bet you find out something new just by reading one or two stories.
CAI Message Board
The CAI Message Board is the next link for you to explore. It is a place to ask and answer questions for CAI members
like you. You may see a question that interests you, you may wish to offer an answer to an existing question, or you
may wish to pose a question of your own. This part of the site is really what you make of it.
Rights and Responsibilities
Attention, please! This is one of the most important and useful documents you will find on this website. The CAI Rights
and Responsibilities guidebook is a “must read” for unit owners, non-owner residents, and association leaders. It
clearly defines the roles of the owners, residents, and Board. Click on the link to Download the Rights and
Responsibilities document and save a copy to your local computer.
Rights and Responsibilities
Here is the document you will want to print, email and
upload to your community website and distribute to
new owners and residents time and time again. If you
can communicate to members the key concepts
within this document, you can make everyone’s
community association living experience far more
Use it wisely and use it often!
Safeguarding Community AssociationAssets
Do not overlook the important link on “Safeguarding Community Association Assets”. Theft and impropriety are an
unfortunate occurrence in many associations. CAI has published a Best Practices compilation to thwart this crime and
protect the assets of the association. Download the document “Preventing Fraud and Embezzlement” and distribute it
to all of your Board members and your Property Manager.
Preventing Fraud andEmbezzlement
Follow the simple steps outlined in the document and
know that you are doing all that you can to prevent
fraud and embezzlement from rearing its ugly head in
Good to Great
One final document of interest is the CAI presentation
entitled “Good to Great”. From the “Members Only”
content page, click on “Association Leaders &
Homeowners”; then click on “Good to Great”. This
document is for those communities that have
accomplished the basics and are ready for something
more. “Good to Great” is a guide book of how to take
your association from getting by to becoming a healthy,
vibrant, and successful community. Some of the best
community associations in the country have embraced
this program and it is certainly worthy of your
consideration as well.
And on that note, today’s tour is concluded. I want to thank you for your time today in learning how to navigate the CAI
National website for community association volunteer leaders. You are the difference in your community. It is your
leadership that will determine your community’s success or failure.
CAI National is here to support you. The CAI National website is at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and,
as you have seen, offers numerous resources to help you succeed. Of course, your friends at your local chapter of
CAI are always in your corner and offer numerous local events for you to educate yourself and network with your
colleagues and local industry experts.
And I’m always here to help you as well. You can visit Mister Condo at http://www.askmistercondo.com/. I am happy to
take questions from all condo residents and provide friendly advice on how to get the most out of community
The bottom line is that CAI membership has its privileges. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of them!