It’s the time of year when everyone is looking for a gift or Xmas bonus

But should boards of directors use association funds to give Xmas gifts or bonuses to association employees? The answer to this tricky problem may well be it depends. If the bonus was included in the associations operating budget and the person is a direct employee of the association a bonus may be perfectly ok. But if the budget did not include a bonus and or it’s not part of the employees compensation the answer is probably no.

At this time of year we get lots of questions from owners and board members about how they would like to use association funds.  Some owners and or board members want to splurge on holiday parties. Others think that gifts for board members or volunteers may be appropriate.

The truth of the matter is association funds are for the maintenance and operation of the association and should probably not be used for things like gifts and parties. At this time of year it is more important than ever for board members to remember their fiduciary responsibility to the unit owners.

While it may not be right to use association funds for parties or gifts, there is nothing that prevents owners or board members from taking up a collection to fund these things.  It’s important to remember that these collections are strictly voluntary and that the funds collected are in no way required by the association.

We have even noted some boards that self-assess a small amount for every board member to handle flowers for owners that are sick or pass away. These funds are also sometimes used to provide appreciation awards for past board members and or officers. The important thing to remember about this is that the funds are not part of the association’s funds and are strictly voluntary on the part of any participating owner or board member.