The Six Secrets to Building Your HOA’s Volunteer Pool
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A survey conducted by the Foundation for Communication Association Research helps support this as they report 45 percent of residents in community associations said they never volunteer or only volunteer once a year.
Of course, other factors can affect one’s ability to volunteer. Some may just not have the time to because of family duties, or they may feel a bit introverted and find it hard to take the leap to be part of the community. Like our article on fostering a sense of community, here are some secrets you can utilize to help build out your volunteer pool.
1. Communicate the community association’s need for volunteers.Simply enough, vocalize that your community association needs volunteers. This can be done every few months before your monthly meetings. You can spread your message in a variety of ways – community newsletters, board website, and emails to help get the word out.
2. Express your gratitude.A little (or a lot) of gratitude goes a long way. Since volunteers are providing for the community on their own time, always make them feel appreciated and give a well-deserved pat on the back, as well as a public shout-out at community events. This motivational tool will only appeal others to join in on the fun.
3. Get personal.Get to know your neighbor’s so that you get a sense of what their strengths and interests are. This will help when you need to know who to turn to when your board needs a new treasurer or someone who loves to party-plan. Go one-step further and ask for ideas and suggestions. Residents will want to volunteer for an activity that they themselves have helped brainstorm.
4. Use everyone’s time productively.Manage every project effectively so that volunteers do not feel that their time is being wasted, or worse, taken for granted. Help them understand the timeline, their role, and the project goals.
5. Cheer them on.An important part of board leadership is to keep community members, including other volunteers, as motivated and engaged as they can be. Bringing that community spirit into each activity is key to a successful community association and is often the fuel that keeps residents involved. Be encouraging and positive.
6. Recognize the value of volunteers.Residents who are part of the community and feel welcomed by their fellow peers and neighbors are likely to be run better as volunteers, be more cohesive be more appealing to potential buyers. Connected neighbors also want to take better care of their properties, too, since they have an emotional attachment to it. Thus, volunteerism can even translate into real dollars and cents.
An experienced community management company can help you increase your volunteer pool and help residents see the rewards of becoming more active participants in your community.