Running a successful HOA requires teamwork. That means everyone from the Board and property manager to homeowners and vendors are working together. There are many tasks that must be managed, and having a strong team of volunteers serving on committees can keep things working more efficiently.
The challenge, however, is recruiting – and keeping – volunteers. Homeowners have busy lives and may be involved in a variety of other activities. Serving the HOA isn’t always top of mind. That is why the board must be proactive about promoting volunteer opportunities and making it a meaningful experience.
- Connect in person: People often gloss over fliers or blurbs in the newsletter that don’t catch their eye. Appeal to homeowners’ emotions when recruiting for volunteers. Make a personal connection and talk about different committees, events, and opportunities that might fit with their interests and abilities.
- Stay organized: Disorganization is a fast way to turn people off. They don’t want to spend their time waiting around wondering what to do, or having their work duplicated by someone else. Set clear expectations and guidelines for each committee and designate a leader to oversee work. Having structure and objectives for committees is key.
- Appeal to strengths: Often people are hesitant to volunteer because they’re not sure where they fit. When making announcements, provide descriptions of the type of work to be done and what key skills would be good for volunteers to have. But don’t turn people away because they’re unsure of what they’re doing – also offer training to help them get up to speed and become an integral part of the organization. Take advantage of the fact that people want to help, and support them in doing so.
- Be flexible: Volunteering for a committee shouldn’t be a second full-time job. Clearly outline time expectations for different groups or projects so that homeowners know what is expected and can decide accordingly if they’re available to commit.
- Show appreciation: Recognize the hard work that volunteers and committees do on a regular basis. Give a quick shout out on social media or in the next newsletter. Hold a volunteer appreciation luncheon. Create awards, make cards, or hand out small gifts as a token of gratitude. Most of all – make it a point to say thank you and to do it often. A little recognition can go a long way in making people feel valued.
Recruiting volunteers is something that should be done on an on-going basis so that there is never a shortage and always people to step up. When volunteers are able to work on a committee that interests them and where they feel they are making a difference, it can keep them more involved and more likely to stick around. If your HOA is struggling to attract volunteers or run committees effectively, turn to Kuester for guidance and support. We’re here to help your HOA be as successful as possible.