Eight Ways to Increase Homeowner Participation in an HOA
Community and HOA volunteers are essential elements that help enhance and maintain a residential community’s overall engagement. However, it is more and more evident in today’s busy society that many communities are struggling to retain their community and HOA volunteers. If your community, unfortunately, finds itself in this situation, here are a few tips and tricks for attracting and recruiting new residents into your volunteer pool:
• Publicize volunteer opportunities efficiently. Utilize the community’s HOA website, newsletters, and announcements to promote the positive image and unity of your community. People tend to volunteer for causes they feel good about.
• Encourage cohesion among HOA Board and Committee Members. It is human nature to shy away from conflict and interactions perceived to be stressful.
• Keep overall time commitment to a minimum.Since the majority of community meetings are held in the later evening, after most people are arriving home from a long workday, it is crucial to keep meetings as concise and well prepared as possible. Ensure your meetings are not prolonged due to lack of organization, which can ultimately discourage potential HOA volunteers.
• Get proactive about approaching prospective volunteers. Don’t just wait around for volunteers to sign up. Many people are hesitant or reluctant to make the first move, but oftentimes these are the same people who have previously approached the Board with concerns or residents who have expressed interest in activities, making them prime candidates for current volunteers to personally extend them the invitation of becoming an HOA volunteer.
• Express the importance of volunteering. Community engagement plays a vital role in overall community success. Community Managers should increase awareness by conveying the importance of community volunteers, which in turn will help residents to feel more comfortable getting involved.
• Create long-term relationships with short-term projects. If at first, a resident is not interested in a long-term HOA volunteer commitment, propose ways to involve them in short-term activities, such as serving on an ad-hoc committee or helping distribute food at the Community Association’s spring festival.
• Openly and warmly welcome new volunteers. Make them feel comfortable and connected by fully assimilating them among the seasoned HOA volunteers.
• Publicly recognize and thank your volunteers. Volunteering can often be a very thankless job, so it is your duty to let your volunteers know how much you appreciate them! Some ideas include a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner or other gestures that offer your volunteers a much-deserved sense of gratitude. Remember this simple philosophy – a little thanks goes a long way!
The tips above are great ideas to help spark the level of interest for residents to consider becoming a community volunteer. Strong community engagement is a vital component of the success of a community, and it begins with the people that live there. There are numerous ways, large and small, that residents can become involved in order to increase the engagement within their community and make it the best living experience possible.