In today’s busy world of two-career families, taking care of personal obligations and children can be challenging. So, where does a Homeowner Association Board find volunteers? Furthermore, how do you compete with school requests, sports, and all the other volunteer work that consumes the time of many people?
The most successful non-profit groups learn how to develop and maintain volunteers. They leverage the internet and social networking sites to help them provide training, communicate volunteer opportunities and other information. Finding volunteers is about reaching out and creating a solid foundation. When you ask active volunteers why they got involved with a group, the most common answer is “because someone asked”.
Here are a few tips on attracting and maintaining volunteers for your community:
-You’re competing with other organizations for time, so give your homeowners a good reason to volunteer…a good reason to rally the forces. Gather ideas and input from residents, and then define your volunteer opportunities around what is important to the residents.
- Remember to ask people personally to volunteer. You won’t get much of a response by posting online or including opportunities in a newsletter. Volunteering is emotionally driven, so appeal to emotions by contacting each potential volunteer in person.
- Develop a tagline to remind people of volunteer opportunities, and include the statement in every communication. Examples are “Where Neighbors Take Action” or “Neighbors Working Together”. While this won’t bring a lot of volunteers, it will consistently remind homeowners of the volunteer need in the community.
- Part of the reason that people avoid volunteering is that they aren’t sure how to perform the task. Providing ongoing training for volunteers doesn’t have to be expensive. Add resources to your website. Ask an expert in the community to talk to the group. Sign up for online books and seminars at places like Community Association Institute.
- Appreciate and reward your volunteers. Bring in food while they are working. Thank them and give the small tokens of appreciation.
- Feature volunteer stories on your blog, website or social media page. Add pictures to bring it to life. This helps you get to know a volunteer personally in addition to showing appreciation. Highlighting special stories also helps communicate the “volunteer spirit” of the community to all the residents.
Recruiting volunteers takes a bit of art, planning, and charm. The next time your HOA needs volunteers, step back and plan your course of action. Finally, always remember that the most important step in finding volunteers – “ASK”!!!