Volunteers can be an important part of any community association, but they can sometimes be hard to recruit. While they aren't always easy to find, they are an important part of an association because they bring a different perspective to the table. You may know what's right from the business point of view, but the resident point of view can be quite different, and you want a happy medium between the two. Management AND residents should be happy, and though it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect arrangement, having voices for both sides of the spectrum can help.
So how do you go about finding association volunteers? We've put together a list of 7 tips for recruiting volunteers for your condo or homeowner association.
- Advertise the need for volunteers: You may not have volunteers because your residents don't know that you need them. Send out an email or notice that the association has a shortage of volunteers and explain the potential consequences of this shortage. Many people would love to be involved, but don't know that they can be or don't know how to go about the process.
- Make board responsibilities clear: If residents don't know what the board accomplishes and the processes they take to do it, they aren't going to want to join. Make it clear that the board is responsible for making decisions that will affect residents.
- Remember that your volunteers have lives: Don't plan board meetings for in the middle of the day while volunteers are at work. Make sure meetings are run professionally and with an agenda, so that you aren't all sitting for hours on ends without any progress. Residents may want to be a part of meetings, but if you make it difficult for them, they may not always be able to participate.
- Acknowledge their participation: It's important to take volunteer participation seriously. Listen to what volunteers have to say. Their opinion is just as important as that of other members and they will bring a new perspective you may not have thought about. Recognize the effort involved in volunteering for an association board and make volunteers feel appreciated.
- Socialize the membership: People are more likely to volunteer if they know their neighbors. Hold social events that are promoted by the association so that volunteers have a chance to get to know the people they are representing.
- Use their skills: Do not just give volunteers mindless tasks. Use them to their potential. If they are volunteering, then they want to help. Give them real responsibilities and they will be more likely to take it seriously.
- Offer 1-time volunteer opportunities: Some people want to get involved, but just do not have the time to be a full volunteer. Offer opportunities for residents to volunteer for just one project or part-time.
Association volunteers are an important part of any community association board, so it's important to recruit them properly and treat them as an invaluable member of the team. Make sure all residents know how important the role of an association volunteer is and make it clear how they can become one. Your board and the community will both benefit from resident volunteers so make an effort to recruit them.