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May 2012

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How to Attract HOA Volunteers



Perfume has been used for thousands of years to attract the object of its desire. Oh, that it were so easy to attract volunteers to a homeowner association's board or committees. Just spritz some Eau de Volunteer in the air and watch them flood through the door! Okay, not so much but here are some suggestions that really do work.

Develop a communication system: A frequent complaint of members is not being kept informed. To draw out volunteers, it's critical that they know what's going on. Some members develop a suspicious nature about board motives when kept in the dark and resist being involved. Let them know what you're up to with open meetings, meeting minutes and newsletters.
Give credit where credit is due: Make sure that directors, committee members and homeowners are given formal recognition for their efforts by way of the meetings, the minutes and newsletters...every opportunity where there is an audience. Point out particular owners that show superior landscaping abilities. (They are obvious candidates for the Landscape Committee.) Consider awarding certificates of achievement at the annual homeowners meeting. Remember also that not all tasks have an end and many faithful volunteers doing more mundane tasks often get overlooked. 
It is a wise board president that makes a point of recognizing effort for its own merits.
Provide social opportunities: People tend to want to help those that they know personally. However, many are shy. The HOA should host ice breaker socials each year to facilitate the process. Consider a pool party or potluck. It will help create a real sense of community.
Assign real jobs to do: There is nothing more frustrating than a job with no job description. There is real work to do at each HOA. Directors and committee members should have clear marching orders detailing exactly what the objectives are, the time frame and the money available to help get the task done.
Get organized: Have meetings scheduled well in advance. Have a written agenda, run the meeting in a businesslike way and limit your meetings to two hours. Endless rambling meetings are a real turnoff to successful people (the kind you want as volunteers). Your meetings should be decision oriented so things get done.
Be an encourager: The board president should take the lead in promoting volunteers. The successful leader motivates by persuasion and not authority. Remember, "A servant does not lower himself but elevates others."
Since uncommon scents don't work, use common sense by making the volunteer position too attractive to resist.
SOURCE: Richard Thompson
The Regenesis Report






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