A successful community association hinges on a few different elements. One of the most important of those elements is a strong volunteer base. Having a solid and dependable pool of volunteers is the foundation of a thriving community association. However, successfully recruiting and keeping volunteers in a community can be a challenge for community managers. Here are a few tips for attracting and retaining quality community association volunteers.
1. Make it worthwhile.
Between their job, family and other activities, residents have a limited amount of time they are able to dedicate to volunteering. Make sure you’re asking volunteers to something that is worth their time. Gathering input from the community can help you focus your efforts on the areas that are most important to residents and that they would be more likely to want to volunteer their time on.
2. Offer volunteer training.
Some people are hesitant to volunteer because they feel they might not have the skills required to do the job. Volunteer opportunities often don’t require any rare skills, but you can make the opportunities even more attainable by offering resources or training for interested residents. Detailed descriptions of volunteer duties can be made available on the community website, and you can also offer a simple orientation class for new volunteers as they come on board.
3. Don’t forget to ask.
Posting volunteer requests on community bulletin boards or in association newsletters is a great way to reach a wide audience, but it typically doesn’t get a huge response. Talk to residents and personally ask them to volunteer. Explain why you think they would be a great fit for a specific volunteer position. This approach is much more likely to get a positive response, and ensures that volunteers feel more emotionally invested in the job.
4. Reward your volunteers.
Small tokens of your appreciation can mean a lot to community association volunteers. Offer food and drinks while they are working as a thank you for their service. Host a lunch or barbecue to gather your volunteers together and thank them for everything they do.
5. Feature your volunteers in community media.
Show the entire community how much you appreciate your volunteers by featuring them in your newsletter, emails, website, or bulletin boards. Share photos of your volunteers in action, share stories of meaningful volunteer work, or highlight an especially dedicated volunteer to help show how important volunteer work is to the well-being of the community.
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