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One of Janis Joplin’s most popular songs was “Raise your Hand” – about not being shy about asking for help, and offering your own hand to others when needed.


Finding volunteers is a task that is often a challenge for any Association. Whether it’s recruiting new Board or committee members, or just getting owners to attend an occasional meeting, finding volunteers can be difficult. How do we get homeowners to “Raise their hands?” We’ve outlined our Top 5 tips:


Board or difficult.


1) Demonstrate Value


Enticing homeowners to be involved can be a challenge. The time commitment may be significant and of course the pay is non-existent. Often residents and owners claim the commitment is too much, but being involved in your community can be a very rewarding experience. Becoming an owner in an Association is often the largest investment made in a person’s life, so it helps to remind a new owner that he or she can help ensure protection of their property value by becoming a contributing member of the Association. This also helps instill a sense of community and pride in ownership.


2) Communicate Thoroughly The biggest aid in promoting volunteerism is constant communication. Whether it’s the Board, current committees or just neighbors talking over the fence, everyone has a role to play in soliciting active members in the governance of the community. An association can communicate in many ways, including a community newsletter, maintaining a website, or issuing a community handbook for new residents.


3) Involve People In What They’re Passionate About


Every meeting of the Board or Homeowners is an opportunity to continue to ask for more volunteers. Don’t let the flame for any particle idea for making the community better burn out because you couldn’t find anyone to take on the challenge. At a recent Board meeting I overheard a homeowner ask why the landscaping at entry looked dated. The Board immediately asked this homeowner if she would like to start an “Entry Enhancement” Committee. She volunteered on the spot, asked the Board to provide a budget, and began soliciting additional committee members.


4) Get Lots Of Face Time So often it’s heard that Boards can’t keep committees active; the solution is to keep enlisting new members to all committees. Encourage community events to draw in more volunteers. It is a fact that 83% of Board communication is face to face. The more opportunity to meet your neighbors face to face, the better opportunity that more owners will “Raise their Hands” to be part of making their community the best to own and live.


5) Embrace Technology


Committee members are often future Board members and lifelong relationships can be built by encouraging early involvement. Although many were born after the time of Janis Joplin, Millennials are coming to your Condo or HOA Association. To get this group to “Raise their Hand” you will have to keep up with the pace of evolving technology. The days of paper are over. Be prepared to meet this group of new homeowners with all the technology they expect - on-line, through mobile devices, social media and a host of other tech applications, every association needs to use technology with strong and clear policies established by the Board. Social media can create the rise of legal issues -- this can be controlled by developing a succinct and clear social media policy to can keep your association out of legal and PR trouble.


The most effective associations draw on all their homeowners for input and volunteerism to keep the association community vibrant with homeowners who are proud of their home and community living.


“You are what you settle for so Raise Your Hand” - Janis Joplin


www.cai-illinois.org • 847.301.7505 | 15


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