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Volunteers
How Community Associations Thrive

ISBN: 978-0-944715-99-4
2005, 36 pages
Editor(s): Debra H. Lewin
Product Format: Book
Item #: 5994
Members: USD $15.00
Non-Members: USD $25.00
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Volunteers: How Community Associations Thrive. The importance of volunteerism can't be overstated. Whether you're a manager working with community associations or a volunteer leader yourself; successfully recruiting and working with volunteers in the community is an ongoing challenge—one that can be met with help from this guide:

  • Residents volunteer for many reasons that benefit themselves and the community association.
  • Many people will volunteer just because they're asked. Use every means and contact every resident with a meaningful request for service.
  • Community associations must motivate residents to act and move them in an appropriate direction. Understanding volunteers' needs and supporting their efforts will keep them working effectively on the community's behalf.
  • Recognizing volunteers for their contributions is critical to an association's ongoing recruitment efforts.
  • Committees are the backbone of many successful community associations. Organizing and supporting committees is an essential role of the board.

Contents

Chapter 1: Why People Volunteer
    Why People Volunteer
    Why People Don't Volunteer

Chapter 2: How to Recruit Volunteers
    Effective Recruitment Methods
    How Not to Recruit Volunteers
    Who to Recruit
    Where to Find Volunteers

Chapter 3: Motivating and Supporting Volunteers
    How to Motivate Volunteers
    How to Support Volunteers
    When It's Time to Go

Chapter 4. Recognizing Volunteers
    Letters
    Minutes
    Newsletters and Websites
    Certificates and Plaques
    Special Events

Chapter 5: Working with Committees
    Types of Committees
    Committee Size
    Recruiting Committee Members
    Getting Organized
    Committee Budgets
    Recognition

Excerpt
 
Introduction: Background & Key Points
 
The importance of volunteerism can't be overstated. It builds social bonds, reduces isolation, provides the satisfaction of accomplishment, decreases feelings of powerlessness, gives residents a sense of control, and makes community associations vibrant and thriving places to live. This is the foundation for building community. Associations would have a hard time existing without volunteers; they're the lifeblood of any community.
 
Successful communities—those where residents are united by common goals and interests—are created by a broad base of active volunteers. This broad volunteer base brings essential diversity to the association—viewpoints, opinions, ideas, talents, and contributions. The greater the number of people who participate in the community, the better the decision making, the smaller the workload for each, and the less likely people are to burn out.
 
Finding volunteers, motivating them, directing them, and maintaining their interest are challenging tasks for community association leaders and managers. Assigning association responsibilities to the right people, asking them to accomplish realistic tasks, and making them glad they did add to the challenge. Many community associations have achieved success and shown that it can be done. The reward is a well-functioning community where residents are involved and the quality of life is notable.
 
Successful larger community associations also recognize the value of the partnership between volunteers and a professional manager or management company. The role of the manager in this partnership is to facilitate, support, and encourage the work of the volunteers. Paid staff are often essential, but it's the responsibility of residents to build community. Indeed, volunteers are sometimes more effective than staff—government representatives, for example, will be more likely to listen to residents' opinions about their community than to nonresident staff who are paid to represent the community.
 
Whether you're a manager working with community associations or a volunteer leader yourself, successfully recruiting and working with volunteers in the community is an ongoing challenge—one that can be met with help from this guide.
 
Key Points
 
Residents volunteer for many reasons that benefit themselves and the community association.
 
Many people will volunteer just because they're asked. Use every means and contact every resident with a meaningful request for service.
 
Community associations must motivate residents to act and move them in an appropriate direction. Understanding volunteers' needs and supporting their efforts keep them working effectively on the community's behalf.
 
Recognizing volunteers for their contributions is critical to an association's ongoing recruitment efforts.
 
Committees are the backbone of many successful community associations. Organizing and supporting committees is an essential role of the board.
 
 
 

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