By: Jessika Reed - HOALiving
When you think about volunteering—just the concept of it for now—what images come to mind? People in neon T-shirts handing out water bottles at marches, walks, and runs? Musicians donating their time and talents at VA and children’s hospitals? Maybe you envision environmental efforts or holiday-specific commitments.
Maybe your mind is beating me to the punch line and you’re already thinking about the board of directors at your community association.
It’s true—this world of HOA living and managing (and developing and advising) relies heavily on the selflessness and cooperation of volunteers. Merriam-Webster defines volunteer as “a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service.” This certainly applies to the individuals who step up and run for board positions—those who are elected, those who are appointed to officer positions (president, treasurer, secretary, etc.), and those who are appointed by the board to different committees.
Neil Schiffman is a Community Manager for FCS Community Management, part of the HOALiving network of companies. He works directly with community associations and their respective boards, interacting firsthand with the volunteer network that is characteristic of HOAs.
“HOAs function best with volunteer participation,” Schiffman said. “Owners feel that they have a say in the operation of the community, even if they are simply paying more attention to the landscape or janitorial services. Associations that have strong committees to help provide guidance and feedback to the board are very high functioning. Owners who are willing to effectively communicate their feedback through surveys and board meeting participation seem to be happier with the outcome.”
Community associations run on volunteer efforts, but this past year and a half has seen countless changes in how nearly everything runs. The same force that has us covering our faces, increasing our distance, and working from home must surely be affecting the volunteer landscape, as well, right?