Volunteers are the backbone of any thriving homeowners’ association (HOA). They contribute their time and talents to help the association achieve its goals and ensure residents are satisfied with their quality of living. Serving on the board of directors, becoming a member of an HOA committee, or simply volunteering around the neighborhood can significantly impact the community’s success, so it’s important to thank those who do what can often feel like a thankless job. Letting these volunteers know they have your support and gratitude can go a long way in keeping them motivated to continue their essential work for your community. Here are a few ideas on how to thank HOA volunteers in a meaningful way.
1. Host volunteer appreciation events.
Holding an event for HOA volunteers is an excellent way to show gratitude and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments with the rest of the community. Planning a party where volunteers can have fun with their families and other homeowners lets them know you appreciate their hard work and their contributions deserve of a celebration.
Some event ideas for your volunteers may include:
- Catered luncheon
- Cocktail party
- Outdoor cookout
- Community block party
- Hosted performance event
Host one annual volunteer appreciation event rather than several throughout the year to keep costs low, and consider holding your event around the same time as your annual meeting for higher engagement and participation.
2. Use your annual meeting to highlight achievements.
During the annual meeting, when the majority of association members are present, HOA board officers should take the opportunity to express their gratitude to members who volunteered throughout the year.
Some homeowners may not know who was behind certain initiatives or improvements in the community. Thanking your volunteers and recognizing their contributions during the meeting gives you a chance to put a spotlight on their achievements in a more public way.
3. Feature volunteers in your community newsletter or website.
A community newsletter or website is perfect for highlighting volunteers who have made an impact in your community. Reserve a section of your newsletter to feature volunteers and thank them for what they did or continue to do for fellow residents.
You can also use your website to bring your volunteers’ accomplishments to the attention of association members. A simple list of volunteer names and committees can help them feel seen and appreciated. However, there are more significant ways to call attention to their contributions. Here’s how:
- Provide a feature on a different volunteer in every newsletter issue.
- Create a volunteer-of-the-month page on your website.
- Conduct and publish interviews with influential volunteers.
- Spotlight a committee in the newsletter or website.
4. Write personalized thank you notes.
Don’t underestimate the power of a personalized note when thinking of ways to show gratitude to volunteers. Taking the time to write a special message can mean so much to people who may feel undervalued.
Be sure to reference their specific contribution and share how they’ve made a difference in the community. You may also want to express your admiration for their commitment and hopes that they’ll volunteer again in the future.
5. Post volunteer accomplishments on social media.
If your HOA has social media accounts, use them to highlight volunteers, post pictures of events or improvements they may have helped organize, and shout out individuals whenever possible. Tagging your volunteers in your posts also gives them more visibility and the ability to share their accomplishments with friends, family, and followers. Just be sure to review your community’s social media policy and get the volunteer’s permission before tagging or posting pictures of them.
6. Share compliments and positive feedback with volunteers.
As a board member, you may hear a lot of good feedback from homeowners when a project is completed or a new idea goes into effect. Share that insight with volunteers who were vital to those accomplishments. That way, they know their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Even if it’s just a quick email to pass on positive feedback, it’s worth the effort to help your volunteers feel appreciated.
7. Give awards to the most active volunteers.
To maintain a good relationship with the most influential contributors to the community, it’s important to recognize those who have been particularly active and generous with their time. One way to do this is to give out awards that distinguish and acknowledge these volunteers as significant contributors. Consider presenting them during your volunteer appreciation event or the annual meeting as a special thank you to those who made the most difference.
8. Don’t forget about fellow board members.
While homeowners who volunteer are essential to any HOA community, HOA board officers carry the most responsibility and accountability and often bear the burden of backlash when something goes awry. Use these tips to also show your gratitude to other board members for a job well done.
Encouraging Participation in Your Community
Engagement and participation within the community are the keys to a successful association. You can encourage homeowner involvement by providing opportunities for residents to take an active role in the HOA, including board positions, committees, and other chances to volunteer. Check out our ebook, “A Guide to Getting Homeowners Involved in Your Community,” to learn more!