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When it comes Board elections or need for a committee member, are volunteers scarcer than snowballs in hell? This is a common frustration in homeowner associations where the same few good women or men seem to shoulder the responsibility for life. So, how do you get others to raise their hand and step forward? Some suggestions:

Communicate Regularly. Uninformed owners are uninvolved owners. If you don't tell them what's going on and give them a reason to get involved, they won't. A newsletter and flyer distribution box is an inexpensive and convenient way to get the word out.

Put Them on a Pedestal. Most people love recognition. Turn a "thankless" job into a position of honor. Hand out kudos and certificates, praise and congratulations. Do this at every opportunity ... at meetings, in newsletters. Volunteers are attracted to uplifting environments.

Socialize. People like helping people they know but easily dodge commitment to strangers. The HOA should sponsor several socials each year to break the ice. Consider a spring clean-up party, pool party or just plain old potlucks. It will help create a real sense of "community" and desire to join in.

Encourage. Volunteers need to know they are doing the right thing. Remember to build them up and ask if they need help. Value their opinions.

Remember as a kid waiving your hand wildly to be recognized by the teacher? Age tempers that need to stand up and stand out. It takes someone to get the ball rolling. Pick me, pick ME!

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