Recruit and retain: 6 ways to create long-term volunteer partnerships

Published: 10/25/2021

- by Alana Ashby 

Community associations simply can’t function without volunteers. Board members and committee members play a critical role in making community associations vibrant and attractive places to live. Finding, motivating, directing, and creating long-term volunteer partnerships, however, can be challenging. 

Consider the following steps below to create long-term volunteer partnerships: 


  • Start small with your requests for volunteers. You don’t want to overwhelm those who may be raising their hand for the first time. 

  • Offer a road map or orientationas to what to expect. Facilitate a discussion where potential volunteers can ask questions and feel confident enough to serve. You can do so by providing testimonials of previous recipients, pictures, and project examples. 

  • Match skills with assignments. For example, if you wish to recruit volunteers to complete an exterior home repair, you wouldn’t ask those who have never painted a house before. 

  • Offer a platform for volunteers to share their stories. Let them show how they have met their goals for their organization or how their involvement has changed them as a person. 

  • Don’t forget to express appreciation. This is an area where a lot of nonprofits lose their volunteers. Say “thank you” with an email, a card, or an event. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. 

  • Communicate any feedback you receive about the volunteer or their work. Whether good or bad, it is a lesson. Be gentle communicating if something goes wrong. Keep in mind: Most volunteers want to make a positive difference. 


Alana Ashby, CMCA and owner of AMI, helped to establish and served as a Board Member for Community Associations Institute (CAI) Idaho Chapter. Alana has extensive experience in all aspects of financial management, real estate development and management, as well as negotiation.  



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