The Importance of Building Community in Your Community Association
Community management is about more than landscaping and lawn care. It’s about creating a welcoming atmosphere that promotes security, safety and community for all residents. As part of our community management, we help HOAs develop action plans to bolster residents’ feeling of community through shared experiences.
“Community events give residents the opportunity to get to know everyone in the community and create special bonds between neighbors,” explains Kayla Stephenson, Recreation Director of the Woodbury Community Association. “We encourage residents to participate in our holiday home decorating contests and our classes and clubs. We also offer classes for the younger kids in the community and we have an awesome music class that parents and kids seem to love.”
How to Enhance Your Community
Creating a sense of community requires organization, enthusiasm and follow-through. Though your homeowners association board might already employ a staff recreation director, sustained success will depend on the help of dedicated resident volunteers. Here’s how to get started.
Make a plan with concrete timelines and goals so you can measure progress and allocate appropriate budgets.
Understand the demographics in your community to encourage the cross-cultural traditions and events in which everyone feels welcome.
Develop community sprit and traditions by asking residents to share family traditions or unique cultural practices that can be adopted by all members of the community.
Invite participation by clearly posting invites in common spaces, door-to-door fliers, or spreading the word through email or social media.
Share your success through a community eNewsletter, Facebook page, website or other online bulletin board. If your community has a printed newsletter or periodical, send updates including upcoming events calendars and “press releases” detailing neighborhood news or recaps of recent events. Be sure to take lots of pictures during events and record the names of residents to accompany each picture.
There are many ways to make residents feel like they’re special and valued members of your community.
- Organize a monthly group to assist an elderly resident with household chores
- Maintain a bulletin board in common spaces with fun, candid photos
- Host your own neighborhood holiday parade
You can also brainstorm community-building ideas for events and activities. Things like:
- Holiday home decorating contests
- Classes: home improvement, gardening, dancing, fitness, sports, cooking
- Sports or hobby-based clubs
- Game nights
- Potlucks, BBQs, pancake breakfasts
- New Neighbors Welcome Orientation
- Donation drives and charity fundraisers
- Talent shows
Communication is important–not just between neighbors, but also between residents and community management. We’ve implemented many ways to connect with residents of the communities we manage, so we can reach busy household and residents of various generations. For some, it’s emails or texts, for others it’s a phone call or mailed letter. We find that the more consistent the outreach, the more quickly community bonds begin to strengthen.
For additional information on building community in your area, or to share examples of your community’s successes, contact Keystone Pacific. We’d love to hear more!Posted by on | Categories: Community Management.