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Categories: Association Living, GovernancePublished On: May 23rd, 2024

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For many, homeowners association (HOA) living is nothing but strict rules and high fees. That’s a reality for some, sure, but many HOAs have far more to offer. HOAs should be dedicated to an equally important role: encouraging a sense of community and belonging among residents. 

Your HOA is your home, and being an active participant in how that home feels is just as important as the fees and rules. One way to achieve community cohesion is by establishing a social committee. HOA committees promote community engagement and build proactive and inclusive relationships.

Utah homeowners create social committee

What’s a Social Committee and Why Should I Start or Join One?

Sometimes called an Events Committee, a Social Committee organizes and coordinates recreational community events. In some HOAs, they may handle new resident tasks, like making Welcome Packages and meeting with new homeowners. The Social Committee works to overcome these major hurdles related to HOA living:

  1. Breaking the Misconception: The common misconception surrounding HOAs is that they only care about enforcing rules and collecting fees. With a social committee, homeowners and board members can actively challenge this perception and celebrate the diversity of activities the HOA can organize.
  2. Fostering Community Engagement: An HOA social committee brings residents together and creates opportunities for social interaction. The work this committee does fosters a strong sense of community and belonging.
  3. Strengthening Homeowner Involvement: Encouraging homeowner involvement in the HOA helps to distribute the responsibility of community engagement. This allows the social committee to represent a variety of interests and preferences.
  4. It’s Fun!: Everyone loves to participate in fun events – it’s an easy way to add the ‘community’ into your community association – and you’ll have a good time doing it!

Do I Need Any Special Skills to Start or Join a Social Committee?

Absolutely not! Any homeowner may petition the board to create any HOA committee, and if the committee already exists, it’s a simple matter of reaching out to say you want to volunteer. There will be some rules and votes, but there is generally no experience necessary. Of course, if you have a talent for any of the following tasks, you’ll be an even stronger asset to your community:

  1. Budgetary Knowledge and Decision Making: Many social committees face challenges related to finances. Understanding your HOA’s budget, prioritizing spending, and making sound financial decisions is difficult! The board can provide guidance and resources to ensure responsible budgeting if needed. But finance, nonprofit or business experience could be advantageous to anyone looking to establish a Utah HOA Social Committee.
  2. Community Involvement: A social committee’s success depends on garnering volunteer support from a diverse range of homeowners. Creating a culture of inclusivity both inside and outside the committee will help attract and retain volunteers. If you have a background in volunteer management or event coordination, you’d be a great fit for your Social Committee! 
  3. Communication Expectations: Communicating to both the committee and the community is essential for an effective social committee. Clear communication channels, regular updates, and transparency will foster trust and engagement. So someone with communications experience or even social media management would fit well.

What Does the Workload Look Like?

It certainly won’t be a walk in the park (though you may try to organize one!). But the reward of serving your community is worth the time you’ll invest. Being part of your Utah HOA Social Committee means long hours of your free time will go to the HOA. You’ll help determine what events will attract which people, and assess the financial impact pre- and post-events.

  1. Partnering With Everyone: Firstly, a social committee should align its initiatives with the goals of the HOA Board. Supporting the Board’s objectives enhances community engagement and encourages unity among homeowners. But the board is not the only voice here. Engaging with homeowners to plan the events they want is necessary. Neighborhood picnics may appeal to some, but game nights or educational workshops may attract others. Encouraging homeowners to participate in the planning and execution of social events strengthens the community and ensures events cater to the diverse interests and preferences of the residents. 
  2. Creating Budget-Friendly Event Ideas: Hosting events at a low cost not only helps overcome budget constraints but also makes them accessible to a larger number of residents. Consider organizing events such as potluck dinners or themed movie nights. These can easily leverage the resources and talents of homeowners themselves. Collaborating with local businesses, organizations, or schools can also expand the range of event possibilities and strengthen community ties.
  3. Securing Homeowner Buy-In: This isn’t a metaphorical buy-in of concepts and ideas. In addition to traditional funding sources, financial involvement from homeowners can encourage a sense of ownership and pride. This doesn’t mean you ask for a lot or create a new monthly fee. Instead, suggest events where homeowners pay a small fee to attend. This can be something like tabling a community garage sale where the proceeds go towards future social initiatives.

Ready to Be An Agent of Change?

An HOA is, first and foremost, a business that must uphold rules and maintain the community. However, there is an equal need for initiatives that promote social connection and foster togetherness and harmony in the community. An effective Utah HOA Social Committee can help your HOA shake the stigma that it is only out for rules or profit. By highlighting the benefits of community engagement, offering tips to overcome common challenges, and suggesting budget-friendly event ideas, a social committee can drive positive change within your HOA and create a vibrant and inclusive community for all residents.

If your Utah HOA is ready to spark that change and foster a stronger community but needs a strategic eye to get everything in place, HOA Strategies can help. Click here to speak with one of our experts about the right moves to make for your HOA’s committee needs.