Volunteering Opportunities for 2024 and Onward

Thinking about volunteering? Veteran leader Katheryn DeClerck suggests the value and personal satisfaction you'll get in return for are the best reasons of all to contribute your time and expertise.

HGAR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
HGAR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

It’s always around this time of year when the call goes out looking for committee members for next year. So much of the work of the organization is done at the committee level, which means the culture of our organization is defined through the lens of those who participate in these committees.

At HGAR, our committees are varied and offer numerous ways to participate, and every committee is looking for new volunteers. Whether you have a lot of time to dedicate or you are more of an intermittent task-type participant, there is room for you to participate.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Why should I take time out of my work or family life to do this?” Let me give you a couple of reasons.

First, is the value that you bring to the organization. Many Realtors have backgrounds in other fields that can benefit the association. The better the association, the better we can all be at our jobs. Defending homeownership, legislative advocacy, and elevating professional standards, for example, can ultimately add to your bottom line by protecting your career. Knowing what’s happening in your industry and helping secure it would be something of benefit to your clients.

Second, is personal satisfaction. This can be a lot of different things for different people. Having your fingerprint on programs and innovations gives you a real sense of pride. Developing leadership skills that can be used in all aspects of your life is a natural byproduct. Building lifetime friendships through service is an extra added benefit. I personally can speak to this. Had it not been for my volunteer time, I would not have made such deep friendships and would not have been on a camel in the Sahara with my Realtor friend Leah Caro this year!

To those who are already volunteers, I think we have an obligation to find our future replacements. We need to hold doors open for new engagement the way a door might have been held open for you. During this recruitment season, consider being purposeful and look to see who does not have a seat at the table and go find them and invite them to participate.

Let’s also evaluate if our processes and practices can be more inclusive. For example, do our meeting times work for agents with young children? If we’ve always done something a certain way, now is the time to question why? We can ask ourselves, if we were to create it today for the first time, is this how we would do it??

Along those lines, we should be looking for new volunteers all year long. As new members join HGAR or as someone’s gifts are revealed, let’s find ways to engage them and make this part of our association.

At this year’s Member Appreciation Day, I was especially proud to see all of the Leadership Accelerator Program (LAP) graduates being recognized. Many have moved into committee chair positions, directors, award recipients, and even as President-Elect. The LAP has generated an incredible pipeline of volunteers and leaders. So next year, mark your calendars to look out for announcements for applications in the late spring.

Keep your eyes peeled for announcements about our new Member Profile form, which will allow us to learn more about you and will introduce you to the right volunteer opportunities. If you have questions, ask HGAR Leadership. We would be more than happy to provide additional information and assistance. And don’t forget to invite others as well. That is what started my 17+ years of volunteering… when the then President of the Orange County Association of Realtors (who was my instructor for the licensing and brokers courses), Carole McCann, invited me to be on a Strategic Planning Committee. The rest is history.

Katheryn DeClerck is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors DEI Steering Committee.

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