Volunteering: Are You Working “Harder” or “Smarter”?

If you’re a regular follower of our postings here at Sagepointers, you’ll recognize Scarlet as one of our most consistent contributing bloggers (and if you’re a newcomer, welcome – we hope you’ll find this blog useful). Scarlet has written about a variety of topics, and she’s very active in her community, volunteering in a number of different causes – some related to family (especially her children) and some that are important to her for the same reasons that motivate many of us to “give back” whatever we can, to try and help make our world a little bit better place. Also like many of us, Scarlet has discovered that sometimes the commitments made with the best of intentions – responsibilities that were willingly accepted and diligently performed – take far more time and effort than anticipated. We’ve all been there – the project or event that suddenly took on a life of its own, and monopolized our time to the point of making serious inroads on other responsibilities (or the much-needed “down time” that is so crucial to keeping us going!). We can all accept the premise that busy people need to work smarter, not harder, in order to meet the myriad demands on their time. That’s true whether you’re the Chairman of the Board, or a Soccer Mom trying to juggle the hundreds of tasks that crowd your calendar every single day. The problem is finding an easy, affordable solution that makes “smarter, not harder” possible. Take a moment to read Scarlet’s story, and don’t be surprised if you see yourself somewhere between the lines:

Scarlet writes:

In our family, we celebrate Easter. When looking at all the pictures of dressed up Easter bunnies, I thought back to the days when the kids were little. I was always involved in school parties and fundraising, and I can remember dressing up in any kind of costume to bring a smile to a child’s face, or to raise some money for a good cause. There were days where I baked, created and sweated for what would equate to about 10 cents an hour. I remember one day telling the kids I couldn’t help with homework, because I was baking cupcakes for a grade-level party.

Somehow, I think I missed the boat on volunteering for the kids. By Whitney’s senior year I was booster club president for the drill team, and in charge of the senior gala and homecoming dance. By the end of her senior year, I was checking things off as they were done. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed every minute, but I could have enjoyed it with a lot less work. When Eric transferred to a new school his senior year, I was devastated. I had to give up my position on the baseball booster club board and the media guide. When we got to the new school, I knew no one, and they had no idea how “wonderful” I was at volunteering. For the first time, I got to go to games, and not worry about people showing up for their assigned volunteer duties. I got to actually enjoy being “just” a mom. There is something to be said for that.

Just remember, when volunteering starts to take time from your kids, it really isn’t benefitting them. It took me way too long to figure that out. Luckily, college doesn’t ask for a lot of volunteers, ha ha!

Sound familiar? It’s a very common story. Many volunteers – dedicated individuals who are active in their communities – discover that their commitments have cost them far more than they originally anticipated, and not just in time or financial resources. Missing out on those once-in-a-lifetime personal or family moments – the stuff of which cherished memories are built – shouldn’t have to be the cost of helping to build a and maintain a healthy, caring, vibrant community.

That’s where we can help. Sagepoint was built by volunteers, for volunteers, based on the simple premise that busy people need the right tools in order to make the transition from “working harder” to “working smarter”. Whether you’re organizing a homeroom potluck or a major community event, we can give you the tools to make your life easier. It doesn’t cost anything to use Sagepoint’s organizational tools, and we can help you leverage the very latest Social Media Marketing and Social Networking platforms to enhance your fundraising efforts. Visit us at www.sagepoint.com and see for yourself – we think you’ll be glad you did!

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