Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Are you part of the 80% or 20%? #GivingTuesday

What will you give on #GivingTuesday?

I am what some have termed a “professional volunteer.” I’m an active PTA mom, I help out with the summer swim team, I’m a Girl Scout troop leader, I crochet scarves for homeless women, I assist with my sorority conferences. Yes, I’m busy. But here’s the thing, between you and I, a quietly kept secret. I don’t volunteer for everything. There are some “signup to volunteer” messages that I hit “delete.” Guiltily so, but I do.

I believe in the 80/20 rule. I accept it – 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.  I know that often, I am part of the 20%.  I’m now telling myself that I don’t always have to be part of 20%, sometimes I can be part of the crowd of folks that sits back and enjoys the fruits of everyone else’s volunteer efforts.  That’s fair, right?

I’ve never heard of the 100/100 rule, meaning that all of the work is shared equally among all of the people. In fact, I’ve never been involved in an organization where that has been true. Never.  I will thus conclude that this is an improbability of human nature.

Instead, I think that everybody can do something. I have friends who pay their PTA dues and then leave everything else to people like me.  And in turn, I do nothing more than show up and cheer at my daughter’s basketball games, while other parents man the clock and keep the statistics and blow up basketballs.  I manage the ticket sales of our sorority’s fundraising event to support our scholarship program, but I don’t tutor at the high school.  This balance seems fair in the overall cosmos of volunteering, right?

No-one should be dragged into volunteering.  It’s like the Bible says about tithing, you should do it willingly and happily, not grudgingly.  You should consider what you have to offer and where you can make a contribution.  We all do have something to offer, we all can make a difference, we all have value.  And there’s the perfect spot for everyone to share their gifts.  If we each give somewhere, then we all can rest sometine, too.  If we all take turns being part of the 20%, 100% of the work will get done.

What will you give?

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