I believe that community service can be a an effective component of a marketing strategy. I think it's good to go out in the community and work with others for a variety of reasons including making your place a better place to live but also as a networking tool. But, just like with beer or ice cream, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
For whatever reason community service organizations such as local service clubs and such are really having a difficult time getting new members. While the current membership gets older, there aren't a lot of new people jumping in to join the ranks.
This means these service organizations either have to scale back on what they do or ask more of the volunteers that are there. Often times service clubs will try to continue with the project load they had until either a lot of the volunteers quit or the projects diminish to match the number of volunteers.
I am guilty of wanting to see service clubs and other organizations continue with the present load of projects and events and, in one very particular instance, took on way more than I was able to handle.
Add to that some other newly-acquired projects and my ability to handle them all diminished to the point of breaking. And that's what happened. I let people down because I simply did not have the time and energy to complete some of the projects I had stepped up for.
So this prompted me to encourage everybody who reads this blog to check your life balance before taking on another project, or just committing to the same project once again.
The problem is, if you commit to something and then don't complete the task I believe this is worse than even not taking on projects in the first place. This lets down the others who were relying on you to complete certain tasks.
So what's the solution. One of those is something my wife got me at a garden store. Under my computer monitor sits the word "NO" in metal letters. I have this because I really, really like to volunteer and see the value and want to help better the community. But sometimes you just have to say 'no.'
The other solution is to ask for a scope of the project. As mentioned, with the dwindling membership in social organizations and volunteer groups each individual may be asked to do more. If you set a limit to the amount of time you're able to donate that could also allow you to participate.
But if you’re as passionate about service organizations as I a am perhaps we all should do a better job of trying to encourage new people to join our ranks. The value of fellowship and networking in a service organization can’t be underestimated so that would be the best course of actions.
After all, many hands make light work. So what’s your favorite local service club and how do you think you can get people involved? Recently I sent a rather scathing and accurate email to the board of a service organization that really shook things up such that we got a new, much more energetic board and I’m hoping good things will come of it.
Unfortunately the way I think I love to take on little bits here and there as I see them fall apart. But this ultimately was my downfall in this instance.
I really think being part of social organizations is good for the community and good for the individual. But you also have to be realistic with your time and abilities. Still, get out there and find a local organization that can help you make your community a better place to be. It will put a smile on your face.
And your local garden supply may help you manage your time as well by selling you a "NO" so you don't overextend yourself.