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COVID-19: Donate to State and Local Response Funds

Making Realistic Commitments

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’ve ‘bitten off a little more than you can chew?’ We’re all probably guilty of it – from making commitments we simply cannot keep to burning-out, losing interest or all-out flaking. Whatever the reason, not following through with a commitment is disappointing and can discourage you from trying again in the future.

When introducing your family to giving, it’s important that we successfully meet our obligations but also have our expectations met. In doing this, you’re more likely to create a positive experience that will likely have your children asking for more.

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’ve ‘bitten off a little more than you can chew?’ We’re all probably guilty of it – from making commitments we simply cannot keep to burning-out, losing interest or all-out flaking. Whatever the reason, not following through with a commitment is disappointing and can discourage you from trying again in the future.

When introducing your family to giving, it’s important that we successfully meet our obligations but also have our expectations met. In doing this, you’re more likely to create a positive experience that will likely have your children asking for more.

When planning your next volunteer opportunity or financial contribution …

  1. Consider your time. If you have kids, you have a crazy schedule. Throw in ballet, soccer, choir, etc. and you might need to seriously consider the time requirements of all your commitments, including volunteering.  Look at your schedule, make priorities and be realistic about what your family is able to bite off. Reevaluate as your schedule changes (perhaps quarterly).
  2. Consider your financial obligations. As we’ve discussed, financial giving typically involves planning.  Regardless of your method, setting realistic goals specific to spending, giving, sharing and investing is crucial in meeting your objectives.
  3. Consider your family’s interests. When attempting to turn your children on to something, it helps if they find it interesting. Your interests may not mirror your children’s interests, so when volunteering for or financially supporting a cause or organization as a family, decide together who you’re going to help and be sure everyone’s on board. Consider rotating your commitments to expose your family to different service opportunities and to keep your efforts fresh and interesting.
  4. Consider your family’s abilities.  Be realistic about the expectations of an opportunity and your children’s ages and abilities. What can they offer and what are they capable of doing? What might provide them with an experience to grow and learn while they’re helping others? Be clear as you research opportunities and before you commit, consider a discussion with volunteer leaders so you’re very clear about what is expected of your little helpers.
  5. Consider your expectations. What do you hope to gain from this experience? Be clear as you begin exploring options so you can ensure that in helping others, your family has the experience you’re hoping for.