Let's face it, this time of year is not easy on our bank accounts. From the many worthwhile charities that ask for donations to some perhaps less-worthwhile holiday expenses (last-minute lights are a popular one at our house), it begins to feel like our wallets are perpetually open.

It doesn't have to be that way for your parent group, though. Doing more with less is a topic I talked about at length following the stories last summer about a "million-dollar" parent group in Manhattan, and now feels like a fitting time to mention it again. The size of your group's budget has very little to do with the effectiveness of your group -- enthused, passionate volunteers are the keys to success.

Whether it's a drive for food or clothing that immerses your whole school in giving or an all-volunteer effort that lets your teachers know that you're behind them -- remember that money is not the key ingredient. You are.

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