"No" is not the easiest word for most volunteer leaders to say. Honestly, if you were good at saying no, would you currently have 27 volunteer jobs on your plate?

But as a PTO or PTA leader, it's important to say no sometimes. There are things your group shouldn't do, and you can do too much. Here are four examples of when to say no.

1. Say no to a big new event unless you have enough (new) volunteers to make sure it goes really well. Fewer events that are run more effectively are always better than lots of events that seem haphazard.

2. Say no when your regular volunteers seem to make decisions for everyone. I know that these people are likely correct and are the most involved, but you have to fight every day against the impression of being a clique -- even when it means (at times) taking more time and asking more questions just to get to an answer you might already know.

3. Say no to some fundraisers. That mom who wants to offer you a percentage of her house party profits? It's a nice offer, and what could it hurt, right? But your parents will see it as just another reach into their pockets and that's a killer for your bigger, more important fundraisers.

4. Say no (politely) to your principal, when warranted. It's OK to push back when a request really doesn't fit your abilities, priorities, or goals. Work to explain and to collaborate, but don't be afraid to have difficult discussions in a professional manner. The most effective PTO-principal partnerships are just that -- collaborative partnerships, not dictatorships.

Check out our new article, "The Art of Saying No," for more helpful information on how doing less is sometimes best for you -- and your group.