What do parents think of when asked about your group? Is it all jobs and labor and money and guilt? If so, you are going to struggle to get the help you need to do great work.

Only a rare few parents (maybe you) do this volunteering stuff because it’s the right thing to do, no matter how grueling it is. For most parents and for the long term, volunteers need to get something out of volunteering. No -- not pay. But the volunteering needs to pay off in other ways, like friendships and a feeling of accomplishment and -- yes -- fun.

If volunteering for your group means more drudgery than fun, if there aren’t a bunch of good laughs in the process, or if your leadership takes things too seriously -- then you’ll forever be fighting to get new volunteers and to keep the ones you have. And don’t think of it as a low priority; it’s actually a necessary ingredient to doing all your great work for the long term.

How can your group lighten up and make volunteering more fun? I’d love to hear your ideas on our message boards or our Facebook page. And here’s my full column on the topic from a few years back: “Is Your PTO Fun Enough?