Karen Bantuveris: Sign Up for Success

January 13 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Time is on Your Side

Do you ever hear about your neighbor’s overwhelming amount of daily activities and just get exhausted listening to her? I mean, she does all that and somehow manages to not rely solely on frozen pizza for dinner every night? Hmm. Sure, we could all try harder to be that go-getter. But sometimes it feels impossible to find any free time in our schedules.

Try this challenge: Write down every activity you tackle today and the amount of time it takes. Be honest. You might find it illuminating to realize that though you thought you worked a 10-hour day, two of those hours were spent reading about your city’s hottest brunch spots.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Nearly 30 Percent More Likely

One thing I wish I devoted more time to is volunteering. But I often think I’m just too dang busy. However, now that I know how I’m really utilizing my time, I realize that I do, in fact, have a few hours each week I can devote to helping others. And I’m not the only one. When it comes to volunteering, loads of women are signing up. According to a recent survey, American women are nearly 30 percent more likely to volunteer than men, with women often giving their time to religious and health-related organizations and education groups, whereas men are more likely to be involved in civic and public-safety organizations or sports groups.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Karen Bantuveris, Founder and CEO of SignUp.com

Karen Bantuveris is one of those women who somehow seems to have more hours in the day, and she definitely puts it to good use.

As a working mom, former Girl Scout leader and involved PTA member, Karen was dedicated to contributing tons of her time to these efforts. But she often felt bogged down managing the little details—clipboards, reply-all emails, late-night reminder messages—that seemed like a constant barrage. If you’ve ever been a member of a volunteer group, you can relate to the torture of trying to schedule activities and manage it all.

Luckily for the rest of us, Karen brilliantly simplified all that with her business, SignUp.com, a free solution for those wanting to quickly mobilize and coordinate volunteers. It’s a win-win for organizers and volunteers. Organizers can be more efficient in arranging and managing events, and by making it easy to say yes to volunteering, more people will volunteer. Any event, meeting or activity that depends on successful group participation and coordination can benefit from SignUp.com’s easy, effective solutions and resources. The site even offers a service for collecting contributions and fundraising dollars, so there are no more awkward, “Um, you owe me money for the bake sale!” exchanges.

Prior to founding SignUp.com, Karen had more than 15 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, and was an expert in management consulting, business processes and executive coaching—skills she was able to apply when launching her online coordination tool. With 10 million users and counting in the U.S. and throughout the world, SignUp.com is clearly connecting with people. And it’s all thanks to Karen’s bright idea, determination to make it work and wealth of knowledge about creating successful startups.

Karen also acts as a mentor for an entrepreneur-focused accelerator called Capital Factory, and has some great nuggets of wisdom for those early in the entrepreneurial game. She says to pitch often and pursue feedback. It isn’t just about trying to acquire funds; it’s about improving your business. Karen also says it’s important to ask for introductions. Don’t wait around for an investor to knock on your door. After all, you never know: One simple meeting with an investor could lead to widespread business success!


I’m sure Karen Bantuveris would agree with entrepreneur and investor Daymond John, who said:

“Like with anything else, business is only as good as your connections and your resources.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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