When Volunteers Get Paid
I am involved in a number of small non-profits, some of them are larger, some of them are very small, and are AVOs (all volunteer organizations). There are many people working hard for their causes, and the question alway comes up about who, how and when does the organization pay for services, and where does the line get drawn.
This is a slippery slope, who and what do we pay for? Does the organization pay for all services? (computer advise, PR and advertising, copy, editing, web content, event management, accounting, tax prep. printing, web, catering) Where do we begin, where does it end? We all have professionals that are contributing, be it an accountant or bookkeeper that is the treasurer or someone that does web design being the webmaster for the organization.
Do we go with: When possible ask for volunteer help. If there is not a board member that wants to “volunteer” their services, we should go out to our members to ask for the help voluntulary. It would seem that it is very important that the board is not preceived as being “self-serving” by only doing “business” with board members.
If we cannot secure the service as a voluntary contribution, then we need to create an rfp, for larger jobs, and put the bid out to members, and beyond if necessary. Smaller jobs need to take all member businesses into consideration.
Levels of professionalism ~ volunteer vs. professional, time constraints, quality of work? All would be factors that need to be taken into consideration.
There are always so many great people volunteering their time towards the organization, with many different “hats” on, and it would be bad to create a divide about whether someone is being “paid” for something, and someone else is not.
So there is most certainly a need to find a way to clarify how an organization decides when and how to spend their hard earned dollars. Any advice or comments?
Join us May 6, 2010 for a fun evening of networking at the South Shore Science Center.
There will be education, cocktails, prizes and a chance for your Nonprofit organization to walk away with a cash donation! For more information click on the link below.