Thursday, November 13, 2008

Donating my time doesn't mean all my time ...

When you invite a colleague to participate in another state, and he/she donates their time, do you care if they get additional inconveniences?

Tonight I got an email related to travel to a Board meeting in another part of the country (I volunteer time - they pay expenses) saying BY THE WAY everyone needs to share transportation from the airport to the hotel. Big detail: We're not on the same flights. What's the message? My time isn't as valuable as the transportation cost to the hotel?

I am very aware of how much I give up personally (and professionally) by volunteering to do anything - and I believe our association volunteers are very aware of what they give up when they volunteer too. If we ask for time, let's not waste any of it.

1 comment:

Scott Briscoe said...

Hi Cindy - What is not good about your example is that they didn't tell you this before you volunteered your time. There are plenty of associations and other nonprofits that choose not to spend their members'/donors' money on volunteers -- that becomes part of the volunteer commitment.

Taking your experience a little bit further, though, it also sounds like poor communication as much as anything. Perhaps an org would usually pay for the transportation, but they are now being forced to cut back in many ways to deal with the recession. A communication several weeks before a meeting that detailed some of the sacrifices the org was making and then adding that volunteers to the meeting would need to travel together from the airport, would, in my opinion, have shown the proper respect toward volunteers.