Volunteering time is not enough.

I’m organizing a team volunteer event for January and have been spending time looking into new organizations to lend our time to. One of the most recent ones caught me a bit off guard when they asked that in addition to the time we’d be donating to this organization that they also requested a $75/volunteer fee to cover the meal costs of the food we’d be delivering to senior citizens.

Granted, I am aware that we’re volunteering as a corporate entity, but it just leaves a slightly bad taste in my mouth that they believe our time is not valuable enough, and that in addition to our time, they want our money, as well. If we are going to the trouble of spending business hours volunteering to alleviate them of labor responsibilities, can’t they find the funds to actually supply the food we would be delivering? I have been looking for nonprofits for my company to support for the last year and a half, and it is disheartening to me that many of them expect to get free everything instead of just our free time, which really is not free. I understand that they face a shortage of both funds and labor resources. If I weren’t empathetic to this, I would not be leading volunteer and charitable activities for my office. But to require us to provide both seems excessive. So, I told them this over email, and they consented that our hours would be enough.

Yes, because otherwise, I’d keep looking.

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