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Volunteer hours?


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When counting volunteer hours, do you count just the time volunteered, or do you also count the time it took to travel to the volunteer job?

 

This has recently come up and I'm not sure what to do. I can see both sides. I don't want to 'pad' my dc's volunteer time, but when they drive 30 minutes to get to the food bank to help out and 30 minutes to get back home, it would be nice to 'count' that hour of travel since they did "give up" that time to volunteer.

 

So.... what do you all do? :bigear:

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Thanks ladies.

 

I hadn't heard of it, either, but one lady insisted on giving ds extra time for travel since he 'gave up that time'. We were like --->:001_huh: We hadn't heard of such a thing before.

 

We'll just keep doing what we've been doing, then! :D

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Along a similar line: preparing for volunteering. Do you count that?

I am thinking of things like tutoring/teaching where an hour with the students requires an hour of preparation.

 

Do you count this? As I said in my original post, I can totally see 'both sides'. I am mainly interested because a friend's daughter received a scholarship for volunteering and the total hours were looked at. Often, my kids are driving 30 minutes one way so the extra time would really increase the total hours.

 

They have also done things where lots or prep at home was done, and that was time 'given up'. Come to think of it, when doing a canned food drive, they did count the hour prep they did making flyers and tying bags to them in prep for distribution. Now I'm wondering.... :confused:

 

I just hadn't seen it addressed before. And now I'm confused.

 

:bigear:

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Along a similar line: preparing for volunteering. Do you count that?

I am thinking of things like tutoring/teaching where an hour with the students requires an hour of preparation.

 

I think this is more complex. One thing I'd do is ask the agency I am working with what they think.

 

For just serving food, an agency will only report volunteer hours as those actually serving (or at least inside the building), but for other types of volunteer work there maybe required training classes etc that would be counted. BUT just general prep, I don't know.

 

On the driving time, I wouldn't count that, but you could write off a mileage expense on your income taxes as "non-reimbursed volunteer expenses."

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For my kids' transcript and/or I only counted time actually doing the volunteer work.

 

However, several places where my kids and/or I volunteer have asked that travel and prep time be included when volunteers record hours worked. I believe this is the organization's way of puffing up volunteer hours to look better to potential donors.

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Where do you report these hours? Transcript? Applications? Something else?

 

DS volunteers several days a week for one agency here (he'll be down to a day a week when the school year is "on") and is about to pick up another.... I have the days marked on the calendar, but I hadn't thought to count hours.... or that anyone would ask!

 

We're not at college applications yet, so I'm probably just behind the curve... LOL

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Where do you report these hours? Transcript? Applications? Something else?

 

I keep track of hours for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Students must volunteer 100 hours for their highest scholarship. I don't know if your state has something similar. So, it would be reported as part of the application process. So far, all I've done is make sure I have the proper documentation:

The agency where the community service hours were earned must provide documentation on agency letterhead of the number of hours and dates of service completed.

 

I don't know that I would report the exact number of hours anywhere else. I would acknowledge the service (not necessarily the hours) on applications if given the chance. I don't have it on ds's transcript. I haven't actually seen a transcript with volunteer service on it.

 

HTH!

Edited by Sue in St Pete
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I keep track of hours for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Students must volunteer 100 hours for their highest scholarship. I don't know if your state has something similar. So, it would be reported as part of the application process. So far, all I've done is make sure I have the proper documentation:

I'll have to see if Ohio has something like that...

 

So far everything he's done has been related to something else, schoolwise (like collecting data for a research project related to his science topic that year), so I've referred to the volunteer work in his course descriptions... Given that he's doing about 20 hours a week right now, if we ever needed an official confirmation of 100 hours, I expect we could go back and get it later.

 

Thanks!!

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I don't keep track of volunteerism but if i did I'd count all of it but not the driving. For example, we serve at the homless shelter. My daughter and I shop for and bake 200 desserts over the course of a week; on serving day we meet the other ppl serving at church; help load food that was cooked at church; caravan to shelter; serve and clean up at shelter; drive home.

 

For whatever reason, I believe we'd count the actual baking time at home and the serving time at the shelter. If I were sick or something and had to buy the desserts, I would only count the serving time.

 

Given that, I don't really know how I would count prep time for tutoring. If it were a job, I would expect the tutor to be prepared on her own time but then again, her cost would probably reflect that. I don't really think I would count that prep time for volunteerism, though.

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Given that, I don't really know how I would count prep time for tutoring. If it were a job, I would expect the tutor to be prepared on her own time but then again, her cost would probably reflect that.

 

I respectfully disagree. In a professional position, compensation can be by salary or by contract or by service (among other methods). In each of those cases, prep time is just part of the job. When I have provided professional services on a freelance basis, I bill the actual hours of actual service including additional research time I needed to adequately provide the service. However, some contracts or clients might necessitate different ways of doing this. If I knew a client expected the research time to be billed, I would bill all time at $50-75 per hour, depending on the service. If a particular client wasn't permitted to contract that way, I would bill only actual service hours at $100+ per hour. (I had a crystal clear rate card that spelled it all out.)

 

When I worked as a salaried professional, I was paid the same regardless of the hours I worked. However, when I hired an outside agency to do advertising or public relations, I knew they would bill a reasonable amount of research time in addition to the hours they actually spent creating the ad or organizing a press conference or whatever. Additionally, travel time for this kind of work and any other consulting or freelance work I have either done myself or contracted out is billed but at a reduced rate from the professional service rate.

 

 

When hours need to be counted for volunteering, we record service hours -- but I consider reasonable prep time to be part of the service. For our volunteer log, I do not count travel time.

 

On a side note, check the current IRS regulations. (I know ... how much fun is that?!) I haven't checked recently but there used to be a provision to allow deductions for mileage and other expenses related to "charity work." Years ago when I was a volunteer youth director, I was able to take those types of deductions. It was surprising how it added up!

Edited by Renaissance Mom
clarity
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