What are your policies around counting driving drive time as volunteer hours?
I'm new to my position and neatening up our volunteer policies. We have many volunteers who drive up to 2 or 3 hours each way to arrive on location (Mount St. Helens) to volunteer with us. Our organization has not had a clear policy around whether or not this driving time counts as volunteer hours, so some volunteers have included it in their hours reports and others haven't. (To clarify, any driving that volunteers do once their shift begins is always counted.)
On the one hand, they're not actually doing anything for our organization during that time. On the other hand, tracking those hours allows us to demonstrate the level of personal commitment our volunteers are giving (which is impressive!). But that number is only meaningful if we can have volunteers track it consistently.
What do you all think?
Hi Sarah, while I haven't worked with a program where we encountered this, I think driving to a location where an individual volunteers is a deduction they can claim on taxes (at least it used to be- not entirely sure with the new tax laws going into effect). So it makes sense to me that volunteers could also count those hours as performing a volunteer service for your organization. Just my 2 cents.