This group is a non-profit but it depends upon the work of one member who thinks of that work as a way to live. They would like salary, and they have referred to us as a business. They are already getting reimbursed for mileage at the IRS business, not charity rate because they wanted to have the group pay for their car repairs. Doing that would be even more of a slippery slope, but reimbursement at the business rate is already high and seems to motivate desire to drive. The cost of a ride from this person undercuts cab prices, but not by very much. Our use of them to provide free rides rather than having people use cabs causes us to spend a great deal of time fundraising.
Now this person also wants to be paid for time spent driving. They want to host people in their house, also in exchange for compensation and they have asked us to pay for home repairs. Again, this is a problem since we have to fund-raise so much for them, and as we cede more we will have to fund-raise more. We may be offering more “free” services than we otherwise might just because this person wants to provide them. Their financial needs may be dictating our activities and I do not think that is right; we are also verging upon providing employment and I do not think that is wise.
We also should not be depending upon (effectively) contracting to one person so much of what we do; and it is an ethical and perhaps a tax problem to (effectively) contract what are supposed to be volunteer services. Mostly, though, I’m not the person to handle this. All the poor-me, I am a martyr e-mails are very distressing. I can say no but it takes it out of me and also, I believe I am the only person in the group who has these ethical qualms. The rest of the group may well feel it is good and necessary to fund-raise to support this person to provide free services replacing cabs and hotels, that families would pay for.
Note and postscript: I proposed the IRS business rate for mileage because it is better than paying for car repairs, but I do not think it is the best idea. Now the group wants to pay for driving and standing time in addition, effectively making this person a cab. I, on the other hand, would like to scale back to IRS charity rate, 14 cents per mile. I am not in agreement with the group will on this and should step back. I also do not have time or energy to handle this conflict.