Open Collective
Open Collective
New process for reimbursing volunteer drivers
Published on June 3, 2022 by Nathan Hewitt

Hello OCF Collectives!

We are changing the way we reimburse for vehicular expenses by implementing a new Mileage Reimbursement Policy. Rather than reimbursing gas station receipts or paying out "stipends" or "honorariums" to volunteer drivers we will reimburse volunteer vehicular travel costs based on mileage at rates set annually by the IRS. 

There are a few complexities to note:
  • An exception: if you rent/hire a vehicle for Collective operations (we know many Collectives use U-Hauls, for example), you may submit the gas bill for filling up that vehicle rather than submitting a mileage form. Where possible, please submit the receipts for the vehicle and gas in a single reimbursement expense, so that we don't have to ask questions :)
  • We can continue to reimburse expenses related to hardship as before, provided that the expense is based on financial need and the recipient is not carrying out deliveries or other work for the Collective
  • Also, to be clear, this does not affect purchases of gasoline for generators or reimbursing folks' utility bills
For those of you who want to offer mileage reimbursement to your volunteers, please read about the process and let us know if you have any questions or concerns! We welcome your feedback as we refine the process.

(If you have a gas reimbursement or stipend that is current under review, we will work things out with you in the expense comments.)

In solidarity,

Nathan Hewitt

Posted on June 6, 2022

I wanted to leave one more comment, which did not feel right to include in the announcement but which I think is important to share:

I do feel that the IRS-mandated charity reimbursement rate is far too low, even when gas prices are down. Unfortunately, we do not have wiggle room with this. 

I do not like changing up policies on folks, and while this one affected only a few Collectives, we always try to stay consistent and only make changes where we believe it is important to do so. Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding.

Nathan Hewitt

Posted on July 13, 2022

Adding another comment to note that we have made substantial improvements to this policy based on Collective feedback. An updated policy can be found here!