Over the years the Branch has been fortunate to have many opportunities to perform both locally and further afield in greater Minnesota or even in the wilds of western Wisconsin. Some of these gigs involve significant travel, and occasionally even overnight accommodation. In recent months, it has come to the attention of the board that there has been a lack of clarity and consistency in how and when reimbursements for such expenses are handled.
Research within our own archives and discussion with former board members revealed that the Branch had adopted various policies in place in the past, but they were poorly communicated; neither the current board members (some of whom had been long-time members of the group) nor the current performance coordinator were aware of them. Certainly they have not been applied with any regularity or consistency. After considering past policies and keeping in mind the balance between potential for income and the need to make performances an enjoyable experience for members (who are, after all, volunteers), the board adopted the following policy:
Reimbursement for certain expenses associated with participating in gigs may be available.
- Reimbursement is normally offered only for gigs at a considerable distance from the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (50 miles from Tapestry) and typically limited to gas and/or accommodations.
- The availability of expense reimbursement will be predetermined per gig by the performance coordinator (in consultation with the board if necessary) based on a balance between how much we will earn from the gig and what will make the gig feasible and enjoyable for the dancers.
- If expenses may be reimbursable, this will be announced when the gig is announced.
- When the performance coordinator thinks a gig might reasonably involve an overnight stay, s/he will try to negotiate extra funds up front.
- When reimbursement is offered for gas, the total gas allowance is to be divided by the number of dancers attending and each driver is given this unit amount multiplied by the number of dancers that traveled in the driver’s car.
For future reference, this policy has been added to the Yahoo group files area section on gigs.
A major intent of the policy is to ensure as much as possible that expectations about who will bear incidental expenses are clear BEFORE a performance takes place, when it more likely that we could successfully negotiate for additional money if needed.