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VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com


~ February 2005 ~ Topics

Dear Connie:

I heard that volunteers can deduct mileage on their tax return when they use their car in their volunteer work. Is this true? If so, what’s the deduction?


Dear Fred:

Under the law, volunteers may deduct 14 cents a mile for their car costs (or be reimbursed by the nonprofit organization they work for at that rate with the payment being subject to income tax). At the end of last year, the IRS announced that the rate for the business use of a car will climb from 37.5 cents per mile to 40.5 cents beginning January 1, 2005. But, there’s no change in the allowable deduction for volunteers; it stays at 14 cents per mile. The law allows the government to adjust the business rate – but not the charitable rate – for inflation.


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Dear Connie:

I’m putting together my first training for volunteers and am researching the best techniques for accomplishing my learning objectives. What advice or guidance do you give to first-time trainers?


Dear Meredith:

Here's my list of "Connie's Fundamental Training Tips." They apply whether you're giving orientation to five new volunteers or conducting visitor services training for a class of 50. Good luck and remember to enjoy the experience most of all!


Connie's Fundamental Training Tips
Don't talk too much or for too long.
Use Power Point, slides, and/or overheads only after you've practiced using them.
Print in large legible letters on flip charts.
Always bring masking tape and a black marker with you.
Pay attention to what your audience tells you through facial or body "messages."
Open with self-introductions whenever possible so that audience gets to talk first!
Repeat questions from audience so that everyone hears them.
Always distribute handouts of your information whenever possible.
Stand up straight; don't slouch.
Speak clearly and crisply.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
10103 Edward Avenue * Bethesda, MD 20814 * VOICE: 301-530-8233 * FAX: 301-530-8299

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