Pay for Volunteers
So I've read some of your ideas about compensation for volunteers and I'm interested to know if everyone is compensated the same? For instance this is our second year for haunting and in addition to our actors, we are expanding to have a make-up and costume team along with security and safety. So if you offer employee incentives, does everyone work towards the same incentives or how does that work?
I appreciate any input you guys can provide, this site has been extremely helpful!
I'm looking forward to meeting everyone @ Transworld & Insane Shane!
Thanks for all of your help!
For me everyone makes the same, with extra being given for years of service.
I agree with Allen that seems to work best. But some times goals for actors to work towards makes some work harder to improve.
Everyone gets same...but a nice bonus for showing up every night you are scheduled. So when a friend calls them a few hours before show time and wants to go to the bar....they know going to the bar one night is going to cost them their bonus. They are told up front at beginning of season...if grandma dies and you miss a few nights you get your bonus...when you bring me her obituary. has worked great last 4 years.
I have used the ...If you show up every night and do a good job then you will get extra after the season is over.
If you pay some staff/crew and utilize volunteers for other positions, I'd suggest a few bonuses for each based on their job performance, attendance, recommending other good staffers, etc. Volunteers are not paid but it would be nice to give them an end of season gift of some sort. It could be haunt merchandise or maybe and American Express $25 or $50 gift card. Something to show that you appreciate their efforts. If utilizing a number of volunteers from a non-profit organization, I would strongly recommend making a donation to their group based on the number/hours of volunteers they provide. As for the paid staff, offer incentives as mentioned above.
Also ALWAYS watch how you refer to things. For example you should NOT use "pay" and "volunteer" in the same sentence or even context.
If you PAY someone, they are not a volunteer, they are an employee. We have had volunteers show up, everything is explained to them,
then a couple hours in you have one idiot saying, "so do we get paid every Friday or do we wait till Monday?" Then you have to ask AGAIN..
so what part of VOLUNTEER do you not comprehend??? Only once did I get a call from the labor board about a volunteer complaining about
not getting paid (he lasted 2 hours) I stated that we were a volunteer cast and asked if this individual had ANY paperwork that shows he was hired?
He never gave his social security number to us or signed any other normal "hired" paperwork. He never did ANYTHING associated with being
hired by a company. Once everything was explained the labor board person even stated that some people just do not comprehend ANYTHING!!
ALWAYS watch what you say and how you say it or it can come back and bite you later!
I have to totally agree here. A volunteer is exactly that. We use only volunteers, and that makes it hard to get people to help.
Originally Posted by RJ Productions
Our haunt donates to charity, so it's hard to pay workers and pay the bills, when we're not that big yet.
I'm a bit ignorant on this subject yet, but, when you do pay and hire for part time work... do you have to pay minimum wage per hour? Then can you pay at end of season or does it have to be bi monthly or weekly... moreover, what are the laws you must abide by regarding part time employees with payment to your hires then?
One of the ways to not insult the crap out of people willing to help you and give their all is to pay well above minimum wage. Especially for a seasonal part time affair. If it is nothing better than a McJob, why be involved at all. If you do call it minimum wage you will die by the rules of all the taxes and entitlements devised by your states labor relations board because you sort of started out with a sucky relation with your associates.
A haunt can easily make $4,000 a night and the poor dude gets $12 after taxes for working at near heart attack levels? What's my motivation man.
But yes people will do this for free and show up just because there is pizza that night and they wondered where they were going to eat or what otherwise. Fun and pizza versus getting paid some poverty level wage and you need to do what you are told? Which on has the manager reamed on a fence post?
But yes I have to Agree with RJ, you have to seperate in your brain two terms that do not go together. Volunteers might get some gifts and a free meal. Pay is hiring and firing and being responcible for peoples financial welfare and tax liability. I can only suggest seperating the hemispheres of your brain with some long thing like a knitting needle or something.