The blog commenter, Zoe, wrote: "As directors we are donating time and expertise and sometimes it is devalued because it's free. My fees as an accountant are very high to clients and non profits can be a black hole of need. There are times I spend hours on reports and recommendations and the board is very careless about implementation. If they had to pay me $300 an hour for that same information, they would take it more seriously. We help because we care but it shouldn't be taken for granted."
She is spot on, and oh...have I been there! Donating advice or consultation, only to have it placed on a shelf or marginalised because it was pro bono. Or even worse, the nonprofit hires someone else to implement your ideas while expecting you to continue offering significant blocks of time at no cost.
Everything needn't come down to being paid, however, as there is great reward in philanthropy. And nonprofits can find other ways to express gratitude, such as public thanks or writing recommendations on LinkedIn. Not only are others then made aware of a donor's generosity, but also their expertise so they can perhaps be hired by others to offset the time spent working with your entity for free.
If you are a nonprofit regularly seeking volunteer assistance - and who isn't? - take the time to properly thank those who assist with their valuable time and expertise. And donors/volunteers: operate from the heart, because your time isn't tax deductible*. Also ensure you're not sucked into a 'black hole of need' where your time is monopolised or treated as if it isn't important.
*Related expenses and mileage may be tax deductible. Consult your attorney or accountant.