Volunteer Expense Reimbursement
Funding Guidelines for Organizers of SEG Meetings, Workshops/Short Courses, and Field Trips
Objective and Anticipated Benefits
Provide consistent policies for the partial reimbursement of travel expenses for those who volunteer their time to organize meetings/conferences, workshops, short courses, and field trips. Plan for these events to generate a surplus for SEG.
SEG periodically organizes events that require the participation of recognized speakers, presenters, and/or field trip leaders. While most volunteers appreciate the recognition conferred through invitation to participate in an SEG event, it is often necessary to provide some reimbursement for expenses incurred, e.g. travel and accommodation. To the extent possible, invitees are expected to request financial assistance from their employers or utilize their own funds set aside for such purposes. A realistic budget, allowing for contingencies, is required for the purpose of determining registration fees. Accordingly, the volunteer organizer must communicate the need for reimbursement of any expenses to the Executive Director as early as possible to ensure the necessary approval. Timely communication is essential to allow for adequate promotional activity via the SEG Newsletter and other media such as the SEG eNews and eblast updates.
Categories Eligible for Reimbursement of Expenses
- SEG technical sessions at other meetings—Invited Speakers: The funds available for these speakers are typically provided by the SEG Foundation through either the Traveling Lecturers or VP Regional Affairs budget depending on the circumstances. Funds generally do not exceed US$2,000, to be used at the coordinator's discretion when inviting speakers to take part in a topical session. These funds are intended to defray costs incurred by the most needy speakers. Examples of this would be the SEG's participation at GSA and GAC/MAC.
- Workshop/Short Course—Presenters: The expenses of these presenters are frequently covered fully in terms of airfare and accommodation but only if such costs are incorporated into the overall workshop / short course budget. Budget worksheets must be provided to the Executive Director. The level to which such costs can be covered is determined by the early registration rate for participants. If unrealistically high, then some compromise is necessary such as a fixed amount for presenters. This is typically the case when SEG organizes a workshop jointly as in the case of the PDAC annual meetings. The payment of an honorarium (currently no more than US$1,000 per day for all presenters) is primarily intended for a presenter who is self-employed. Honoraria are frequently waived by presenters, especially to allow for deeper student registration discounts.
- Field Trip—Leaders: These leaders and assistants where necessary, are eligible for reimbursement of airfare, accommodation, and meals but only where such costs have been incorporated into the field trip budget. Worksheets must be provided to the Executive Director. The early registration deadline is very important in determining the viability of a field trip. The payment of an honorarium (currently no more than US$500 per day for all leaders) is primarily intended for a leader who is self-employed. Honoraria are frequently waived by presenters, especially to allow for deeper student registration discounts.
Important Considerations for All Events
- In most cases the early registration deadline allows the volunteer organizer and Executive Director to determine the level of interest in an event before any expenditures are required, e.g. hotel / rental car deposits, airline ticket expenditures. Attendees must be made aware of the probability of cancellation if minimum numbers are not met by the early registration deadline. This condition must be noted in all announcements and publicity preceding the event.
- Whenever possible, event organizers should attempt to schedule appearances by one of more of SEG's Traveling Lecturers (includes the International Exchange Lecturer, Thayer Lindsley Lecturer, and Regional Vice President Lecturer) since these costs are usually separately covered under the Foundation budget. In some cases, Honorary Lecturers may be available for consideration.
- Organizers of technical sessions at meetings with related workshops/short courses should attempt to utilize course presenters as speakers in their technical sessions.
- In unusual circumstances, the Executive Director may request exceptions to any of the above guidelines.
Last revision: November 24, 2014