CONvergence Volunteer Hours Policy

Approved March 5, 2016

The volunteers who contribute their time and skills to CONvergence make the convention possible. Regardless of the amount of time given or the specific work performed; every individual who volunteers makes the convention successful and special. In recognition of and gratitude for these contributions, CONvergence has a structure in place to reward our volunteers. The available rewards are tied to the number of volunteer hours contributed.

We anticipate that, in the course of their duties, members of the convention committee (including the Board of Directors) will meet a minimum of hours during the convention cycle (as defined in the organization’s bylaws). These volunteers are therefore not expected to track their hours.

For volunteers who are not members of the convention committee, volunteer hours will be awarded for tasks performed for the convention, whether these tasks are performed before, during, or after the convention. For the purposes of this policy, the time periods are identified and defined as follows (all times are Minnesota local time):

  • Pre-convention: Sunday before the convention 12:01am – Thursday 4:00 pm
  • During convention: Thursday 4:00 pm – Sunday 5:00 pm
  • Post-convention: Sunday 5:00 pm – Tuesday following the convention 12:00 pm
  • Year round: Tuesday following the convention 12:00 pm – Sunday 12:01 am

Volunteers who are not members of the convention committee are expected to record the hours they contribute. These hours will be approved by a head or sub-head in the department for which the work was performed and reported to the Volunteers department so that eligibility for volunteer rewards can be tracked.

Complimentary Memberships

Individuals who receive a complimentary membership in return for providing a service to the convention will not receive volunteer hours for the task or service for which they received the membership. If they choose to volunteer in other capacities, they will receive volunteer hours. EXAMPLE: An Invited Participant receives a complimentary badge in return for serving as a panelist for Programming. They also spend time volunteering in Consuite. They would receive volunteer hours for the time working in Consuite, but not for the panels or for preparation for the panels. Additional EXAMPLE: A person receives a complimentary membership in return for providing sound and light expertise to Mainstage. They then spend 3 hours volunteering at a badging station. They would receive volunteer hours for the time spent badging, but no volunteer hours for the time spent working in Mainstage.

Hours Awarded

As a standard, volunteer hours are awarded on a 1-for-1 basis with the hours of work performed; that is, 1 hour of work performed is tracked as 1 volunteer hour. However, CONvergence recognizes that some tasks are particularly demanding, involve working under difficult conditions, or urgently require attention in order to ensure the success of one or more departments. For this reason, some tasks may be awarded volunteer hours at a greater rate than the standard of 1 volunteer hour for 1 hour of work.

Some tasks are pre-approved to be awarded 1.5 or 2.0 volunteer hours for each hour of work. These tasks are:

  • Elevator monitor (for in-elevator shifts)
  • Badging (between 1:00 am and 8:00 am)
  • Assistants to the Dock Master.

Beyond these tasks, at times during the convention, a department may urgently require volunteers, and the department head may wish to offer extra hours as a recruitment strategy. The department head may approve 1.5 or 2.0 volunteer hours per hour if at least one of the following is true:

  • Between the hours of 1:00 am – 8:00 am.
  • The task must be performed within the next 60 minutes in order to ensure that the department can continue to function, according to  the judgment of the department staff.
  • The Volunteers department is unavailable, or is unable to recruit sufficient volunteers within 30 minutes.

If department staff decides to offer additional hours, they should, at their earliest convenience, document with an email to their division director, for purposes of data gathering and to help improve facilitation of volunteers in future.

If none of the above are true, a department head (or sub-head) must obtain approval from a division director before additional hours are offered. If the division director for the department is not available, department staff may approach any of the directors. Approval may be obtained through email, text message, phone call, or in-person conversation. The director who approves the request will document the decision via email to the department and the Board of Directors as soon as possible (if the decision is communicated to the department through a means other than email).

On call volunteer shifts will be awarded half time for the hours spent on call. Once assigned to a task, volunteers will earn hours at the standard rate as described above. EXAMPLE: Volunteers in the Nerf Herders Bullpen are awarded 30 minutes for each hour spent waiting for an assignment. They will be awarded volunteer hours at the standard rate once assigned to a task.

Year Round Volunteer Hours

Some volunteers who are not members of the convention committee do work for the convention before the convention takes place. Examples of this would be volunteers who assist the Decor department, those who create original scenarios for role-playing games they intend to present during the convention, and volunteers who are requested to create original presentations such as the sketches for the Opening and Closing ceremonies.

These volunteer hours also contribute to the convention’s success, and should be recognized as such. Year round volunteer hours will always be awarded at a rate of 1 volunteer hour for 1 hour of work. It is the responsibility of the department head for which the work is performed to track these hours and to report this information to the Volunteers department.

Only tasks performed explicitly for the convention or at the convention’s request qualify for year round volunteer hours. EXAMPLE:  Assisting with a test of the equipment for departments such as LAN Gaming, Registration, or Operations would be a task performed explicitly for the convention. Building a prop for an individual entry for the Masquerade would not be such a task.

Preparation for performances not created for or requested by the convention does not qualify for year round volunteer hours. Potential volunteers should consult with the relevant department staff regarding the possibility of year round hours. If the department staff is uncertain whether year round hours should be awarded, they should consult with the division director.