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    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    • 40Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    How to find out from charity if a freelancer got paid for 'voluntary' work I did?
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 11:57 AM
    How to find out from charity if a freelancer got paid for 'voluntary' work I did? 2nd Oct 17 at 11:57 AM
    Hello!

    I'm wondering if anyone can tell me whether organisations must disclose when asked details of invoices they've paid, specifically payments to freelancers.

    I volunteer at a local charity, and I strongly suspect another person (freelance) was paid in advance for a specific project, which was actually completed by me on a supposedly voluntary basis. I have no proof but it seems from the bits and bobs of information I've gleaned from the charity's manager that it's very likely this happened. They've been quite cagey so far.

    When I agreed to voluntary work I obviously didn't expect to be paid but then again neither did I expect another person to be paid for my work!

    Does anyone know if I can request that the charity show me the invoices for the project, and whether they have to do it or can refuse on the basis of confidentiality? I've no idea how I'd pursue this but I feel I need to know what's going on at least.

    Thanks in advance!

    SpaceisthePlace
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 2nd Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • 13,687 Posts
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    zx81
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:09 PM
    No.

    Other people's working agreements are confidential.
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 2nd Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    • 175 Posts
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    ssparks2003
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    Short answer is no. Any agreement between the charity and the freelance is between the charity and the freelance only, you are not a party to the agreement so why should you be told anything about it. You have performed a charitable act (kudos to you) so just enjoy the warm and bubbly feeling it gives you.
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 12:50 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:50 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:50 PM
    I think you've both misunderstood my post. I don't want this information to be nosy and nor am I feeling resentful about working for free. I've happily done lots of volunteering.

    This is a particular situation where I want to know if another person was paid for work that I did.

    If someone invoices for work they did not do, that was done by someone else, surely that is unethical (at best)?

    Surely I have a right to know if this happened?
    Last edited by SpaceisthePlace; 02-10-2017 at 12:56 PM.
    • ssparks2003
    • By ssparks2003 2nd Oct 17, 12:55 PM
    • 175 Posts
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    ssparks2003
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:55 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 17, 12:55 PM
    It is still nothing to do with you, it is between the charity and the free lance who invoiced them.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 2nd Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    Who engaged you? The charity, or the freelancer?

    Not that it makes much difference, but why would the charity pay someone for something that they got for free...

    If the freelancer engaged you, then he did what he got paid for. He was paid to get something done, and he got you to do it (for free...)
    Survey Earnings 2017 - £163
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    It is still nothing to do with you, it is between the charity and the free lance who invoiced them.
    It is to do with me because I did the work that the freelancer invoiced for.
    Last edited by SpaceisthePlace; 02-10-2017 at 1:13 PM.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    • 5,965 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:03 PM
    Other people's relationships with the charity are confidential.

    However, you can raise the issue with the charity, say what you did here, that you volunteered to support the charity and obviously are concerned that it appears that someone may have been paid for the work you did, rather than it benefiting the charity as intended.

    It seems to me that there are a number of possibilities:

    1. The freelancer was paid for some work, but may have been paid less than they would have got to do the whole job, because you did part of the work on a voluntary basis.

    2. The freelancer billed incorrectly for the work, and was paid because the person processing the invoice did not appreciate that you, not the freelancer, had done the work.

    3. The freelancer got paid for a totally different piece of work and someone without the full facts has gossiped about it

    4. There was an issue with the work you did and the freelancer re-did it (or part if it) and was paid for that work.

    5. The freelancer had been contracted to do the work, and was entitled to be paid even though in the event they didn't carry out the work because you'd done it voluntarily.

    There may be more which I haven't thought of.

    Of all of those, only (2) involves anyone doing anything wrong, but if one of the other possibilities is true then it is in the charity's interests to be made aware of it, as the others are things which are relevant to them managing things well, and/or keeping supporters and volunteers such as yourself on side.
    If you are concerned about the manager's dealings you could raise your concerns with the treasurer or chair of trustees (if it is a small, local charity) or with the regional manager / volunteer liaison if it is a larger organisation.

    I'd raise it not as an allegation, but as a concern that you've been left with the understanding that someone else was paid for work you did for free, and as a supporter of the charity that concerns you and that you feel a little more openness about hoe the charity is spending money would be welcome .
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Oct 17, 1:12 PM
    Who engaged you? The charity, or the freelancer?

    Not that it makes much difference, but why would the charity pay someone for something that they got for free...
    Hi, it was the charity itself I did the work for.

    The charity paid the freelancer in advance because he was supposed to do the work in question. I think the advance payment was an 'end of tax year, get your invoice in' arrangement. It's a bit more complex than that, but that's it in a nutshell.

    By the time the project needed to be done, he was on holiday and I did the work on a voluntary basis, not knowing he'd been paid in advance.

    I should say I suspect he was paid, it's been suggested and hinted at, but I have no proof. Hence why I asked if I had any right to see the invoices to clear the matter up.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 2nd Oct 17, 1:24 PM
    • 3,159 Posts
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    Undervalued
    Hi, it was the charity itself I did the work for.

    The charity paid the freelancer in advance because he was supposed to do the work in question. I think the advance payment was an 'end of tax year, get your invoice in' arrangement. It's a bit more complex than that, but that's it in a nutshell.

    By the time the project needed to be done, he was on holiday and I did the work on a voluntary basis, not knowing he'd been paid in advance.

    I should say I suspect he was paid, it's been suggested and hinted at, but I have no proof. Hence why I asked if I had any right to see the invoices to clear the matter up.
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace

    No you don't, as has been said repeatedly.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Oct 17, 1:26 PM
    • 515 Posts
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    Comms69
    I think you've both misunderstood my post. I don't want this information to be nosy and nor am I feeling resentful about working for free. I've happily done lots of volunteering.

    This is a particular situation where I want to know if another person was paid for work that I did.

    If someone invoices for work they did not do, that was done by someone else, surely that is unethical (at best)?

    Surely I have a right to know if this happened?
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace


    No. It's up to them who they pay.


    My boss gets paid for work I do, I don't see this as any different. It's unlikely that she literally claimed what you did, but more likely claims for the complete project
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:27 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    Hi TBagpuss,

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply, I really appreciate it.

    From that list of possibilities, the closest one is number 5. The freelancer invoiced the charity in advance for a specific project he intended to do, so he invoiced them honestly at that point. The invoice was paid presumably on the proviso that he did the agreed work. However he didn't. Is he still entitled to be paid anyway even though he didn't do the work and was instead on holiday?

    I am trying to book a meeting with the volunteer liaison and want to raise this, you make some good points which I'll include!

    Thanks again.
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Comms69
    Hi TBagpuss,

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply, I really appreciate it.

    From that list of possibilities, the closest one is number 5. The freelancer invoiced the charity in advance for a specific project he intended to do, so he invoiced them honestly at that point. The invoice was paid presumably on the proviso that he did the agreed work. However he didn't. Is he still entitled to be paid anyway even though he didn't do the work and was instead on holiday?

    I am trying to book a meeting with the volunteer liaison and want to raise this, you make some good points which I'll include!

    Thanks again.
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace

    More likely - "that the agreed work got done." Which it did.


    As a freelancer he can outsource the work himself.
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:29 PM
    • 40 Posts
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    SpaceisthePlace
    No you don't, as has been said repeatedly.
    I was merely explaining, to the specific person I replied to, why I had asked my initial question. I am taking on board each reply and so there's no need for you to be rude.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 2nd Oct 17, 1:33 PM
    • 1,960 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Hi TBagpuss,

    Thanks for your comprehensive reply, I really appreciate it.

    From that list of possibilities, the closest one is number 5. The freelancer invoiced the charity in advance for a specific project he intended to do, so he invoiced them honestly at that point. The invoice was paid presumably on the proviso that he did the agreed work. However he didn't. Is he still entitled to be paid anyway even though he didn't do the work and was instead on holiday?

    I am trying to book a meeting with the volunteer liaison and want to raise this, you make some good points which I'll include!

    Thanks again.
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace

    He's not entitled to be paid if he didn't do the work.

    Which means the charity can sue him for their money back. It does not mean that you should be paid for it.

    Whether you subsequently did the work, a trained dog did the work or nobody did the work at all is entirely immaterial to the
    transaction between the charity and freelancer. If he didn't do it, he shouldn't be paid, whether or not anyone else did it.

    You, in an entirely separate transaction, agreed to do some work for nothing and then did it. The other transaction is quite simply none of your business.
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:36 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    SpaceisthePlace
    My boss gets paid for work I do, I don't see this as any different. It's unlikely that she literally claimed what you did, but more likely claims for the complete project
    It's completely different, because this is not an employment situation, it's a freelance situation. You are getting a salary I presume. I am not. I am self employed and struggling. I volunteered my time and skills in good faith for a charity I believe in, and someone else got paid for my work. I didn't get to claim anything. I have no idea what exactly he invoiced for, as many people have helpfully told me I have no right to know, but it's likely it was several days, on a day-rate. He had nothing to do with the project in the end, he was on holiday the whole time.
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:40 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    SpaceisthePlace
    As a freelancer he can outsource the work himself.
    He didn't outsource it. There was no agreement between him and me, that I would do his work for free. I was asked by the charity as a volunteer to do the project. The same charity that paid him to do it.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 2nd Oct 17, 1:42 PM
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    ReadingTim
    It's completely different, because this is not an employment situation, it's a freelance situation. You are getting a salary I presume. I am not. I am self employed and struggling. I volunteered my time and skills in good faith for a charity I believe in, and someone else got paid for my work. I didn't get to claim anything. I have no idea what exactly he invoiced for, as many people have helpfully told me I have no right to know, but it's likely it was several days, on a day-rate. He had nothing to do with the project in the end, he was on holiday the whole time.
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace
    Ah - the real reason slowly reveals itself.....

    If you're struggling, suggest you spend more time looking for paid employment than charitable activities - charity begins at home right?

    Alternatively, re-visit your understanding of what voluntary work actually means.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 2nd Oct 17, 1:48 PM
    • 1,960 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    It's completely different, because this is not an employment situation, it's a freelance situation. You are getting a salary I presume. I am not. I am self employed and struggling. I volunteered my time and skills in good faith for a charity I believe in, and someone else got paid for my work. I didn't get to claim anything. I have no idea what exactly he invoiced for, as many people have helpfully told me I have no right to know, but it's likely it was several days, on a day-rate. He had nothing to do with the project in the end, he was on holiday the whole time.
    Originally posted by SpaceisthePlace
    Good, so they can sue him for their money back.

    Unless of course they were daft enough to get you to do the work before his timescale for finishing it had elapsed, in which case they can't.

    There's no way where you getting paid makes any legal or moral sense.
    • SpaceisthePlace
    • By SpaceisthePlace 2nd Oct 17, 1:49 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    SpaceisthePlace
    Ah - the real reason slowly reveals itself.....

    If you're struggling, suggest you spend more time looking for paid employment than charitable activities - charity begins at home right?

    Alternatively, re-visit your understanding of what voluntary work actually means.
    'The real reason'? Whether or not I'm struggling or rich doesn't impact on the legalities and ethics of what I suspect occurred. I asked a simple question. If you can't contribute beyond smart arsed digs at me then I suggest you spend your time looking for posts where you can be helpful to someone.
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