Development staff pay their way? Where’s the love??

Dear Kim,

Is it a common practice to ask development staff to pay for their own ticket to attend a benefit? At our small agency, we very often are working and rarely sitting and eating. Even so, when we are, we are still “working” because we are interacting with our donors. What are your thoughts on this?
—Overworked and Underpaid

Dear Over and Under,

I don’t know if this is a common practice, but I am against staff having to pay to attend events where they are expected to work. The amount of money that you would contribute is not worth the amount of resentment that the agency is accruing. If you go knowing that you are to work, and you wind up having a good meal, you will feel that sometimes your work is fun. It sounds like you already feel beleaguered and nickel-and-diming you is not helping.

Remind your superiors that we are in the fund RAISING business, not the fund SQUEEZING business!
—Kim