Quick help needed!!!!
November 6, 2010 1:29 PM   Subscribe

I need your help quickly, hive mind! I have two free tix for a professional hockey game tonight given to me by the Big Brother/Big Sister program to be used with my little sister. Little just called and cancelled. Can I use the extra ticket for a friend instead?? I have been trying to get in touch with staff, but it's weekend and don't have any home numbers. Not sure of the protocol for this. Worried it might look bad even if it would be ok in this instance. Thanks much in advance! :)
posted by foxhat10 to Human Relations (18 answers total)
Use if they don't call back -- otherwise it's just a waste of two "perfectly good tickets."
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:31 PM on November 6, 2010

If they don't call back, if you can unload the tickets on craigslist and use the money for something else with your little sister?
posted by cgg at 1:36 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't be comfortable selling the tickets on Craigslist, even if you plan to spend the money on your little sister. One of the charity boards I work with gets donated tickets as staff/volunteer appreciation gifts regularly and sometimes, we have no-one interested/available to go. We are absolutely forbidden from selling them--as a policy matter--because it looks bad for the organization, even if we were to dump the money into the general fund. If the donor of the tickets discovers they were sold (even at face value, even if they couldn't be used for their intended purpose), the organization will likely lose the donor. If you don't know what you're allowed to do with the tickets, since your little sister canceled, I would err on the side of caution, personally.

I don't know what other implications there are when donated goods end up for sale; perhaps someone else does.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've worked with charities on homeless 'days' where people donate clothes etc., you can't just take home anything not used, even food that will go off. It offends donors and opens the door to accusations of impropriety, even if it's a genuine case.
posted by shinybaum at 1:57 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

It offends donors and opens the door to accusations of impropriety"

As a donor and volunteer to a few organizations, I would be more offended that the ticket went to waste.
posted by KogeLiz at 1:58 PM on November 6, 2010 [4 favorites]

Me too but short of an actual policy I'd go with caution until you find out what the policy is, or you could get fired.
posted by shinybaum at 2:01 PM on November 6, 2010

Use the tickets. Otherwise they just go unused -- I fail to see how anyone could actively prefer that outcome.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:03 PM on November 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do you know any other Big Sibling / Little Siblings in your program you could give them to?
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:04 PM on November 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Why are you worried it "might look bad"? How would it look like anything, and to whom? If there's a designated Big Brother/Sister section of seating or something, then it might look a odd. If it's a matter of explaining this after the fact to Big Brother/Sister fact, and you explain that your Little canceled, why would they have a problem with it?
posted by J. Wilson at 2:06 PM on November 6, 2010

My biggest fear in life is "looking bad," and if I truly couldn't reach the office so they could find another pair of little/bigs to give them to - I'd go with my friend.
posted by tristeza at 2:08 PM on November 6, 2010

Response by poster: All very good points. And thank you all for the input. I do not know anyone else in the program to give them to, that was an additional reason as to trying to get ahold of staff, so they could be put to use. I think i've decided to just not go; I agree with erring on side of caution with this one since I'm not sure what the policy is. (On MOnday, I'm sure it'll be "ooooh, you should have USED them anyway....")
posted by foxhat10 at 2:10 PM on November 6, 2010

You've tried to call. They haven't answered. Really, while I understand your decision, it's hockey. I'd go. Especially since your little person canceled this late.
posted by theichibun at 2:18 PM on November 6, 2010

About a month ago I went through the training session for Big Brothers / Big Sisters here in Calgary (still waiting to be matched). They expressly went over this situation and said that if you couldn't get a hold of anyone at the agency (so they could sent out a last minute email to other Bigs & Littles), it was best to not use the tickets at all. They preferred the seats to remain empty than to have it filled with 2 adults.

Consider the fact that the donations are probably season ticket holders (perhaps corporate but maybe probably just regular people), who attend most games and donate to charities like Big Brothers when they can't make the game (probably a minority of the time). Also consider that they might be friendly (or acquaintances at least) of other season ticket holders who sit beside / near them and make small talk:

"Oh Joe, I noticed you couldn't make the last game."
"Yes, I was out of town on business."
"I thought you normally donated your tickets to Big Brothers / Big Sisters when you couldn't make the game, there was a couple of adults out last game."
"I did. I'll find a different organization to donate to in the future."

No more tickets donated to Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Apparently the issue has arisen in the past (at least here in Calgary) that the donators of tickets expressed their displeasure to the agency and the agency made sure to state it in training. Perhaps it's different in your city and agency though.
posted by calgary at 2:19 PM on November 6, 2010 [10 favorites]

Can the friend ( or you) afford to buy the ticket, No harm, no foul.
posted by lobstah at 2:20 PM on November 6, 2010

I bow to calgary on this one. :)
posted by tristeza at 3:00 PM on November 6, 2010

Am not familiar with the program, but isn't there another kid you can take to the game, instead of your friend?
posted by eau79 at 3:31 PM on November 6, 2010

Response by poster: By the way, just got a response from the BBBS contact, she said I could have used the tickets as a "perk" for volunteering and could have taken a friend.
posted by foxhat10 at 8:41 AM on November 8, 2010

After I read calgary's response I realized that I hadn't even thought about that kind of thing. But now you know for the future, and it's in their head that you didn't try to take advantage of the situation. There's no way that can be a bad thing.
posted by theichibun at 8:51 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

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