DEAR HARRIETTE: I volunteer for a charity group a few hours a week. I do not get compensated for the work that I do, which is fine by me. However, there are conferences scheduled throughout the year that cost hundreds of dollars to attend. They are usually in a remote location and cost $200 a ticket. I feel like my work isn’t appreciated because I am made to feel left out when I don’t attend a conference. Could it be time for me to leave this charity? -- No Extemporaneous Spending, Boston
DEAR NO EXTEMPORANEOUS SPENDING: You must speak up. Many people who volunteer for charities can afford to offer their time and resources without compensation. You should not assume that your charity knows your financial circumstances. Instead of deciding that you have to leave the charity, be proactive. Speak to your supervisor, and share your desire to attend the various conferences and other activities that they host. Explain that you cannot afford to attend. You appreciate the organization tremendously, which is why you have volunteered for as long as you have, but you cannot afford to do the other activities. Ask if there is budget to send you to these events. The time may be right to ask if there is an actual job for you. Instead of walking away, find out if you can become an employee. If the organization values you and has the resources, you may have just found yourself a new paying job.