Will you coach me for “free?”

Dan Miller —  April 11, 2012 — 41 Comments

Many of you describe “coaching” as at least part of your business model.  And as such I am constantly surprised to hear how many of you are giving your services away, either literally or by charging far less than they are worth or by offering “trial coaching” periods that are several sessions long.  I see people scouting through the 48Days.net community to see who will coach them for free and actually feeling like they can be “selective” about who they work with.

This seems to come up again and again.  Prospective clients will frequently present themselves as desperate for our help but because of life’s challenges, unable to pay for our services.  Unfortunately, there is little to be gained by either party with a “free” payment plan – everyone ends up losing.

Rather than helping make the world a better place, free coaching is likely to:

  1. Breed Resentment – just think about it.  Charity tends to create resentment in both the giver and the receiver.  The giver ends up feeling used, drained by the time and effort expended.  And the recipient experiences growing resentment, guilt and anger at being expected to be grateful all the time and for the loss of self-esteem with each gift being another reminder of what they cannot do for themselves.
  2. Devalue Coaching – if you get something for free, you typically view it as being worth very little.  There is a clear connection between cost and perceived value.  Clients receiving free coaching will be quick to cancel and slow to implement any changes.
  3. Undermine Professionalism – when was the last time you saw an attorney, a doctor or an engineer set up shop and then offer months of free services?  Would you take them seriously as professionals?
  4. Violate a core tenet of health and wellness – one thing all helping professionals learn early on is to take care of yourself first.  You can’t help others if you are sick yourself.  If you can’t pay your own bills, you’re in a weak position to help someone else.  You can help people more from a full cup than an empty one.

Don’t assume that those who claim they can’t pay are in fact those most in need.  And certainly don’t assume that those who can’t pay could benefit the most from our coaching.  That seldom is the case.  Someone who can’t pay probably has a history of making poor decisions and has less likelihood of acting on and implementing coaching suggestions.  Agreeing to buy into their “poor me” syndrome may simply prolong their bad choices and patterns of not accepting responsibility.

Now – that being said, I still do a fair amount of “ministry” coaching.  It’s usually at the recommendation of another professional who really does understand the situation.  And it is always a very brief encounter with me.  I may agree to a one-hour intense session, but not a fully developed Eagles Club process.  If you want to donate 4 hours a week to working with prison inmates, temporarily homeless individuals, or those who just experienced a serious setback in life, that’s fine and honorable – but don’t make that the norm for your coaching business.

But be very careful with this issue.  Don’t get trapped in coaching that opens the door for two-sided resentment.  And don’t establish yourself as someone whose time and services are lowly valued.

We’ll be covering this and much more in the Coaching with Excellence live event May 30-31st.  And no, you can’t come for free.  But come with the confidence that with one client you will more than recapture your investment and be on your way as a highly successful coach.

  • Jeff D. Brown

    I’m fairly new to the coaching world and this information and counsel is wise, thank you for sharing.  I believe in it and will apply it in my practice moving forward. Blessings, Jeff in Phoenix 

    • 48DaysDan

      Jeff – we tend to create impressions of our professionalism and value very quickly.    Being “free” tells people we are worth much.

  • Mrtravislscott

    Great article! If you are giving coaching service away you are robbing not only your valuable time, but also the time you could be spending with family, other clients, and self improvement.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    Dan…was this in response to my query a few weeks ago about the client who called me form Oregon with an interview the next day? :)

    Your comments are on target in this case too.  He thanked me for helping him.  He promised to follow-up and join in a more formal process.  But neither has happened.  I followed up with him via email twice and then wrote him off.

    I think the key is if you do something quick and for free, don’t expect much later.  As Dave Ramsey says, “Don’t lone money to friends with the expectation of getting paid back.  Treat it as a gift and move on.”  

    • 48DaysDan

      Dave – No not specifically.  It’s just a very common scenario.  And the results are typically much like you’ve described here.

  • http://www.workyouenjoy.com Adam Rico

    Yes Dan, I’ve found this to be true in my experience. During the time I was going through coach training I coached a number of people for free. I would say they were generally less engaged and less motivated than paying clients typically are. There is something to be said for clients having “skin in the game”. 

    • 48DaysDan

      Adam – you are so right.  No skin in the game and most people aren’t going to be very committed to or engaged in the process.  

  • Vikki

    Thank you, so much, for this post.  This has always been a point of conflict and dilemma for me.  I have given a lot coaching away for free, mainly because I love to help others.  Yet, the people who seemed to need my help the most were never in a position to pay.  At one point, I thought that my maybe my skills were not at the “compensation” level.  But, I noticed that were people were getting results, and even quoting things that I said. Thanks you for this  reminder that a workman is, indeed, worthy of his hire.  

    • 48DaysDan

      Vikki,  I’m sure you’ve also seen that the “people who need it most” often do very little as a result of coaching.  I see the most change and success attained by clients who are already doing very well.  They are used to setting and reaching goals, doing things that are difficult, and accept complete responsibility for themselves.  People who “need it the most” typically do none of those things.

      • http://www.learnactshare.com/ Pete Ferguson

         Dan, this was one of my largest stumbling blocks – I looked around at all the jobless people I knew and became more and more depressed that I couldn’t make money coaching. But then I heard one of your podcasts where you talked about people buy what they want, not what they need and quoted the insane amount of $$ people spend on pet hotels, vacations, and baby sitters. I realize that just like me, the best clients are currently employed but have that “itch” or Divine Discontent that there is much more. And I’m very excited about investing $1.5k to fly to your house to learn and plan out my future in May. ~ Pete

  • http://jclevelandpayne.net/blog J Cleveland Payne

    Thank you for this posting Dan. I have been trying to turn all the advice and time I have been  giving away for free until something more along the lines of coaching and consulting that will  make the time invested pay for itself, and I am still mostly giving out advice and time for free, and not seeing any results from the person’s follow up work (because they aren’t doing any follow up work).

    I had a very frustrated thought the other day that when I get solid advice or input from anywhere, I at least take a minute to work it out in my head and see if it is truly applicable. And since I can’t afford a lot of high priced consulting myself, I appreciate all the low cost and free input that I can get, even if it was originally meant as a way to put me down.

    How would you suggest as a newer/less established coach on finding a way to weed out the non-payers and non-listeners and better qualify legitimate clients?

    • 48DaysDan

      Much of the issue is simply how you position yourself.  If you open a Mercedes dealership you will attract appropriate buyers.  If you open a tote-the-note lot with $800 cars you will attract that kind of audience.  Put together a one page flyer that outlines your coaching options with fees.  Then you can show that to anyone and simply ask – Which of these looks like the best fit for you?

  • MaryLu Stefan

    Dan, what about when you develop a 6-week group training program? Would it be wise to offer a free beta program to selected participants to test your material? Thanks so much for your thoughts.

    • 48DaysDan

      Not unless you just want to continue down the free path.  You will always be testing and improving your material.  The very first seminar I ever did I was green with inexperience.  It was a 10 session program that I purchased – none of my material – I was just the facilitator.  But I promoted it at $469 and had 23 people sign up.   When we were developing the current 48 Days to the Work You Love seminar we tested it and videotaped it with a group.  But we charged $99 and had 236 people enroll.  It was our test and we were using it to create the DVDs but I still charged for it – so people would have skin in the game and implement the principles.  

  • Michael Ford II

    I guess it’s all about how you feel about your product, huh?

  • http://www.worlddrivecoaching.com/ Cayce Phalen

    I love this.  It helps put some things into perspective for me.

  • Pete Herrick

    Motivated and educated daily by Dan, but this is the single best blog post that I’ve read.  Obviously, it applies not only to coaching, but to every good/service out there.

    Thanks Dan!

    • 48DaysDan

      Pete – thanks for your kind comments.  And yes, there are a whole of people who are undervaluing their services.

  • http://www.faithandthemagickingdom.net/ Randy Crane

    This is an excellent and very timely post for me, Dan. I’ll be attending Coaching with Excellence in May, and in the meantime I am officially launching my coaching business, Leaving Conformity Coaching.

    At the suggestion of my own coach, I have been coaching 3 people for free, to test the waters and see from experience if it’s something I’m any good at it, as well as get a feel for how it can work for me. It is, and so I’m proceeding. Interestingly, with the 3 free “pre-clients”, 1 has been highly motivated and invested as much as if she’d paid full price. The second was (we’re done now) highly motivated, but did tend to get sidetracked or bogged down a bit. I had to really challenge him to step up a couple of times, but he did, and the results have been very good.

    The third seemed motivated and interested, and she still wants to accomplish her goal, but is getting very quagmired in her comfortable familiarity and not stepping up to reach beyond it. I know that in part my responsibility as a coach is to help her stretch beyond the familiar, but I also can’t help but wonder if she would be more committed and stretch more if she had “skin in the game”.

    Based on these experiences I’ve been trying to decide whether to give an introductory discount (i.e. the first 3 people to become my clients would pay 1/2 – 2/3 of the regular fee), just so I could start the flow of clients. Your post has pretty much convinced me that this isn’t wise. Now I just need to come up with other ways to get my name out there and draw clients in. I’m open to suggestions!

    • Whitney

      I will be there as well in May.  I can’t wait to meet with you.  You have some of the same ideas that I have.  I am counseling a lady on the internet and then I am planning on meeting with a gentleman who took FPU through us.  I want to “test the waters” as well with him.  Again, looking forward to meeting you!

    • 48DaysDan

      What you’re doing is fine.  I’ve counseled hundreds of people for free over the years.  My post here was more a gentle caution against the overuse of free than a hard and fast rule.  But I’d caution you about discounts because you’re starting out.  That establishes with your clients that you don’t think you’re really up to speed yet.  And thus they have a ready excuse for less than desired results.  
      Looking forward to seeing you here at the Sanctuary in May!

  • Whitney

    Oh, dang it!  I thought you were going to give away your “Coaching for Excellence” for free after reading this article.  Just kidding.  I’m already signed up and this makes me even more excited about coming!  Thanks for posting this.  This is exactly why I feel pulled to meet with you because it does feel hard to draw a line between something being your passion and then charging for it.  I felt really “guilty” about the whole idea until I listened to “No More Mondays” and then read this post.  Thanks for the post:)

    • 48DaysDan

      Oh cool – I’ll look forward to seeing you at Coaching with Excellence.  I’ve probably struggled as much as anyone in feeling guilty about charging for something that could be seen as just “ministry.”

      • http://www.faithandthemagickingdom.net/ Randy Crane

        I’ve dealt with the same thing (and still do–it’s a process), but it’s helped me to remember that caring for my family is my primary ministry, and part of that means using what God has given me to provide financially for us.

  • http://www.learnactshare.com/ Pete Ferguson

    Dan, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I will be attending Coaching 101 and have been discussing on the forum about the cost for the 48 Days seminars (preparing to launch mine right after Coaching 101). Most people are barely covering costs. I did some research and the cost for 1 credit hour at the local university for an in-state resident is $475 + books. I think my time is as valuable as a professor’s and the value from 48 Days is more than I received my senior year of college with 12 credit hours! So I’m going to price appropriately in Utah. 

  • http://www.hiddenspringscoaching.com/ Ken Gonyer

    I agree that giving away a free coaching session is unnecessary and unwise – even when you’re first starting out. Dan’s perspective was healthy and helpful.

    Do you know what the “coach me for free” requests indicate to me? It says there’s potential to sell a coaching product at a lower price point. Perhaps what I and other coaches need to do is develop more products that help meet the need without requiring one-on-one coaching. The “8 Hours with Dan” program is an example. What are others?

  • Chad

    I was recently called by a mega church and requested to coach 5 clients for free.  They are filming a TV show similar to the one that Sears sponsors.  Build a new house, give away ton of services to families at or below the poverty level, etc.  They’re doing it with a faith based twist.  They wanted a certified financial coach to come in and work the the parents and to work with the kids using a specific brand of materials.  What’s more ironic is that the church has trained members and one paid staff member with the same certifications.  The members and staff person didn’t want to do this.  Yet they ask a professional to come do it for “free.”  (Yes I had to work through an issue of resentment there – you have paid staff members with the skill but don’t want to pay me or at least cover costs?)

    I declined the opportunity for a variety of reasons.  The main reason was why do I want publicity doing something I don’t support?

    • Don Roulo

      Chad…I think you did a wise thing.  The church has screwed up over the decades and taught people wrong.  They have taught that everything should be free or almost free.

  • msanonymous222

    [ Don’t assume that those who claim they can’t pay are in fact those most
    in need.  And certainly don’t assume that those who can’t pay could
    benefit the most from our coaching.  That seldom is the case.  Someone
    who can’t pay probably has a history of making poor decisions and has
    less likelihood of acting on and implementing coaching suggestions. 
    Agreeing to buy into their “poor me” syndrome may simply prolong their
    bad choices and patterns of not accepting responsibility.]

    I am horrified and appalled by this, Dan.  The “blame the victim” mentality that is just rabid in our society has got to stop.

    There are still 4 people for every 1 available job.  There are still over 20 MILLION underemployed and unemployed people.  Unemployment in some states is still in the double digits, while unemployment benefits in many states are being slashed by as many as 20 weeks.  These people–and as an underemployed person, I am one of them–are trying to SURVIVE.  And by survive, I mean “come up with ten dollars for food, come up with money for one trip on a bus, put $2.50 of gas in a car if they haven’t had to sell their car” and keep a roof over their heads as their primary goals.  To suggest that people who want desperately to succeed are taking a “poor me” approach is not only cloddish, but extremely un-Christianlike.  If you only KNEW or REALIZED how much it takes for some to reach out to others and even ASK for that help, and how much they NEED that help to try to better their lives–and especially those who used to be the middle class but are now “the new poor,” I would hope you’d be apologizing all over the place, instead of keeping with your “how dare they ask and minimize my services” propaganda.  If given the choice between a peanut butter sandwich…and your services…I’ll stick with the peanut butter sandwich.  It might be the only meal I or someone like me has in the entire day.  And it’s a heck of a lot less smarmy.

    Poor decisions, schmoor decisions.  There are so many who could benefit from help to really get out of this whole CAUSED BY THIS ECONOMY, CAUSED BY JOBS GOING OVERSEAS, CAUSED BY WALL STREET, CAUSED BY MASSIVE GOVERNMENT CUTS, but they’ll never get it from people like you who think they’re just trying to take advantage of you and that they’re just not “accepting responsibility.”  It’s as bad as saying that people who had to file for bankruptcy couldn’t handle their money–when 60% of bankruptcies are caused by catastrophic illness.

    • msanonymous222

      And I should clarify that I DO agree that no one should just keep giving away services–but I’m livid that you look upon those who might need ANY free assistance as making bad choices, not taking responsibility, poor me and every other “blame the victim” wrongness.  There are MANY people who are extremely bright, articulate, educated–and struggling.  If you’re not part of the solution, Dan…well, guess what?  You can fill it in.  I’ll stick with helping others and others helping me as part of being a Christian who recognizes someone’s worth.  Help when I can, offer what I can when I can–and be glad I did. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000106486663 Chris Puckett

        You sound like me a few of years ago. I was laid off not once but twice in 2008. I was laid off a construction job in June of 2008 and got lucky and got a job with an equipment company right away but was laid off from that in December just before Christmas that year because of the economy. I was just as angry as you that I couldn’t get any help anywhere either. But, I realized that you have to pick yourself up off the floor if you really want to learn how to do it right. No one gave me anything either. I went through over $10,000 in savings, in addition to 13 months of unemployment and food stamps. I lost a house in that time and we had to moved in with my mother. My wife was a Nursing Assistant at the time and couldn’t get more than part-time work. I couldn’t even get hired at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut. All I could get for work was day labor jobs and there were no more construction jobs to be had at all. We sold a lot of our stuff on craigslist and ebay. Took things to the pawn shops. I picked up scrap metal out of allies and on the street & highways at night and ran ads to haul off old appliances for people. I even (stupidly) ran an ad on craigslist to mow yards for $15 because I so hard up for cash. I eventually started spending money I didn’t have on books to learn how to do things differently. I paid for classes to learn sales and business skills. Later I started cleaning windows for older ladies that couldn’t do it themselves anymore and because of ALL OF THAT, I now have a full service maintenance company with 2 employees and we are on our way to doing very well. Over this last winter we acquired a t-shirt shop and now have one employee helping us in there. AND NOBODY GAVE ME ANYTHING!!!! The hardships of my previous life WERE the result of poor decisions. I didn’t plan well enough! I didn’t save enough! And when it all went to hell, I expected people to just give me stuff because I had a family and we were going through some serious financial difficulties and I couldn’t find work. I was angry because my friends kept trying to convince me that I had no control over the situation but I still felt I could things differently. I was angry that I had spent 3 years in an apprenticeship, and another 2 years in college learning skills that I could no longer use to get a job because there were NO JOBS in my field suddenly. At some point you have to get over the anger at the world, and it sounds like you are REALLLLLY angry, and realize that nobody is going to help you if you don’t first help yourself. Writing anonymously to a blog may help burn some of your anger but it isn’t going to change your situation. The economy may have caused the situations that got our jobs lost, but you and I can’t change that by being mad at everyone that is moving ahead and offering advice despite the economy. 

        Sometimes, it really is the “victims” fault, especially when the victim refuses to move forward and realize that life is going to be different than it was from now on. Getting a house foreclosed on because the “victim” didn’t pay the bill IS the “victims” fault. What is running rampant is this country is a sense of entitlement that “victims” have. People believe that they should be given things that they haven’t earned just because they didn’t get what they think is a fair deal! We have college kids that think they should be given top pay jobs simply because they have a degree. I know some of them, they are sitting at home just as broke and angry as you. I have high school students every week apply at the t-shirt store and think it’s their “right” to a summer job even though I don’t need and can’t pay for the help right now.

        “Don’t go around saying the world you owes a living. It owes you nothing. It was here first” – Mark Twain 

        What happen to the attitude of our fathers and grandfathers, that refused to ask for charity or take anything take wasn’t worked for and earned?!?! I watched my dad paint houses, hang drywall, trim trees and work on neighbors cars to get by on when he was out of work. I thought he was going to kill me one day when I brought home a box food given to us by a neighbor, he yelling so loud. I especially like what one Colorado community is trying to do, if you want food stamps or cash assistance you have to put in a certain number of volunteer hours every month to keep the benefit. Of course they are being sued for discrimination of the “poor” by making them work.Ultimately, anything that was ever given to me was never respected as well as it should have been. The stuff I had to bust my ass to earn and pay for hold way more value than any gift, handout or charity ever will.PS. Just because I won’t give you my services for free doesn’t make me less of a Christian! And I believe Dan is part of the solution because he is teaching people how to think for and market themselves!

    • Bobby Burns

      Dear msanonymous222:

      I think you have taken Dan’s comment way out of proportion and context. I, too, am dealing with being underemployed and just trying to survive. But I still expect to pay for services I request. My situation is not entirely due to my poor decisions, but I certainly have suffered from those, as well.

      I am not aware of a “blame the victim” mentality being rabid in this country. But I do see people downtown “occupying” and blaming the so-called 1%. I don’t believe that your statistic of 1 job for every four people is accurate either.

      Economies go up, they go down. Jobs go overseas, new jobs are constantly created. Wall Street hasn’t changed in over 100 years – those people are not to blame for my situation. Government cuts are a good thing – and I certainly don’t want my government to be in the business of “creating” jobs.

      I suspect that what you need will not be fulfilled by a free coaching session anyway. And with your apparent attitude you may be stuck with nothing more than a peanut butter sandwich, by the way.

      Dan’s stance is quite proper, balanced, and well founded.


    • widowsmite

      I can identify with what both you and Dan are saying.

      I am educated, I have taught at the University level. I am motivated, and in the past decades of my life, that motivation translated into healthy remuneration. I am versatile, I have been successful in the grocery and automotive industry, computers, education, and real estate. One of Dan’s books resulted in my leaving education and a mere half-decade later, for the first time in my life, I paid taxes on over $200,000. Yet today, after looking for opportunity for over three years, I am working part-time in retail for $8 per hour and thankful to have it.  AND, I cannot tell you the number of peers that I know who are in the same boat, one has both a PhD in Genetic Engineering and a PhD (JD) in law. Another has served as President or CEO for multiple publically-traded corporations. All of these individuals were mega-successful until 6 – 8 years ago. So I agree with you, that today we cannot stereotype the underemployed as unworthy. Yet . . . . .

      When I was a computer consultant, I “gave back” by helping churches, synagogues, and other non-profits with their computer problems; I did the service gratis. I marveled that these large, and sometimes wealthy institutions were the least-likely to heed my advice. The institutions that paid were much more likely to follow my suggestions – - which in the long run was far more valuable than the fees that they paid.  Perhaps these “charity”  institutions would have been better off had I worked elsewhere and donated my earnings so that they could hire perhaps a less-capable consultant? There seems to be a correlation with investment of resources and dedication. 

      I know Dan’s methods work. In addition to my past success via “48 Days to Creative Income”, I have purchased about a half-dozen copies of  “Write to the Bank” for friends aspiring to be writers. Two of those gifts resulted in book deals for my friends and I got the honor of being mentioned in the credits. With my next check, I think I’ll order a copy for myself. 

      Like you, in spite of my current circumstances, I enjoy “offering what I can when I can”. And frankly, I think the stipends that I carefully dole out today, are far more appreciated than the fortunes that I donated when I was making good money. Hang in there. 

    • Kerrysandler

      I have helped many people for free over the years and Dan was right. I resented the time and energy I spent with people who begged for help and did not change.

      And these same people had money to go on expensive trips, go out to eat and buy new cars. people spend their money on what they think is important. I am looking forward to learning everything I can at the May Coaching event.


  • http://twitter.com/MadameMutant ShapeShifting Ninja

    Coming from a slightly different angle, one of the regrets I had as a musician was that I did far too many free gigs with one of my first bands and in the end we ended up always being approached for free gigs (not even any expenses or drinks!). We never broke out of that free hole. Thankfully I broke out of that scene and re-established myself in London and now I am paid for every gig I do. People, free is not good! If you want to be tagged as the ‘free guy’  or the ‘discount viscount’ go ahead and devalue your service and years of work developing who you are. End of story. 

    I have a brother who constantly asks for things, and refuses to do anything for himself. Finally feeling the need to restore some respect for the both of us, I offered an awesome business deal that would ensure success and profit for both of us. Did I hear back from him? NO! But yet I’m supposed to keep giving, buying clothes and shoes, paying rent for a grown brother who is significantly older than I. My respect for him is at an all time low, I resent his calls, his voice and his energy. I have made up my mind that I will no longer support his lack of self-respect.

    Apologies for the long-winded response, I just think Dan is onto something here. life has taught me that when you invest in something you’re more likely to get something back. You must give to receive. Spend money to make money etc etc etc.

    Thanks Dan, maybe we will meet one day. I hope so cos you have inspired me immensely.

    All the best!


    • 48DaysDan

      Thanks for your comments.  You are so right about being creative to get coaching or mentoring if you really want it.  I’ve got some great stories about things I did to spend time with high achievers in the early years – and still do!

  • http://twitter.com/MadameMutant ShapeShifting Ninja

    P.S. If someone cant afford coaching via monetary means and they are deadly serious about getting that coaching. Then they could do well to offer a service in return! i.e. wash some dishes, clean your car, run a stand at one of your conferences, polish your shoes, something, anything that shows a willingness to invest in their future. We’ve forgotten the art of service swapping… :) I have done this myself just to get near some great people I’ve offered to sound engineer for free, run the door, promote events, flyering etc just to get into places I couldn’t otherwise have afforded to get into.

    People need to think, think, think, hustle, hustle, hustle. This is not the first recession and it will not be the last.

    Thank you and Good day to you all.

  • http://www.4PointsCoaching.com Joel Boggess

    Hi Dan,

    This post is right on the mark. 

    For things to be viewed as valuable, in most cases, the receiver must have skin in the game.

    One other observation: If the coach or care giver does buy into the “poor me” syndrome, they unwittingly may be doing more harm than good; rewarding the very behavior that leads to downward spiraling.

  • http://www.hiddenspringscoaching.com/ Ken Gonyer

    One more comment – this one about the Coaching with Excellence event. It really helped me to develop the business quickly. It was a stretch to invest in the flight/hotel/tuition, but I really did easily recapture my investment with one client. If my schedule allows, I hope to attend again sometime for a refresher.

  • http://www.CelebrateCalm.com/ Kirk Martin / Celebrate Calm

    I think this is a self-respect issue as well. Do you respect yourself, your time, your knowledge and your expertise enough to charge a fee? It’s a dignity issue. People tend not to respect what is free–but if they have a physical, emotional and financial investment, it means more to them.

  • Volunteer

    Hey Dan,

    Do you feel the same scenario applies to working in volunteer organizations? I’m feeling kind of let down by the Boy Scouts. I have put in many hours and dollars for this organization that could have been used elsewhere..